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Are there any questions from the new-to-carving members


Janel

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I know that there are many members who, new to carving, have joined in the past years and months who expressed interest in carving in a small scale. I think that you are a little shy about asking your questions. Please do not hesitate to inquire if you wish to learn more.

 

The original intent for this forum was, and remains, a place that welcomes carvers from many disciplines, whose work involves small scale carving. We hope that this forum will provide a friendly, informative and accessible place for communication and learning. The Carving Path was begun when there were many questions being asked, with a belief that this forum could be a meeting place between those with questions and the old hands with answers (who also had questions of their own).

 

Over the past three years, this forum has had a wealth of knowledge exchanged, which is a valuable resource to us all. The SEARCH function can be a little daunting, even to me, though with practice and a good guess with key words, it is a useful resource.

 

I invite you to please do ask your questions and let us help you on your path as you learn to carve.

 

Kindest regards,

 

Janel

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Janel,

 

Keying on your posting, I'm wondering if there's enough material now to consider creating a workbook series based on the postings. I know members range from world-class, like yourself, to us plebes who just muddle along. I see several "categories" that might be collected and published - knife handles, metalwork, japanese styles of all types, tool making, techniques etc.

 

Ralph

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Hello, I am amazed at the intricacy and detail in all of the carvings made by members of this message board, and I had never seen pieces of this quality except in museums. The art of carving (and woodworking in general) is completely new to me, but I would like to eventually learn how to make a wooden housing for my headphones in a shape based on this model:

 

picture1

picture2

picture3

picture4

 

I had assumed these wooden pieces were turned by a lathe but the overall shape is not completely symmetrical, so I'm confused as to how these were originally manufactured. Is it possible to make these pieces as smooth as what's shown in the pictures by hand carving, because most of the hand-carved work I've seen have far more detail and consequently a coarser texture.

 

Additionally, the original pieces in the pictures are made from Japanese Keyaki (Zelkova serrata wood). I've tried to search for a place that sells this wood, but no one seems to have any. Are there any other woods comparable to Zelkova in density, hardness, texture and colour?

 

Kind regards

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Hi Cates... I like these........couple of ways I see to produce your headphone covers...my first question would be what do you want out of the process........these could be made in a couple of hours with a bandsaw and a bench sander then sanded by hand to finish....or you could turn the basic shape on a lathe and then again minimal carving and sanding to finish.......if you have these tools that is....noisy and dusty but you get your covers......

 

OR you could carve them from scratch, if your interested in learning to carve then this is the way I would go....

 

You would need only a few basic tools to produce your covers..two gouges at the most......a vice would help to hold your wood in too......

 

you can also get a VERY good finish on wood with some of the cloth backed abrasives that are available ...looks like glass when sanded if that's what your after....

 

are there any cavities on the other side which we cant see, or are they a flat surface mounted on the headphone ...........

 

cant help you with the wood.......some of the other members may be able too............

 

Let us no where your at , do you have any tools or carved before,,,difficult to advise on a start project...quite a few different ways to go................

talk soon .................

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Hi Cates... I like these........couple of ways I see to produce your headphone covers...my first question would be what do you want out of the process........these could be made in a couple of hours with a bandsaw and a bench sander then sanded by hand to finish....or you could turn the basic shape on a lathe and then again minimal carving and sanding to finish.......if you have these tools that is....noisy and dusty but you get your covers......

 

OR you could carve them from scratch, if your interested in learning to carve then this is the way I would go....

 

You would need only a few basic tools to produce your covers..two gouges at the most......a vice would help to hold your wood in too......

 

you can also get a VERY good finish on wood with some of the cloth backed abrasives that are available ...looks like glass when sanded if that's what your after....

 

are there any cavities on the other side which we cant see, or are they a flat surface mounted on the headphone ...........

 

cant help you with the wood.......some of the other members may be able too............

 

Let us no where your at , do you have any tools or carved before,,,difficult to advise on a start project...quite a few different ways to go................

talk soon .................

 

I would like to carve them from scratch without the use of large woodworking equipment like a bandsaw or a lathe, since I don't have such tools in my possession. I only have hand-held tools like a dremel, hand drill, belt sander, and a jigsaw, and I have some 1000/2000/4000/8000 water stones from my brief interest in knife sharpening in the past. With the tools that I have and the gouging carving tools you had mentioned (are there any specific brandnames you recommend or keywords I should be searching for), which I plan to buy, I hope to create these wooden pieces with the same dimension, curve and texture as seen in the pictures. But I am dreading the case if the outcome looks similar to a prop from The Flintstones or if one piece looks drastically different from the other, due to my lack of carving skill. I have never carved before but I definitely would like add this as one of my hobbies, at least enough that I master the basics and fundamentals, so I will keep searching this message board and gather more info. Thanks for the reply. If there are any other hand tools (not power tools) that would help with this project please feel free to mention them.

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Hi Cates...thought I'd put a few links to some sites that could provide you with the tools you need....Not sure where your based but Im in the uk...

 

the links I've put on here are ones that came up on google first...

 

Lots of other sites and shops will sell the same products and may provide a better service and may be cheaper......at least these will again give you ideas......

 

 

http://www.woodcarvingsupply.com/

 

http://www.timbecon.com.au/products/pfeil-...sels-353_0.aspx

 

 

http://www.ashleyiles.turningtools.co.uk/

 

 

The links are to a swiss tool called Pfeil......I use these and another type called Ashley Isles, who are based in the uk....link to site above....There are other companies you could use too....search the net and see what you come up with....the initial out lay for a good gouge is money well spent....Been there ,,,,done that......

 

 

Put a couple of pictures below so you can see the different types of gouge available.....There are hundreds .....

 

The size you go for will depend on the type and size of carving you want to do, but as a start I would go for

 

a No 9 gouge....13 or 15mm

 

this would be great for roughing out your headphones, and many other projects......

 

once you have used this type of gouge you may want to move onto something a little flatter,

 

a No 5 gouge 12 or 16mm

 

you can see the difference , this will help to remove the cut marks made with your No 9...

 

I started with 2 gouges just the same.......as you progress your collection will grow....if you intend doing detail it goes without saying your tools need to suit .......

 

As far as sharpening your gouges go these come ready honed and are extremely sharp......they will keep an edge for a short while but depending on the type of wood you carve this will vary......

 

To re-sharpen them is another thing....I use a bench grinder ..this runs in the opposite direction that you will be use to that being AWAY from you...... on one side is a stiched mop and on the other a hard felt or leather wheel...you will need some abrasive compound to put on each wheel ......this acts as a cutting agent......

...I purchaced a basic grinder reversed the motor and fitted the two honing wheels....cheaper option but they are available already like this...again these are not cheap.....

 

this only hones your gouge it will not grind into it..if you did drop your gouge it and take a small nick out of the end it would have to be re-ground on either an oil stone or bench grinder........then re-honed...

 

When I first started carving I tried to use a leather strop which is ok, BUT you CANNOT get the same keen edge as with using an electric set up....It was very simple for me ... I wanted to spend the day carving not sharpening ......to touch the edge up on an electric type set up takes seconds...and the result means you carving will be much more enjoyable........again the outlay is well spent ......and will last quite a long time...years.....

 

 

Sorry this is a bit lengthy but one more thing......

 

How to hold your work.........again, loads of products on the market.....I started with a small standard engineers vice....cheap and it did the job for a while.......as you can imagine it has its limitations though.....

 

http://www.wdsltd.co.uk/Spencer%20Franklin...mps%20Miniclamp

The vice I use now is a Spencer Franklin clamp......supplied by WDS

 

This is the best one I've found for carving....turns 360 degree and tilts at the same time.....it locks up with a small lever on the side...it really is a superb piece of kit..... not cheap but I would'nt be without it....they also do a hydro clamp version if you were doing bigger carvings....bit too pricey for me though......

 

Im going to leave it there for now....If you want me to do a little project showing the steps for your headphone covers No problems,,,

what might be a good idea is to buy a couple of gouges, a small vice and HAVE A GO...you would gain lots of experience getting a block of wood and getting stuck in.....this will help with the general basics.....ie holding your gouge correctly and gaining some tool control....It may seem right now a bit daunting and possibly a bit exspensive all the things I've thrown in the pot but you get going life will never be the same.......

 

put the pics below Cates...if you want to email me , will pass phone numbers and chat, may be able to explain things a little better........free calls for me around the globe...........email .....russelliott123@hotmail.co.uk and I'll get back...

 

ps Is there any one close to you who does carve or maybe search the net for a teacher......just a thought....

post-1670-1208653765.jpg

post-1670-1208653776.jpg

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Thanks for sharing those very contemporary headphones with us. You asked about Zelkova- I think it's quite hard to find here in North America. It's a type of Elm, right? At any rate, I think a very decent piece of cherry would be of sufficient density and color to give you what you want. When you finish the piece- don't slather any polyurethanes on it. Just a bit of linseed or tung oil I think...

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I'm with Doug on both accounts. American black cherry will have the right weight/density and colour for this project and is readily available and of course locally harvested.

Boiled linseed oil, tung oil, or some type of danish oil will be a good finish, if rubbed on and off. It will have a similar silky feel that isn't shiny but brings out the character of the wood quite nicely...

 

-t

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  • 1 month later...

I am new to this site and fairly new to carving. I started out turning wood. In addition to that, I have now been carving bone, walrus, and mammoth ivory. I now have the desire to try my hand at carving jade.

For carving I use a dremel with a flex shaft rotary tool. After carving for a couple hours, the vibration makes my hand ache for days.

Does anyone know of a rotary tool that could eliminate this problem for me?

If anyone has any additional information about the equipment that I would need to start this endeavor, and the initial cost, it would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Matt

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Hi Matthew, Welcome to The Carving Path forum!

 

I have begun a new topic in Tools & Technical regarding the nature of your question. This question has been asked and answered at various times in the past. The new topic is a request to the members of the forum to help build a resource topic that will pull together links to all of the references to this topic. I started with a few links that I compiled. I believe that there are more embedded in the years of posts that make up TCP. Click here to find that topic.

 

Thank you for asking this question. Such a tool like the Dremel felx shaft can be very exhausting for continuous use. There are many better options to learn about.

 

I started with the Dremel flex shaft, and trying to control the swing of that heavy flex shaft and the hanging motor wore me out and was not easy to control. The machine I use affords much better control. One of the links in the new topic will bring you to a photo of that tool.

 

Good hunting!

 

Janel

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I am new to this site and fairly new to carving. I started out turning wood. In addition to that, I have now been carving bone, walrus, and mammoth ivory. I now have the desire to try my hand at carving jade.

For carving I use a dremel with a flex shaft rotary tool. After carving for a couple hours, the vibration makes my hand ache for days.

Does anyone know of a rotary tool that could eliminate this problem for me?

If anyone has any additional information about the equipment that I would need to start this endeavor, and the initial cost, it would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Matt

Hey Matt,

 

I believe that there is sufficient info in archives vis a vis hand piece tools. I am replying specifically to your query about jade. I presume that you're referring to Nephrite but any hardstone carving is basically similar to a point. One excellent, brief reference would be www.donnsalt.com, check out his jade carvings, go to his ouroboros (circular dragon) click on it and Donn has very generously given a step by step instruction including tools used. Lapidary is not a cheap gig unfortunately, but with the Chinese getting into the tool stream it is not so expensive as in the past. Two very good suppliers of diamond tools; (is this ok Janel?) Lasco, www.lascodiamond.com/products ; american made, their quality in plated tool is excellent, drills are reasonably priced and better than most. www.jadecarver.com is a dealer in rough jade (pricey) and chinese made tools that are very true running (at least the larger wheels and carving points). The finer grits, 400 and above can strip quickly but the coarser tools are great for stock removal. Once you get into it, sintered toos are the way to go for detailed, fine work

 

I'm leaving for a couple weeks tomorrow but when I get back I will put out some information on fixed arbor carving units. For small work these can be a great labor saving unit and can replace more expensive lapidary units. Keep on the look out for tools in your area, Craig's List and local rock hound clubs a good 6" to 10" saw is invaluable. MK or similar tile saws (10" with overhead blade) are great for roughing out and are often on craig's list (tricky to the point of dangerous for sawing blocks though, be careful there). Cheap continuous rim blades work nearly as well as the expensive ones and are the cheapest way to go for roughing. I would stay away form those cheap 20 - 40 point sets of chinese tools, I've bought a few and not found one yet worth even the few dollars paid. Best of luck.

 

Tom Finn

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"Two very good suppliers of diamond tools; (is this ok Janel?) Lasco, www.lascodiamond.com/products ; american made, their quality in plated tool is excellent, drills are reasonably priced and better than most. www.jadecarver.com is a dealer in rough jade (pricey) and chinese made tools that are very true running (at least the larger wheels and carving points). "

 

 

Yes it is OK! You could also make those addresses linked with the http:// part of the address.

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Thank you very much for the information TomFinn.

Nephrite jade is what I was referring to. With all of your advice I should be off to a great start!

I look forward to the information on fixed arbor units. I would like to find someway to use my vicmarc lathe in this process.

 

Thank you again,

 

Matt

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi!

 

I just joined the forum and I have a question about tools. I would like to get set up at home to learn gemstone/mother-of-pearl carving. I realise I have to buy a rotary tool with a flex shaft. Considering I will do small work in stones of medium hardness, which flex shaft should I buy? My major concern (beside price) is noise. I have a baby and a toddler and a small house. I can't work in the basement. I need a tool that will not bother them (in their upstairs bedrooms) when I work downstairs. Do you have any suggestions?

 

Thank you very much!

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Good for you! I am very glad that you are planning to learn and grow with your own interests while parenting the wee ones! Working while parenting is quite a challenge. My child is 17 so I am past the hardest part, physically that is.

 

Look at the Tools & Technical area, pinned at the top is a collection of links regarding your question, though with using the SEARCH function you might find more posts regarding the subject. Use "flex shaft" for the keyword search. I didn't do that when I compiled the links I think, have a look-see on you own until I have a chance to add other links to the Rotary Tool topic.

 

Personally, I don't like the flex shaft sorts of tools, because of the stiffness of the flex shaft and the swinging of it and the hanging motor. I use a hand piece that is attached to a coiled power cord, with the motor in the handpiece. Much less fatigue in the hand, wrist and arm after grinding for a while. The tool is also quieter.

 

Your budget might be a reason to go with a flex shaft though, until you can afford the better machine. Keep asking questions and share your answers when you find out some info that you have not yet read here.

 

Good luck with your search.

 

Janel

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PS. It is very important to know that Mother-of-Pearl dust is toxic. Only grind it wet, and clean up the fly away stuff before it becomes dry dust. It not only hurts the lungs, in time it can affect the organs as well. That said, it is a beautiful material to see once worked with.

 

Other dusts are also not safe for breathing, and some woods cause allergic reactions to skin or lungs. Be a little careful for yourself and for the work space with the wee ones. You might have a look for some of the workspaces pictured somewhere on this forum. I cannot recall the topics off hand, but periodically the members have posted photos of their work spaces. The stone carvers may have done so as well...

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Good for you! I am very glad that you are planning to learn and grow with your own interests while parenting the wee ones! Working while parenting is quite a challenge. My child is 17 so I am past the hardest part, physically that is.

 

Look at the Tools & Technical area, pinned at the top is a collection of links regarding your question, though with using the SEARCH function you might find more posts regarding the subject. Use "flex shaft" for the keyword search. I didn't do that when I compiled the links I think, have a look-see on you own until I have a chance to add other links to the Rotary Tool topic.

 

Personally, I don't like the flex shaft sorts of tools, because of the stiffness of the flex shaft and the swinging of it and the hanging motor. I use a hand piece that is attached to a coiled power cord, with the motor in the handpiece. Much less fatigue in the hand, wrist and arm after grinding for a while. The tool is also quieter.

 

Your budget might be a reason to go with a flex shaft though, until you can afford the better machine. Keep asking questions and share your answers when you find out some info that you have not yet read here.

 

Good luck with your search.

 

Janel

 

Janel,

 

Thank you very much for responding so quickly! What brand is your hand piece?

new mom

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I know that there are many members who, new to carving, have joined in the past years and months who expressed interest in carving in a small scale. I think that you are a little shy about asking your questions. Please do not hesitate to inquire if you wish to learn more.

 

The original intent for this forum was, and remains, a place that welcomes carvers from many disciplines, whose work involves small scale carving. We hope that this forum will provide a friendly, informative and accessible place for communication and learning. The Carving Path was begun when there were many questions being asked, with a belief that this forum could be a meeting place between those with questions and the old hands with answers (who also had questions of their own).

 

Over the past three years, this forum has had a wealth of knowledge exchanged, which is a valuable resource to us all. The SEARCH function can be a little daunting, even to me, though with practice and a good guess with key words, it is a useful resource.

 

I invite you to please do ask your questions and let us help you on your path as you learn to carve.

 

Kindest regards,

 

Janel

 

Hi Janel,

 

I am trying to access your Stephen Myre Tutorial video.

 

I think I need help finding the link.

 

wcraig

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...
I am new to this site and fairly new to carving. I started out turning wood. In addition to that, I have now been carving bone, walrus, and mammoth ivory. I now have the desire to try my hand at carving jade.

For carving I use a dremel with a flex shaft rotary tool. After carving for a couple hours, the vibration makes my hand ache for days.

Does anyone know of a rotary tool that could eliminate this problem for me?

If anyone has any additional information about the equipment that I would need to start this endeavor, and the initial cost, it would be most appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Matt

 

 

Hey matthew, im fairly new to carving as well. Im only working with jade and had a bit of the same problem with some crappy dremel type tools. Right now im using a foredom hand piece and a no name motor, i find they are alot better then the dremel with a flex shaft for vibrations. A couple weeks ago bought a micro air die ginder from ebay for $35

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...e=STRK:MEWNX:IT

 

virtually no vibrations. you just need a descent air compressor to run it. i also use the cheap chinese burs with it at full speed and they handle just fine..

i know that post was a few years ago but just in case here ya go

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  • 2 weeks later...

Janel:

 

Sorry to be so late to this discussion, and even though this is an old post, since it has been revised recently, I feel I have to pitch in. I looked at the micro-carver that you use and it appears that there is a power cord that is going down to the handpiece. Anyone who is thinking about carving gemstones, with water, absolutely needs to be using a tool with a flex-shaft, or one of the specialty fixed arbor lapidary tools, or dental type drills (ones running on compressed air).

 

I have found that the Dremel's are a crap-shoot. I've gone through 3-4 of them, and one gave a lot of vibration. The problem is generally with the flex-shaft, after a while they tend to run rough. Some of them are just bad to begin with, I've returned two that ran rough out of the box. The reason why I still use one is they run at higher speeds (35,000 rpm) than the Foredom or Grobet (18,000-20,000 rpm) and the handpiece is a little more egronomic. When they begin to run rough I clean and lube the shaft and see if that helps. I've been using a Grobet (like a Foredom), which runs pretty smooth, but the handpiece is too large for me, after several hours of carving my hand begins to cramp. I have ordered a slim, pencil type handpiece from Woodcraft, and will report back on it's merits. Everything I have run is loud, so I have nothing useful to say in that regard.

 

Debbie K

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