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  1. Last week
  2. steveo

    Mermaid - bone

    Keep it up, it's an addictive and rewarding thing the carving path!
  3. Earlier
  4. Andrew V

    Seahorse Netsuke

    Just gorgeous, I love it!
  5. steveo

    Seahorse Netsuke

    I love it, really unusual colouring, but works really well. Great stuff!
  6. steveo

    Anglo Saxon sword

    Thanks Janel, very kind. Beech grain seems to be of quite even hardness, but under heaver hand sanding, it will produce 'waves'. That's not occurring on my project as I've tried to treat it quite lightly. It does seem to be a problem only when sanding or some instances of scraping. I found this when experimenting smoothing on an offcut, it noticed when running a finger over the smooth surface after working. We have a few pieces of beech furniture produced locally to us by Ercol, one of which is a lovely coffee table that we bought second hand from a hotel during a refit. It is a 1960's one and although it is in perfect condition, you can get an idea of the wear quality of beech from this. It has noticeable hollows where the grain is darkest, purely through years of wear and cleaning. It gives a good indication of what happens with heavy working by hand. I did intend to use Oak originally, for its' durability, but beech has such a local presence that it seemed a nice choice. I'm excited to see how smooth it will be when done! Best wishes, Steve.
  7. yloh

    My first three pieces in bone

    beautiful work. thanks for sharing.
  8. Janel

    antler engraving

    Good choice for Rhys the blacksmith. Whether or not he needs the help, you will be an integral part of that step with creating the whole piece. Looking forward to seeing more of the project. Janel
  9. Janel

    Anglo Saxon sword

    Hi Steve, That is quite a lot of good work so far! The beech has a lovely wood grain. Are the different grain layers equally hard and closed cell? Thank you for sharing the update and photos with us. Janel
  10. steveo

    New member from the UK

    Thanks! It's coming on and lots of fun to learn new techniques along the way. Best wishes!
  11. steveo

    Anglo Saxon sword

    Thanks! All the best.
  12. Andrew V

    Anglo Saxon sword

    Nice work so far, looking forward to seeing your progress
  13. Hello, I'm currently three quarters of the way through a project which has morphed from making a simple toy sword for my son into a more involved carving - still a toy though of course! My Son was studying castles at school, part of which involved making a helmet and shield - no weapons allowed! on visiting Corfe Castle in Dorset, he liked the look of some great wooden toy swords produced by Tyme Again - a great change from the usual plastic. Of course, I offered to make him one myself, as I immediately saw a fun project we could do. My initial idea was to make one from old pallet wood, but I read that the chemicals used to treat them wouldn't make the wood good for a toy. So, while looking on the web for local timber merchants, I found a guy who lives in his own woodland local to me, who also has a mobile saw mill. When I spoke to him, I was taken by his attitude to the use of wood and his desire for local wood to be used in a traditional way. I live in the Chiltern Hills, in Buckinghamshire, England. It is an area of fine beech and oak woods, the beech especially being used for many years in furniture manufacture. Right up until the 1960's, Bodgers could be found living in the woods, turning beech for chair leg/back blanks which were then sold to the numerous chair factories in High Wycombe and other local manufacturers. Well, Steve at 'Straight from the woods' wants to recapture some of the old ways of using especially beech. He manages his wood in a sustainable way and supplies wood and works on historic building restoration projects among other things. He was keen to help with my sword project, supplying me with two lovely planks of beech. Well, with such beautiful wood to work with, I resolved to try my best to do it justice and make a toy sword that my Son would love, but would be more of a scale replica than just a throw away thing. We had been reading the story Beowulf and I showed my Son what a Saxon sword would have looked like and Beowulf would have used. My Son decided he would like a Saxon sword, so this is where my research started. In the British Museum, they have a sword found in Sutton Hoo, a ship burial. As the blade was rusted into the scabbard, a replica was commissioned by the museum and other interpretations of the sword have been constructed since. One of which I used as a base for my wooden version. The below replica was made by Patrick Borta and the original, corroded sword. My next step was to make a template to cut my beech to. I made the sword about two thirds of the size of the Sutton Hoo original, so that it it could hang from my Son's belt in a scabbard without scraping the ground. The overall length being 635mm. I drew this up and cleaned it up on my computer, then printed off the template - one for the top profile and one for the side. The grip would be rounded, with finger grip cutouts and an oval shape to fit the hand comfortably. The gold work and detail I decided would be simplified, as I am fairly new to fine carving. The coloured bars on the template are to help me assemble the sheets of A3 paper I printed the template out on. Once printed, I carefully cut the templates out, so that I could draw around them accurately onto my wood. Steve had milled the beech flat, so I had a very good head start and an accurate base to draw on. I first drew a centreline with ruler and square, so that I could line up my templates on all sides. Using a backless Japanese saw, I cut out the shape, leaving a little extra all round to clean up. I used a rasp to take the wood back to my guidelines. Next, i used the same saw with a Veritas saw guide to slim the thickness of the blade. I next turned my attention to the grip. With my spokeshave, chamfered the handle until I had a hexagon, then using the 'shoeshine' technique with sandpaper, rounded the grip off. After remarking the finger grips onto this, I worked them into the grip shape with a halfround file. From now on, I carved and cleaned up the detail with my Mora carving knife. For the hand guard, I wanted to separate them into three bands, which I did using a fine needle file to create the guide lines, then the Mora knife to round the parts that would originally have been horn on the real sword. So, the blade was flat, the handle shaped. I now needed to carve the blade into shape. Anglo Saxon swords had a groove the length of the blade called a Fuller. This was to reduce the weight of the sword and had the added appeal of showing off the pattern of the metal on a pattern welded blade. To carve this groove, I made a guide by gluing two strips of wood the depth of the blade either side of the sword. I then panel pinned two thin strips of wood either side of the guides I had drawn on the blade to show where the groove should be. Using this guide, I used a goose-neck cabinet scraper to carefully hollow out the groove. I then removed the sword from the guide, turned it over and repeated the process on the other side. By pure coincidence, the grain of the wood perfectly followed the Fuller and gives a lovely pattern, almost like the pattern welds of old! Once this was done, I tapered the edges of the blade with my spokeshave, leaving slightly squared edges that I would round off later. It is after all not meant to be sharp. The area closest to the hand guard, where the spokeshave could not reach, was tapered and cleaned with a square cabinet scraper. So, below is where I am now. I am quite happy with the direction the sword is going, but there is a lot of cleaning up to do. I will carefully use grades of fine paper and micromesh to polish the blade, taking care to retain the sharp definition of the Fuller. I will treat the finger grip the same way, but will scrape the finer detail, so as not to lose detail, but to enhance the crispness. I will post the results when done. After this, I will tackle the scabbard, but that will be more of a construction job than a carving exercise. I'm enjoying this a great deal and hope the final result comes out well. I will keep you posted when I have something to show! Best wishes, Steve.
  14. Andrew V

    antler engraving

    I am planning on doing the inlaying before the metalwork is installed, the inlays will be protected with card and tape. I will be assisting the smith as much as possible, and really looking forward to the experience as I have never done any forge work but Rhys the blacksmith is insistent, if I don't help, he wont do the work
  15. Janel

    antler engraving

    Hi Andrew, Thank you for the good responses to my question, and then some. I found that tool-making for me occurred when I needed something that I did not have and could not do what I wanted to do without a new sort of edge or bent configuration. Will you do the inlay after the metal work is completed? I do not want to imagine what sorts of grime might be absorbed by the antler at the smithy. I hope that you have had good results on your play-day at the smithy. Are you doing the blacksmithing? I am looking forward to seeing images of this project when you have completed it! Janel
  16. Andrew V

    antler engraving

    Hi Janel, I do make my own tools from time to time, the 3mm No 3 is a re-ground larger gouge, the skew chisel is a very acute angle palm-chisel, less than 10mm. along the cutting edge I use as a scraper rather then a cutting tool. I have several other tools sub 2mm in size but these are the two I prefer for the bulk of my carving at this scale. The antler is Fallow Deer and is cut from the edge of the palmate part of the antler, not the roll; the palm has about 1.5mm of usable thickness near the edge but in the centre of the palm that reduces to half that thickness so the slices have to be planned accordingly. I appreciate the carving has a way to go, but I am content the roughing-out is over, the fine detail carving will wait until I have cut the inlay to size, fitted it and installed all the metal-work as a day or two in the smithy might render a recarve essential and I would weep if the carving was a finished piece being rubbed around in the soot and smuts of a metalwork shop... Darren, thank you for the kind comments, I can't wait to see the crossbow either - just spent a few hours tweaking the bend of the 'bow - just got a few more inlays to carve and fit, then off to the blacksmith for a play-day, so its getting closer.
  17. DarrenK

    antler engraving

    Hey Andrew, that's really cool ! It's great to see the roughed out process and detail , Id love to see some gothic crossbow too .....
  18. Janel

    Costs going up for the forum

    If any members are grateful for the forum being kept available on line, the Admin would appreciate hearing from you regarding financial contributions towards its upkeep. Please PM me here on the forum and we will discuss the how-to of making the donation. Many thanks, Janel
  19. Janel

    antler engraving

    What species of antler is this? Are you into making your own tools yet? There are so many more kinds of small tools that will augment your kit of tools and will make certain carving actions simpler. There are many posts and topics here covering the methods and types of tools that other small scale carvers have used. Janel
  20. Janel

    New member from the UK

    Hi Steve, Welcome! I do look forward to images of the sword when you are ready to post them. It is good to read about the local connection and history regarding the beechwood. Janel
  21. Andrew V

    antler engraving

    This little engraving is still a work in progress and so is a little way from being finished, but, I thought I'd post it all the same. The carving is for an early Gothic style crossbow I'm building and is of St Hubertus, patron saint of hunting. The carving is 1mm deep and 18mm wide from elbow to elbow, carved with a skew chisel and a 3mm number 3 gouge
  22. steveo

    New member from the UK

    Hello Carving Path members! I live in England, UK and found this forum when researching tips for my current project. Previously, I have carved two canoe paddles, one for my Son and one for my Wife. Being Canadian, my wife introduced me to Canoeing and after a few years of loving the activity, felt my Son would enjoy a little paddle of his own. I used Spruce for this, as it is light and easy to work with. I found out how much fun a spokeshave is to use and was pleased with the result. My next project was a full size paddle for my Wife. This was also a success - the key being taking my time (I'd never make a living making paddles!) and I learned more tricks along the way. My Son recently has been learning about the medieval period and we read 'Beowulf' for bedtime. After seeing some of the awful plastic toy swords on offer when visiting various castles, I offered to make a toy sword for him from wood. Initially, the plan was to knock up a quick toy from soft wood, but I thought a hardwood would last longer, if I was going to all the effort of carving one. I live in the Chiltern hills, an area of Beechwoods, traditionally used for furniture making. Up until the 1960's, Bodgers would live in the woods turning beech for chair legs etc. I thought beech would make a good wood for my project, as it is a wood with local connections. I located a man who owns an area of woodland nearby, who owns a mobile sawmill. He has a great attitude towards sustainable woodland management and runs carving classes alongside his milling operations. He was very interested in my project and cut me a beautiful plank of beech. Well, after lots of research I decided upon the 'Sutton Hoo' sword as a basis for my project. I drew up plans and cleaned them up on my computer, then printed it off. I stuck the outline plan to card, then cut out my template that gave me my outline to cut to. there were lots of challenges along the way, but the sword is about two thirds of the way through now and the handle/grip is not looking bad. My next step is to carve the groove ('fuller') down the middle of the blade, and to chamfer the edges with the spokeshave. I'm enjoying this project greatly. I found this forum after Janel kindly helped me with a question I had, and have found many gems of useful information here that will come in handy as I near the final smoothing stages. I really do like the look of polished beech and will post pictures of the finished sword - assuming I don't mess it up of course! Then onto the scabbard... Best wishes to you all and good luck with whatever projects you turn your hands to!
  23. Woody C.

    New Member To The Group

    thank you for the compliment. i have been in hattiesburg since 1986.
  24. Woody C.

    New Member To The Group

    South MS also.
  25. Ed Twilbeck

    New Member To The Group

    Welcome to the carving path good place lots of talented people here. I’m in South Mississippi , what part are you in? Good looking work and thanks for sharing.
  26. Woody C.

    New Member To The Group

    Hello all, my name is Woody. I recently came across the carving path and decided to become a member. I am new to the world of bone carving, I have been carving for about six weeks now. In reading some of the forums here, I have noticed a lot of experience out there. I am located in Mississippi and look forward to learning from everyone I can. attached is a sea turtle I did recently. My wife does the beadwork, makes a good hobby for us to do together.
  27. michael B

    Imperial rhodonite chain

    Thanks Janel, yes I think I will move on from chains, they look great when finished but they are so labor intensive, I still need to attach a cord or chain, may do a custom plated cord either in black or red.
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