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Recommend Good Begginer's Wood Carving Set?


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Its been awhile. Turned out that my Back-Pay on my Disability didn't go near as far as I'd hoped; and I've had to postpone my Debut in the Bone, Antler,Horn and Fossil Ivory Field.


I'm writing on behalf of my sister. She's a good Abstract Painter--I guess--Abstract Art being rather subjective.....


But anyway, she wants to get into some realistic Wood Carving. She ordered Some Basswood from Dick Blick--And some non-descript wood that has a grain that looks like a cross between Birdseye Maple and the splinteriest Pin Oak known to man--And its only slightly harder to carve than Terra Cotta.....


Anyway, she bought a Generic set of Chisels.The handles are about 4" long, by about a 1/2" in Diameter. They're none too keen, and they haven't responded very well to stoning--They get marginally sharper--but not much. (I have both diamond and Arkansas stones, and I'm fairly good at a variety of sharpening tasks. These things sharpen like a cheap Pakistani Pocket Knife...)


Anyway, she almost cut her thumb off last night.....


Oh yes, never is a tool to dull to cut oneself.....


Anyway, could someone recommend a good economic beginner's set of Carving Tools for her?


I thought one of the Medium Priced Exacto Sets might be the way to go; But she seems to want to get into Palm Chisels.....


Perhaps a Bare Bones Exacto Set, and a Small Set of Palm Chisels?


Maybe forget a set, and go with a few Well chosen Single pieces?


Y'all are the experts--you tell me.


Also, we see the purchase of a $20-$30 Harbor Freight Hand Grinder in the Historical Future. Should we try to get that sooner than later?


Don't know if it tells you much about her abilities or not--but she got pretty good at engraving glass with Diamond Tipped Scribes until she tired of it.


Anyway, thanks for any advice or encouragement antone can give her.





.....RVM45 B):blink:B)

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I'm in Texas and have dealt with Dallas Deege in the past and have gotten good quality well priced tools from him before. I can't seem to get the insert link function to work so you'll have to paste this address in your status line http://www.texaswoodcarvers.com/Pages/Beginners_Page.htm. The main website is http://www.texaswoodcarvers.com/tool_index.htm. I'd go with the standard size.


I started carving with japanese linoleum carvers that wouldn't hold an edge. I found that if they were hardened and tempered, they were really good steel. Then someone picked up a really old set of gouges at a garage sale made by Miller Falls. They're the best gouges that I have. The most valuable tool I have is a bent sweep gouge, similar to item number 1142703 on this pagehttp://www.texaswoodcarvers.com/Tool_Catalog/Ramelson_Gouges.htm


If she wants to work really small the microcarvers are great item 1580100 on this page http://www.texaswoodcarvers.com/Tool_Catalog/Flexcut_Dockyard.htm#Dockyard and scroll down to dockyard tools.


The flexcut tools are great but I couldn't afford them.


Tell your sister to turn the tool around in her hand. Try holding the ball of the palm tool in the palm of her hand making a fist with the tool extending down towards her wrist. Most palm tools don't reach much further than the edge of your wrist if held this way and you don't run the risk of running the tool into your other hand. It's counterintuitive, but far safer and much more controlled.


Tell your sister good luck and we're looking forward to seeing her work posted here.


Debbie K

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Hi RVM54


I agree with Debbie K's suggestions. I have two sets of palm chisels that I bought some years ago. Although they were manufactured under a different name, they are similar to the Ramelson sets shown in the Texas Wood Carver's website and have always worked well for me. They are also available at www.woodcraft.com as well as Flexcut tools and some good pfiel Swiss palm chisels. I have a Flexcut Carvin' Jack and can attest to the quality of their chisels. I have two pfiel Swiss palm chisels that are superb.


I suggest that you do some additional research on "hand grinders" before you consider purchasing a grinder or flexible shaft power tool. There is a great deal of info on power carving in the TCP forum in , I believe, this section. I have a Foredom and found that it was well worth the investment. Take your time ,look at the different power carving tools on the market, and always buy the best that you can afford.


Have fun carving.

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