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Andrew V

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Everything posted by Andrew V

  1. Andrew V

    Deer Antler

    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.
  2. Andrew V

    New year greeting from Tokyo Japan

    That's pretty cool !
  3. Andrew V

    What are you working on....?

    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.
  4. Andrew V

    Deer Antler

    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. 😉
  5. Andrew V

    What are you working on....?

    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.
  6. Andrew V

    Deer Antler

    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.
  7. Andrew V

    Seahorse Netsuke

    Just gorgeous, I love it!
  8. 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
  9. Andrew V

    Anglo Saxon sword

    Nice work so far, looking forward to seeing your progress
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. Hi Everyone. I'm prepping a marrow bone for inlay work. I have stripped it of meat but its quite heavily contaminated by grease. Any tips on how to de-grease the bone? Currently its soaking in a strong sugar-soap solution. Thanks, Andrew
  13. Andrew V

    how do you de-grease bone?

    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.
  14. Andrew V

    Long time coming

    Love it! How big is it?
  15. Andrew V

    how do you de-grease bone?

    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.
  16. Andrew V

    how do you de-grease bone?

    Will do. So far I have removed all the organic material and done a surface clean by soaking in sugar soap solution then band sawed the bone into 3 plates, they are back in sugar soap until I can cut them to size and thickness when I will probably soak in acetone, though I could use lighter fluid, it depends which is easier to get hold of locally.
  17. Andrew V

    how do you de-grease bone?

    Thanks Janel, I did as you suggested and put 'the carving path prepare bone' into a search engine and came up with several very useful threads
  18. Andrew V

    Cicada on leaf

    Stunning work that; really lovely. Did you heat the wax after you applied it?
  19. Andrew V

    a bit of fun

    Over Christmas I managed to grab a few hours here and there and whittled this little group from a holly branch, just as a bit of fun. The owls took maybe 3/4 hour each, but the mouse took a lot longer - like 6 hours longer, but in my defense I'd never carved a mouse before. The mouse is smaller than a £1 coin, at about 1cm across.
  20. Andrew V

    First/Early Pieces?

    I love this thread! I've carved on and off since I was 11 like in 1980 or something, but most of my output has been love spoons. One of my earliest carvings that might qualify as a netsuke would be the owl and the moon I did in 2013. Fallow deer antler with ebony inlay. I think it's about 3cm across.
  21. fascinating, I do enjoy watching automata, thank you for sharing
  22. Andrew V

    dragon spoon

    I was very pleased with this one, it is a gift for my daughter's teacher who is also head of art. The head from eye to snout is less than 15mm long and has a free moving ball carved inside it. The length of the spoon is about 13"
  23. Andrew V

    dragon spoon

    Yes, I called it 'keeper of the pearl', I was thinking pearls of wisdom was a good theme for a teacher
  24. Andrew V

    Jumping salmon

    Ooh that's a nice one, the animation in the body and face I really hard to achieve. Excellent!
  25. Andrew V

    Mermaid - bone

    People/figure carving is the hardest of all the carving disciplines. Working at that scale magnifies the level of difficulty. Like Jim said there is good work in this piece but my recommendation would be to get a cube of really hard timber, like hornbeam, or hawthorn, and spend some time carving faces into the edges of the block. You can work up a dozen practice faces in even a small cube . If you check out my blog posts on figurehead carving there might be some tips you can use, you need to go to December 2015 https://stuckinthemudsite.wordpress.com/page/5/ although there is a part 2 and 3 later on.
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