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Koi (work in progress)


GregC

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Hi Greg,

 

I think that oak might be a difficult wood to carve small things from. The grain that shows in the photo is a little like the flow of water on the surface of the fish, which is very interesting. I look forward to seeing how this works out. Thank you for showing us this koi carving.

 

I sent you a PM regarding the size of the posted photo...

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Hi Greg,

 

I think that oak might be a difficult wood to carve small things from. The grain that shows in the photo is a little like the flow of water on the surface of the fish, which is very interesting. I look forward to seeing how this works out. Thank you for showing us this koi carving.

 

I sent you a PM regarding the size of the posted photo...

 

I will try and resize it. Yes, that is what made me try and create a koi with this piece of oak. I am trying to make it so when placed on a desk or whatever that it looks like you are looking at a koi swimming in a pond.You may be right with the detail. I may have to keep it rather simple. I will need to look up which woods would be better and see about getting some.

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I will try and resize it. Yes, that is what made me try and create a koi with this piece of oak. I am trying to make it so when placed on a desk or whatever that it looks like you are looking at a koi swimming in a pond.You may be right with the detail. I may have to keep it rather simple. I will need to look up which woods would be better and see about getting some.

 

Janel,

Would you have any suggestions for wood I could try that is easily available?

 

(resized photo)

 

Greg

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Well, I picked up some flexcut mini gouges and they are real nice and just the right size for this work. I will add a couple pictures later.This is my first try , ever, with carving so I can't expect too much but I hope I can get this to look pretty nice.Clive suggested I make my own tools, and I will, but I had to pick up the flexcuts. I am glad I did.

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Hi Greg,

 

About what wood to use... it really depends on what you want to be doing. I find that wood that has a more even grain and hardness easier to carve. The harder, denser woods are more likely to allow finer details. A very dense and durable wood that has been used for detailed carving is boxwood. We've discussed boxwood on the forum, so using the SEARCH function with that as a keyword, you may discover many references to it. You might find local woods that interest you, or you may find sample woods at hardwood dealers, or wood worker's stores.

 

While you are using the SEARCH function, try to find discussions about tools. We have had many conversations about those too. You might some helpful tips.

 

Have a look at this little video that shows how I hold and use some of my tools. It is only an example, and does not represent the whole range of tools or techniques I use when carving a piece.

 

Thank you for resizing the photo. Here are the guidelines we hope contributors will aim for. The File Size (number of KB) is the most helpful to keep closer to:

 

- 72 dpi

- JPEG works great

- around 640 x 480 pixel dimension

- and around 50 K file size

 

 

Janel

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Hi Greg,

 

I have some Flexcut tools, and find the lump of wood handle rather bulky for my smaller hands. I've removed some wood to make it more comfortable. The shape of the tool is such that it instructs the hand to hold and use the tool as for cutting relief work on a flat or large surface held in the palm and pushed. I don't find the style tool useful for my work very often, but sometimes one or the other is just the right thing for a few cuts. We each have our own preferences for tools and for how we use them.

 

Okay with the Image Dimensions, but the Size of the File is still 253 KB (though much better than 2 MB), and could be optimized to about 50 KB. (So much to learn with digital photography!)

 

I look forward to seeing where you get to with this piece.

 

Janel

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Hi

I resized the pic again. I will get the hang of this eventually. The flexcut tool is a little big. I suppose it is better for larger work. I have a number of small files that I need to make tools out of for smaller work. I can use the flexcut's for larger pieces.

 

Greg

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Hi Greg,

 

Thank you for trying the image resizing so many times. It is much appreciated by the members who are stuck with dialup connections, and some even have ancient, rural phone lines with antiquated capacity. We may be a small percentage of the on line population, but from this end of a slow connection, every KB pared down makes a difference. Now, other questions, are you able to leave an image at around 640 x 480 and still get the file down to about 50-70 KB? Are you able to crop photos to remove the areas that don't matter? That technique saves space and allows the subject area to be larger.

 

If you need tools quickly, Dockyard makes an array of tiny tools. I used those in the first months of carving, and sometimes one or another of those tools are just what is needed even now. Some Dockyard tools may be available at woodworking or woodcarver's stores, and available on line from various resources. A keyword search on line would bring you some options and perhaps give you a bigger selection.

 

As you progress, you will eventually feel your way into how to make what you sense you need for one sort of carving motion or another. Look at the tools others have made, shown here in various topics. It takes a bit of imagination to put the look of the tool together with the how it works part.

 

Oops, it looks as though I failed to add the link to the video... click here. Many tools you see on TCP were made to be held in such a way that the tool (if you are right handed) is held in the right hand and the thumb of the left hand is a fulcrum while the left hand holds the piece being carved. The video should show this technique.

 

Janel

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Janel,

I often use my carving knife in the way you mentioned, using the thumb. I LOVE my flexcut tools. Occasionally I make a special tool. One of the things I use for detail work is a knife shaped graver made for metal work. It is great for carving and scraping antler. The only problem I have with the really small tools is in sharpening them. It is a pain.

 

Greg,

 

Don't know where you live, but here in the sunny south of North Carolina we have a wood known as "Cottonwood". It works better than basswood for me. It grows locally and I cut my own. Hmmm, I need to go get some more too. I'm out. Oh well, maybe I'll check the beaver dam and see if any is lying around.

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Hi Greg,

 

I was curious, so I used "cottonwood Connecticut" for key words and on the first page was an article referring to native trees... It describes where cottonwoods like to grow, which might help you if you want to find your own source of the native wood. It apparently grows in your state. As far as commercially available in wood working sources, I could not speculate.

 

Janel

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We have group cottonwoods in our yard, in a place where water pools in wetter weather. They seeded themselves in around 1980 and are very tall now. For now, only small branches hit the ground, so I have no real source of cottonwood to try for carving.

 

Janel

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I don't think this is a common tree in connecticut. At least, I do not see them very much.I am going to have to keep an eye out for these.Maybe, because I wasn't looking for them I never noticed.

 

(edit)It looks like I need to go down to the connecticut river(one town over). :)

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