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Everything posted by Janel

  1. Oh the things we do to be able to see the details! Those look pretty serious, and must be amazing to use. What degree of magnification to they provide? Is that adjustable? You might find some sort of padding to spread out the weight on your nose. My own solution is to wrap some cloth and then some paper tape around that part that sits on my nose. It need replacing now and then, but does the job well enough. The wire frame sits below my carving glasses, which are prescription lenses. The main part of the carving glasses is made to work for lower magnification that focuses on the carving area and the bench top, and the seamless bifocal area for focusing on the carving peg before me, that 10-12" that you mentioned. It may be a bit more flexible that those specific distances. These are Bebe Binocular loupes from 60 or more years ago, inherited from my uncle who was a dentist. They are occasionally offered on Ebay I think. With the carving prescription they offer about 10x magnification. The lenses can be positioned by the little wheel and threaded rod just underneath, to fit one's own focusing needs. Janel
  2. Hi Bonnie, Good idea to make the hood barrier for the torch. It does offer a degree of control for the tempering, which can go very quickly. I know if a tool maker (different sort of tools, for softer wood carving) who uses a toaster oven that can be set at the tempering degree that he wishes to achieve. I don't know the details though. I am thinking about the smaller background spaces, confined by positive relief in your design ... The second from the right has the kind of idea for a tool series the might work for such spaces, for flattening/smoothing those smaller spaces: This rough tools were acquired in Japan, for ivory carving. The idea of the edge being on the end rather than the side allows it to be used differently than an edge on the long side. To be able to make your own tools opens the way for solving problems when no tool seems to work just the way you want it to. You might find something with the dental tools that might be adaptable. Janel
  3. One of the members has made a generous donation towards the operating expenses for The Carving Path forum. I am filled with gratitude for this gift. Thank you.
  4. I found images of the two Stephen Myhre tools that were gifted to me a long time ago. The note on the image folder "Stephen Myhre tools 2008 before much wear". They are now significantly shorter/changed from years of use and sharpening, but still important choices for what they have to offer with their shapes. The elegant thinner one presents a long, shallow curve, which is what I would recommend for smoothing surfaces. Either of the curved edges on the top of the tool, or a tool made with the single leading knife edge that could be slightly curved, could sweep gently across bumpy surfaces, delicately shaving fine whisps of material off the surface until the degree of smoothness is achieved. This video was created long ago, but does show how I hold and use tools for various kinds of material removal. Just after 5 minutes a tool is being used that gently planes/shaves a surface to smooth it: Tool Use Demonstration - Stephen Myhre Style Tools & Janel Jacobson's Tools Well, that actually is a cutting stroke that later becomes a smoothing stroke, but not the fine touch of a finishing stroke that is done with a very light touch. The stroke on the convex leaf surface is being done with a straight edge. You may want to use a slightly curved edge on the flat background of the piano key ivory to flatten and smooth the surface. In the same vein, a concave surface would be smoothed with an appropriately curved sharp edge. I have a few tools from 1/16th to 3/16th inch diameters that have three equal sides with three relatively equal shallow curves. The variety of Craftsman pin punch diameters can be a handy place to start. The four to the right are such tools from 1/16" to 3/32" diameters. If you use a grinder to do the initial shaping, do not let the tip get to red hot. For the smaller diameters a honing stone can do the job, and move upwards with the grits to gain a very sharp edge and a near polished surface. These triangular small tools are superior for undercutting and creating a separation shadow that gives life to the subjects, much like when your finger is placed on a surface and you can see that it is separate from the surface it is touching. My very first tools that I made were from HSS drill bits. Awkward to hold, but better than nothing. They were very hard to shape well as I recall. Somewhere here on the forum some folks cringed when I admitted using HSS for making tools. They will do in a pinch, but there are better materials for making tools from. The non pin punch tools were fashioned from O-1 drill rod with oil quench. Somewhere here on the forum there are descriptions for making tools I believe. The 0-1 rod can be ground, filed, shaped then hardened with a bit of refining of the faces and edges before tempering to straw color. You can see an assortment of my tools on my web site: http://janeljacobson.com/toolsstudio/tools2012.html Other shorter tools might fit better the piece you are working on. This is where making multiple, slightly differently proportioned tools can be useful. I managed to do that while trying to understand the dynamics of the sides and the top in relation to one another. Eventually each extra tool became a useful one. These were some of the oddballs that actually became useful over time: I hope that some of this will be helpful as you consider smoothing the surfaces of the ivory. Sanding papers leave scratches that have to be laboriously sanded ever finer away until nonexistent. Keep the scraping tools exceedingly sharp and un-nicked and your surface will be beautifully smoothed with out sanding papers. A higher polish can be then attempted with micro mesh cloths up to 8,000 to 12,000. Very glossy surfaces on some woods and animal origin materials. Best wishes, Janel
  5. It is a pleasure to see your current work Bonnie, Tight spaces and a very shallow piece of material to be working with. Nicely done so far. How do you plan on smoothing? Would it be the background? I may have some tool suggestions if you might not have what you want, but you would likely have to make them. Janel
  6. Nice! Better than I thought it could be. It is good to see the workspace through the lens. Janel
  7. I believe that netsuke or ojime have been/are being used by some in Japan for carrying phones. One netsuke-shi had a few ojime pinned to the outside of her purse. Janel
  8. A link to a brief video of Komada Ryushi in Washington, DC earlier this year: http://www.npr.org/2017/04/01/522120453/in-the-art-of-netsuke-tiny-toggles-tell-delightful-stories-of-japan?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=202706 An example of how he uses a portable carving peg for demonstrations, and how he holds his tools while working on a piece.
  9. Oh what a bother that must be. I've assisted a parent and sister when it grew to be too much and replacements occurred. I am truly sorry for your discomfort. I am glad that you can keep carving, to keep your mind otherwise occupied! Janel
  10. I would suggest moderate detail and more about form than exquisite detail. The fine details would get lost in the grain of the wood, which is evident in the photo. My mother grew up in a place called Heron Lake. Sorry to read about your pain. Could you modify a carving spot for standing occasionally? It crosses my mind from time to time, especially in this day and age of office workers having elevating desk surfaces for standing at the computer. Janel
  11. Economical solution! Good idea! Janel
  12. Hi Bonnie, Your set up sounds enviable. My workbench peg is set so that I can rest my forearms on it while working, or as I need to. I have mentioned recently the stuff that I use to reduce the strain on my hands. It is called Scotch Removable Mounting Putty. It is white. There are others that are yellow or blue. I like the neutral non-color. This allows the small piece to be stuck in place while removable and easily repositionable. My holding hand is more relaxed and more free to work with the carving hand as fulcrum and guide. The peg does not have to be a 4 x 4, that is just what I had on hand at the time. The jewelers bench peg should work just as well. Here are a couple of images from a netsuke carving class taught by Komada Ryushi in Tokyo that I visited some years ago. They show a portable setup using a small vise that seems to be reposition able. Looks interesting.
  13. Figure out how to use a "carving peg", and use an office chair that has the ability to adjust the height. I have found that different positions are beneficial depending on what I do as the carvings progress. I use a piece of cedar 4" x 4" that is screwed to the bench top from underneath the bench. An ~ 45° angle is cut back so that the wood comes to a thick point. The soft wood has been shaped by years of carving, and is used to be the brace when holding and doing the carving. The adjustable chair keeps my back and neck from too much bad posture. Janel
  14. Hi Nelson, Thank you for posting this video. It is good to see Phil and to hear him speak about what his focus is as the Dominion Sculptor. Phil has been a contributor here on The Carving Path, and members might find his posts interesting to read. Janel
  15. Hi Bonnie, As my eyes aged into needing glasses and bi-focals, my optometrist and I worked out a second set of glasses for carving that had at first, split level (upper/lower) prescriptions. The upper part focused on the desk top for tools and general surroundings to be okay to look at, i.e., arms length or less. The lower part would focus 10-12 inches, where the carving was generally taking place. As time passed, the seamless bi-focals became good to use, and my prescription strengths increased, so we switched the glasses to seamless style. I now use such lenses for the computer work as well, but again a different distance that works at the desktop for writing or for reading the computer screen. For extra magnification, I use antique binocular loupes that together with the carving lenses provide about 10x magnification. You can see me wearing them on my avatar to the left of this message. Light weight and I can see around them to my bench top. They are called Be Be Binocular Loupes, and can sometimes be found/purchased on line as antiques. Janel
  16. Hi Ed, Thank you! I am pleased that the little video can still be helpful! Janel
  17. Dentists might also have broken tools that can be repurposed for small carving edged tools.
  18. Hi Marcus, Your experience with power tools jumping about is why I choose hand tools for detail work. I do not know what Billy's choice is for his detail work, sorry. You really have to keep trying to see how the different sorts of tools work, and at some point it will make sense and you will be reaching for the right tool to do the next step almost before you consciously make a choice. Meanwhile keep trying. Does your power tool have a stiff flex shaft? That in itself can be hard to control for fine detail movements. My power tool, an NSK microgrinder has a power unit in the handpiece, and a flexible, coiled electric cord from the base unit. Virtually no swing or sway, less hand/wrist strain, and better control. I still won't do final detail with it though. It is too much fun doing it with hand tools. I get lost when someone calls a carving tool a graver. I always think of engraving on metals, and those tools have a unique shape and knob handle, and I could never figure out how to make such a tool work for me. My tools may do some of what the gravers do, but are held very differently than engraving tools. This is a very old video that demonstrates holding the piece being carved and how the hands work together as a unit while applying the tool for material removal: The thumb is a fulcrum, and the tool of choice is moved with the grain (bone has less of that than wood). There are so many things that can be done with hand tools, and at a pace that your brain can keep up with the process. Power tools catch and jump and, well, you know. Flat and angled chisels can cut and make flat edges, rounded cutting edges can scrape concavities, or can act as gouges. Long edges, sharp, can be used instead of sand paper by shaving surfaces to near perfection before switching to polishing steps, avoiding having to sand away the earlier grits scratches. This video also shows the poster tacky stuff. I don't know how to advise you on what bits to use, that will be your own journey. You may find bits in jewelers catalogs, but they are more likely aimed at metals, and might clog with organic materials when used. But, that said, sometimes the tool might do just the thing you want it for a specific detail and not major removals. It is good to read that you are happy with what you are learning so far, and also that you are keen to keep moving forward! Janel
  19. You have learned a hard lesson and I am sorry for the injury to the piece you have worked on. You could do what some cultures do for precious pottery, by filling in the crack with a gold mixture. I do not know the technique's materials, but perhaps you have seen this sort of thing. In the future I recommend that you learn how to hold the piece in your hand and brace it against a leather sand bag. Or, my favorite because of its little bit of stickyness, a material that is used to stick posters to walls. Either technique is performed on the end of my carving peg, which varies between carvers. Carving peg: An old image of the peg with the poster-tacky-sticky-stuff on the end. Using that stuff reduces the strain on the holding hand, and provides a gentle support to the materials being carved on it. The sand bag can be seen just under this piece Good wishes to you as you continue to learn! Janel
  20. I understand the difficulty in making the SEARCH work to bring up what you want specifically to learn about. Some folks have suggested doing a Google search for the content you seek and include the name of the forum in your search query. That may or may not work for you, it has been a while since I tried doing that. In that vein, somewhere on TCP is a photo of Cornel Schneider inspired toothpick sanding tools. I make them from round toothpicks, with an angle cut on each end to receive a drop of glue. The sanding papers are cut to tiny rectangles or squares (your preference) and are glued onto the angle cut ends of the tooth pick. To keep the different grits of sand papers separate, I mark the toothpicks with a colored marker and keep each group in "old-fashioned" film container. When used, the paper and glue ends are cut off and the new bits of paper are glued on. These tools allow for accessing those hard to reach places on carvings. Janel
  21. I will always advocate for hand sanding from 400, 600, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, 2000 wet/dry papers, then switch to micromesh up to 10,000 or 12,000 for a true wood based gloss. It takes a great deal of time, but the hand work offers the most control over the materials used to remove the scratches and haze. On this ebony piece I dampened the wood carefully to cut back on the shine to emphasize the contrast between areas. #409 Centipede http://janeljacobson.com/carvings/409.html
  22. Apple Blossom Necklace: Cow Bone, Opal Dimensions: 1.7 x 0.9 x 0.2 inches 4.3 x 2.3 x 0.5 cm
  23. I may use the power tool at first for gross removal of waste material, then switch to files for shaping. Then the hand tools take over with all of the real carving work. This page shows the tools that are often used during any carving in wood, bone, tusk, amber, etc.: http://janeljacobson.com/toolsstudio/tools2012.html The top seven images are styled after the tools made by Stephen Myhre, a New Zealand bone carver. I was a fortunate recipient of two of his tools a long time ago and found that they were remarkably well suited to what I wanted them to do. The three-edged nature of these tools provides three different cutting, slicing, shaving edges, depending on the degree of angle and curve. Janel
  24. What I see right off is that you are paying attention to the line of the curves, making them flow smoothly. I appreciate that very much. The energy of movement in the curves is not interrupted. You may start "seeing" and interpreting into new pieces as technique becomes second nature with these early pieces. I look forward to seeing where you go with your interests. Janel
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