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Andrew V

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  1. Andrew V

    New year

    Happy New Year everybody! Still alive, still wood-working, hoping to do some actual carving soon, starting to twitch from a lack of carving time!!
  2. hollow, well, filled with a useless pith you will need to remove, suggest you soften it with warm water
  3. Depends on which part of the antler I am working. The disk at the end where it joins the skull is good for netsuke but is very hard and responds well to scrapers, the stem of the antler, all the antler really has a useless soft core (pith) which you must remove - it is so soft that you can flood it with warm water and scrape it out with a spoon, This leaves the wall of the antler which is a dream to carve, and which you can carve with standard wood-carving tools as well as scrapers - I have a pin-board of carved antler and bone items, mostly bone items, and none of them by me, but it does show what is possible. https://www.pinterest.co.uk/avenuew/carved-antler-and-bone/ The stems cannot be heat-formed and so lend themselves to tubular forms - traditionally, needle cases, salt cellars, powder horns. If you use a palmate antler - moose or fallow deer for instance, the palms are great for relief carvings - I split the palm and make carved inlays which are only about 1.5 mm thick, many medieval 'ivory' carvings are in fact antler. The palms can be heat-formed, up to a point, are flexible, up to a point, but can snap without warning if you get clumsy with them or they dry out too much. Biggest down-side is it can be difficult to colour, it resists many stains and is translucent. This translucency can make for an interesting carving experience if your eyes are tired or your lighting is wrong. Biggest upside - it accepts the very finest of detail in a way even box-wood doesn't; it is astonishing how fine you can carve it
  4. sweet; might try something like that in antler.......
  5. Andrew V


    Need to stir my stumps a bit, lots of stuff on the go with work and wood-work, really need to choose something small to chip away at by the dining table when the workshop gets too cold for bows and cross-bows. I'll be sure to post when I do carve something suitable
  6. I found that putting a wax on before fine sanding really helps with difficult grain; it acts a bit like a sanding sealer but also lubricates the surface under the paper making the process that bit easier, although the wastage on the paper increases significantly as the wax clogs it up quite quickly. Lovely little carving though, I like at as a pendant, but it might make one half of a pair of ear-rings.........
  7. I like that a lot, the leaf is such a nice touch!
  8. Very nice work, what finish did you use on the cow bone? Andrew
  9. That is just the most beautiful work, absolutely stunning, very inspiring! Thank you for posting. Andrew
  10. Can't help with that I'm afraid, haven't worked with deer bone.
  11. I have found antler readily soaks up water and readily dries out. That buttery quality is easily restored with an overnight soak. Also, the pith goes soggy when soaked and that is a good indicator of what you need to get rid of.
  12. I have read that book more than once, its very good, up to a point. The white inlays are bone, the black are water buffalo horn, the carved inlays are antler.
  13. Be brave about removing the pith, its completely useless, and you should carve away as much as you dare to. It goes so soft when soaked in water you can even cut it away with a spoon. Also, antler takes the most incredible level of detail and is easily worked with standard wood carving gouges as well as scrapers. 😉
  14. Still progressing my replica crossbow, should have all the inlays shown in the photo installed this holiday (the upper 8 are in now), just got to source a large fallow antler palm to carve the last two inlays from , make a string, finish testing the bow, cover it and paint it, and wait for the blacksmith to get some down-time after the Christmas rush, then fine carve all the inlays, make and install the twiddly horn inlays, sand, and varnish the stock and then apply the decorative paint effects . Hope to be all done by Easter. 😁 Oh, also got to build a crossbow table and make and fletch a set of bolts.
  15. Keep monitoring the weight of the piece - if the weight is stable then it has lost all its moisture and should not crack any more. A coat of wax should seal the surface and slow down any moisture loss if it is still 'wet'. Wax is easily removed with white spirits.
  16. Nice work so far, looking forward to seeing your progress
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. update I found that the sugar soap wasn't working to deep-clean the bone, it remained translucent even after weeks of soaking, I guess the water wasn't penetrating deep into the bone so I dropped the inlays into a bottle of turpentine substitute and in only a few days the bone was completely degreased.
  21. Hi Janel, I didn't actually know what the active ingredient in sugar soap was, but it seems its washing soda, a sodium carbonate form of carbonic acid. It has been pretty effective as a second-stage degreaser but the bone will still need something stronger as a final step.
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