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japanese maple leaf netsuke


Simon F

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After viewing Janel's latest work under way and looking through Natasha's gallery, I have been inspired to try a Ryusa style netsuke. It is the first netsuke I've attempted. I'm wondering how i'll go with the inside... seeing in and getting a smooth surface is going to be a challenge! The wood is a piece of Red Lancewood that I got as a sample from a wood supplier here, and thought I'd see how it works. It is very hard and takes a nice polish, but is not anywhere as tough as boxwood, so it may end in disaster! :rolleyes: It does have the advantage of being an appropriate colour for autumn leaves.

 

Started it on the weekend, and it is well advanced now, but i fear things are going to slow down considerably now.

 

What do you people use to polish hard-to-get-at places like the inside of a ryusa netsuke??

 

post-1673-1202261443.gif

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After viewing Janel's latest work under way and looking through Natasha's gallery, I have been inspired to try a Ryusa style netsuke. It is the first netsuke I've attempted. I'm wondering how i'll go with the inside... seeing in and getting a smooth surface is going to be a challenge! The wood is a piece of Red Lancewood that I got as a sample from a wood supplier here, and thought I'd see how it works. It is very hard and takes a nice polish, but is not anywhere as tough as boxwood, so it may end in disaster! :rolleyes: It does have the advantage of being an appropriate colour for autumn leaves.

 

Started it on the weekend, and it is well advanced now, but i fear things are going to slow down considerably now.

 

What do you people use to polish hard-to-get-at places like the inside of a ryusa netsuke??

 

post-1673-1202261443.gif

I use cotton rope/string of different diamenters, tie it to the bench or a hook on the wall and rub polishing sticks onto it (moisten the string a bit, damp is good). Now you can thread the string through the open spaces and pull it in all directions. Keep your strings separated from each other so you don't mix up the polishing grits. The strings hold up for quite some time.

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I use cotton rope/string of different diamenters, tie it to the bench or a hook on the wall and rub polishing sticks onto it (moisten the string a bit, damp is good). Now you can thread the string through the open spaces and pull it in all directions. Keep your strings separated from each other so you don't mix up the polishing grits. The strings hold up for quite some time.

 

Ok Thanks. And this works on wood as well as ivory etc? doesn't stain the wood?

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Ok Thanks. And this works on wood as well as ivory etc? doesn't stain the wood?

I have used that method for polishing jewelry, but it doesn't get to the flats and concave sections - and can round out the corners. I'm wondering what you'd do if there is a pattern on the inside? I have some mini cratex bullets which seem like they will help, but they wear out pretty fast. Anyone else got ant ideas???

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A tool idea which Cornel Schneider shared with me. I cannot find an image of it to show you though. The concept is based on round, sturdy toothpicks and tiny rectangles of wet-dry sand paper, in groups of various grits. I have an assortment of 220 to 2000 grit, standing in photo film containers in a box on my bench. The angle of the cut faces on the toothpicks will offer you various options for tool positioning. I found this image, though it is an excerpt from a whole desktop photo, so it is not very clear.

 

benchpicks_jj.jpg

 

It is time consuming to create a whole batch of all the grits, but when you need them and nothing else will do... I am glad to have them.

 

An alternative is a slender flat bamboo sliver, with a small rectangle ~2 x 3 cm., wrapped or folded around its end, though you must hold onto it.

 

Komada Ryushi showed a variation on sanding tools, a bit like the fingernail sanding assortment in stores, using adhesive to adhere narrow strips of sanding paper to thin, long sticks, which can be cut with a knife to shape the ends and to remove the worn papers. These may not be small enough for inside ryusa though.

 

Janel

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A tool idea which Cornel Schneider shared with me. I cannot find an image of it to show you though. The concept is based on round, sturdy toothpicks and tiny rectangles of wet-dry sand paper, in groups of various grits. I have an assortment of 220 to 2000 grit, standing in photo film containers in a box on my bench. The angle of the cut faces on the toothpicks will offer you various options for tool positioning. I found this image, though it is an excerpt from a whole desktop photo, so it is not very clear.

 

post-2-1202314003.jpg

 

It is time consuming to create a whole batch of all the grits, but when you need them and nothing else will do... I am glad to have them.

 

An alternative is a slender flat bamboo sliver, with a small rectangle ~2 x 3 cm., wrapped or folded around its end, though you must hold onto it.

 

Komada Ryushi showed a variation on sanding tools, a bit like the fingernail sanding assortment in stores, using adhesive to adhere narrow strips of sanding paper to thin, long sticks, which can be cut with a knife to shape the ends and to remove the worn papers. These may not be small enough for inside ryusa though.

 

Janel

Thanks Janel - looks like there is no substitute for time huh?

 

How is your netsuke coming along???

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Earlier today, to a friend, I described the piece as an adolescent, with "chubby" early stage buds, twigs and leaves, with some being partially defined without the detail yet. I gave definition to the buds on the back side, a bit of time on two of the flowers, and poked at the twigs, deciding to wait until I was more rested, and six hours flew by. The first day is always so exciting, I think the whole piece would be done soon. Then comes the many hours of bringing the concept out of the blocky parts, and then the detail, and then more of the detail... I wonder if I will ever learn to do something simply? No pics yet.

 

I would like a kind of bent thing to attach the bits of sanding paper to, that would be sturdy, thin and even changeable, to reach those inaccessible places. Did you figure out anything for inside. You might choose to rely on the scraper/planer sorts of tools which would leave a smooth surface, rather than sanding with multiple grades on the inside of the ryusa. If the wood is dense enough, and the tools sharp enough to pull smoothly against the wood, a very pleasant surface can be attained.

 

Janel

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Earlier today, to a friend, I described the piece as an adolescent, with "chubby" early stage buds, twigs and leaves, with some being partially defined without the detail yet. I gave definition to the buds on the back side, a bit of time on two of the flowers, and poked at the twigs, deciding to wait until I was more rested, and six hours flew by. The first day is always so exciting, I think the whole piece would be done soon. Then comes the many hours of bringing the concept out of the blocky parts, and then the detail, and then more of the detail... I wonder if I will ever learn to do something simply? No pics yet.

 

I would like a kind of bent thing to attach the bits of sanding paper to, that would be sturdy, thin and even changeable, to reach those inaccessible places. Did you figure out anything for inside. You might choose to rely on the scraper/planer sorts of tools which would leave a smooth surface, rather than sanding with multiple grades on the inside of the ryusa. If the wood is dense enough, and the tools sharp enough to pull smoothly against the wood, a very pleasant surface can be attained.

 

Janel

 

 

I'll write you more in the morning, but i've had some success with the pendant motor and round burrs, and think with sand paper as you've described and the cratex tips i might be right - we'll see. the Red Lancewood is terrible to cut - very hard but crumbly and brittle. I guess not very good for a ryusa netsuke... but the colour is quite lovely, and as i haven't broken it yet i'll keep going. as i say write you soon

 

So. It's morning.

Yes I know what you mean about feeling it will be finished soon at the start, and then it dragging on! As I was saying the Lancewood is difficult to cut cleanly. It is even difficult to scrape smooth and the fibers tend to pull or crumble, and you must be really conscious of which direction the grain is going. The hardest bits are where the grain is flat, where you can't cut at an angle with the grain. Thats where it really wants to pull fibers out.

 

I'm having reasonable luck with using a file for the details such as the serrations on the edge of the leaves. Where I was trying to cut them in, the tips would always crumble as the thickness of the knife would press outwards against the thin tip of the serration. The file is a three sided needle file smooth on the two upper flat sides and a fine cut on the other. I sharpened the edges so the file teeth go right to the edge. I think they call this file a baguette ? can't remember.

 

Also I plan to not detail the inside further than to smooth and polish it. I don't know if this is necessary for the definition of a ryusa netske? However I need to leave some thickness for strength - it will be challenged enough in this area - and also I don't have the energy this time round to try to carve the inside. I have cut the edge of the leaves away at an angle so you don't tend to notice them but this leaves some thickness behind each leaf. The design doesn't help either as I haven't left convenient large holes to access the inside. One thing I have noticed with this type of carving is that it is very hard to see clearly what you are doing inside the vessel . I am wearing an 'optivisor' 8x magnifier as i find this really eases my eyestrain, but even with this it is hard to see in. The combination of the dark coloured timber (which doesn't reflect the light around) and the fairly even spread of the structure often means only one eye can see the surface inside.

 

 

post-1673-1202424211.gif post-1673-1202424239.gif

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