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What is on your bench with this change of seasons?


Janel

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Today the snow is here and not melting into the grass, so the cold is just cold enough to look like winter in Minnesota. I imagine that the southern hemisphere folks are soaking in the sun, grooming their gardens and worrying about whether the rains will come. When the snow remains, up where I live, there is a tacit permission to stop worrying about what to do for the yard and garden chores, though I still want to put some leaves on my miniature hosta patch. That should still be possible in the week to come.

 

As I am able, I have been working on a mammoth tusk piece. It is a rendered version of a lotus pod with a dragonfly resting upon it. I can get in about six hours of carving at the most before my hands scream to stop. That is also with some breaks, but about six hours of carving each day. There are other pressing matters to deal with at the computer, always the computer has tasks for me to deal with. What great amounts of work I accomplished before the computer, but in this digital age, artists are forced to comply and learn the skills.

 

I hope to be done with this before many more days go by, though I will be with our son all weekend... getting back to the bench next week.

 

What is on your bench and your to do list for the part of this season?

 

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I just ordered a new Foredom rotary tool. My ancient Dremel died just as I was beginning a new piece last month :P . When it arrives, I'll be back in the saddle.

(I know, I can do handwork, but I've gotten spoiled and sanding/scraping the surface off a 8 inch piece of antler by hand was a drag).

 

-Doug

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Dear Friends,

As Janel said, we´re starting to feel how the Summer is going to be, some high temperatures some heavy rains and some cold strange windy cloudy days. Our gardens are growing and we´re taking car of it, by "we" I mean my wife... :P

A long time without any of my posts, but here I am. But first, Janel, what a wonderful piece! Great to know that you also take time to breathe!!! LOL!

Here´s a photo of what´s on my "dusty" bench, a set of Matau and Makau from Aotearoa and Hawai´i. Of course that they´re in the "by hand sanding" process and next the setting for the lace work, but here you can see a 75% of the work so far. I´m carving 5-9 bones per week as I´m preparing myself to go to the Coast to see what happens! :P

Hope you like the lousy photo.

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Hugs,

 

Sebas

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Doug, you will appreciate the step up in quality of the machine. Why did you not consider the NSK, or does the Foredom have the motor in the hand piece with a light weight cord to the controller? The step up to the NSK was a leap in being able to control the hand piece, no swinging, stiff, flex shaft off of the hanging motor. Regardless, you will enjoy using the better tool!

 

Sebas, by going to the coast, is that where you find a market for your pieces? Good luck to you! Thank you for sharing the breadth of this week's work. It is good to see what you are doing. Ummm, sun and rain, and green growing things. I miss it already!

 

Janel

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I'm hesitant to post this pic because it's in such an early stage of carving. It is an Egyptian seated figure made from purpleheart wood. It's a chore, and I'm heading into uncharted waters with the fine detail portions that will follow the hogging out phase. Any suggestions are welcomed. I use a Foredom rotary tool with a foot control. I notice that the handpiece gets quite hot and I'm forced to wear a glove.

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That is really purple! What is the approximate size you are working with? Are you using a bit that is aggressive enough? I see smooth surface, and perhaps there is a tool which might remove more material with less pressure or in less time. Some woods are just too hard for quick removal with any bit or burr. Does anyone have suggestions for the Foredom handpiece heat? Take breaks more often? or is heat ok for the machine?

 

Janel

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Its great to see work in progress and such nice work at that!

 

Mike,

I have found that the heat build up can come from several causes:

 

The material may be to hard to work with a burr, the force needed to make the burr cut puts excessive force on the bearings causing heat build up.

the burr is the wrong cut or dull, Typhoon burrs or the Kutzall burrs are best for really aggressive work

the shaft has either to much or to little lubricant. To much lubricant and it can actually go into the handpiece causing heat build up, to little and it heats the shaft which shows up first in the shaft where it connects to the handpiece.

The burr is not running true being slightly bent causing a slight wobble

A bearing in the handpiece needs replacing which you can replace yourself

 

Hope this helps.

Mark

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Janel, the Foredom I'm getting has a separate motor from the handpiece. The flexshaft connecting the two is a little still, but the reduction in weight will be enormous compared to my previous tool.

The one problem is it's controlled by a foot pedal. As I work seated on the ground, I'll have to figure something out, or quickly order the dial speed control :P

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I might add that when I carve very hard wood, using a new Tunsten Carbide burr makes life a lot easier. If you have the Rio Grande catalogue,then on page 271 the best ones are displayed.

The two that work very well are part numbers, 346-100 and 346-102 @ $ 22 more or less. Typing the numbers in at the website search should see you there.

Hans

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Doug,

If you contact Foredom directly you can order shafts and sheaths that are a little over 61". I use a "H" series and the "TX" 1/3 hp motors and can get the longer shafts for both. This makes it easier to work and reduces the chance of heat building up in the shaft. If you have a problem finding the number I can get it for you.

 

Mark

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That is really purple! What is the approximate size you are working with? Are you using a bit that is aggressive enough? I see smooth surface, and perhaps there is a tool which might remove more material with less pressure or in less time. Some woods are just too hard for quick removal with any bit or burr. Does anyone have suggestions for the Foredom handpiece heat? Take breaks more often? or is heat ok for the machine?

 

Janel

Hi Janel.

My piece is about 7" tall. I just started out with a block of wood. I intend to keep at it, so I'll keep everyone posted as progress is made.

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I'm working on Christmas at the moment - two pendants - moose antler bowls (2 inches in diameter), with fine silver over brass on the left, shibuichi on the right. The one on the left is ready to be assembled, on the right is still blank. Shhhhhhh - don't tell anyone...

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I wouldn't mind being on your gift list! What does the underside of the heron with the tangled legs lid look like? I am wondering about how it fits the antler bowl piece. What a snarl! It must be waves with the legs. What a challenge to get each element cut correctly.

 

Everyone must be really busy lately! It is so quiet around here. I know that I am needing to do at least four things tonight and every day is a challenge to prioritize the essential tasks and get some of them moved forward. I completed the second of two writing projects today, phew! I have to do the 2008 Minnesota Potters Tour web site version soon, as well as try to finish the dragonfly piece shown above. For a splash of fun, the swing band I am in has a gig on Saturday night, so I am also trying to practice my saxophone in between everything else. That is embedded in a weekend full of driving to and fro with our son, as with most weekends.. 'nother story.. but is a good things to do regardless of the work which waits at home. There are even more ways to not be at the bench carving, but I won't bore you. Sometimes life just piles it on!

 

So, are you all busy or are you carving and making work for special people? Are you finding challenge and growth with what you are doing? Has the forum helped you with what you are working on now?

 

Chime in when you are able!

 

Janel

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I have been lurking for a while mostly because I have been in transition and haven't done much carving. I did finish up a piece last week that involved some carving.

 

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The habaki is carved copper, the tsuba is Damascus and the handle is ebony. I have to say this forum has inspired me to do more carving and I appreciate all the talent and support that is offered here.

 

For more pictures go to T2

 

Don

Don Fogg Custom Knives

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Hi Sebas,

 

My cousin's father was a sugar agronomist who used to collect artifacts in the caves of the Na Pali coast on Kauai. Most of his collections are now in the Bishop in Oahu, but I have a few mother of pearl fish hooks that he collected and were given to me by my aunt. Your examples are very like them. Do you work from photos or artifacts?

 

Ralph

 

p.s., good luck in selling your work in CA.

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Hello All,

So nice to see all of your new works - I'm always impressed!

It's a busy time of year - Filled 2 wood sheds before the rains came - Yes! - went back to work full time as a bench jeweler - helps pay bills - not so much studio time. On my bench recently - gold ring for stock - 8 ct. citrine and small ruby - 18 kt. gold -will post a finished photo when I get one. Also finished the flip side of my Shakti/Shiva Bead wax - I'll be casting this weekend.

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My bench is a mess and you couldn't tell what's on it anyway! I did finish the knife in the attached images a couple of weeks ago. The blade is hand finished 154cm stainless steel, the handle is clero walnut, and the fittings are blued steel with French greyed engraving and gold inlay. I teamed up with Brian Hochstrat for the engraving.

 

Don, I saw the pictures of your piece recently on another forum. It's outstanding!

 

It's always nice to see what others are doing.

 

David

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Thank you Magnus and David for sharing images of the current work. I always wish that I could see all of this work in person, from all of the members!

 

Magnus, even though the bench jeweler work became necessary, you are fortunate to have that to return to when you need to. I don't have such a fall back plan, and it gets scarey. I believe that this would make an interesting topic, so I will begin one in the way. Good work and good luck to you.

 

Janel

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Beautiful piece David. I love the French grey finish how do you do it?

 

Thanks, Don. Ray Cover has done most of my engraving for the last 15 years. Ray uses a bluing stripper to remove the black oxide. He does use some type of mask to prevent it from running outside the scrolls and foul up the rest of the fitting. He has always left just the white steel, and I oil or wax it. Brian Hochstrat did the engraving on this one. Before he blued the fitting he nickel plated the scrolls so they wouldn't blue, which also keeps rust off the greyed areas. I really like the look of the plating better than the naked steel. It's darker, more of a medium grey.

 

David

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My first couple little projects. Both in desert ironwood, with hemp cord binding. The first is inspired by the maori fishhook designs. I hope to do another in bone at some point, it was quite fun. The other actually started its life as my first attempt at the design, but my carelessness lead to it becoming somehting else instead, and ended as this. Hopefully the picture quality is adequete.

I also have a knife that I'm almost done with, also with desert iron wood, this time as scales, which I'll show when I've finished it.

 

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Thank you Leon for showing us your new pieces.

 

A note about the image order. There is a drop-down menu, MANAGE CURRENT ATTACHMENTS, which shows the 5 images you have uploaded. You can click on first choice to show image, hit return once or twice to put the cursor on the next line or two, click on the second image in the order you wish to show, etc. I see that you only uploaded the images and did not "place" the images. You do have the ability to choose the order of the images.

 

Janel

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