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Mounting Handpiece


Janel

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Hi Debbie and Michael and others,

 

Thanks for the informative conversation in the Who's Who section in Michael B's introduction. I am taking my question to Tools and Technical since I am not introducing myself with this question.

 

Debbie K: "In the last few months, I've started using a fixed carving system, just the Grobet clamped in a wooden base with a drip system."

I was wondering Debbie, do you have a photo of how you mounted your hand piece? I have sometimes wondered if a method for mounting the hand piece might help reduce hand strain when I am doing the roughing out with wood. I would also place it appropriately for the debris and dust collection removal as well. I wonder if I could adjust to thinking differently when approaching the tool with the wood, holding the wood with both hands... the habits are quite well formed.

 

 

Janel

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Janel:

 

Here is a picture post-1996-0-23185400-1311625779.jpg

 

and here is a closer picturepost-1996-0-74119600-1311625796.jpg

 

Sorry for the mess, I was using it today and haven't cleaned up. As you can probably tell, the 2"x4" is cut down the middle past the hole where the rotary tool is inserted, this serves as a clamp when the wing nut is tightened on the bolt which is in a hole drilled width-wise above the rotary tool.

 

This is the one I use for wet carving. That's why there's plexiglass around it with a tray and drain under it. I have another for dry carving. It took about ten minutes to get used to it. You don't have to orient the tool this way, as you can see, it would be easy enough to turn it 90 degrees and work from the side. It has it's limitations, but it's a heck of alot easier to use, especially for roughing out. I still do all my fine detail work with the handpiece held in my hand; I just have more control that way.

 

Hope this helps and I'd urge you to give it a try. As you can see, it's an inexpensive solution. A piece of 2x4, 1x4, 2x8, carriage bolt, wingnut, and sheet rock screws and a big clamp. And I had to buy a Forstener bit, as I'd misplaced the right size one. I've had arthritis since I was a teenager, and had a severe infection in my right wrist which left me with some scar tissue which gets annoyed if I use it too much, so this has been a real boon for me. I've made two for older carvers, excuse me, more mature carvers. My friend with carpal tunnel syndrome has one, too.

 

Debbie K

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Hi Debbie

Looks like you have taken a leaf out of the Kiwi's D.I.Y. mentality.

What a brilliant solution - not carving stone - yet - but set up something similar for my bone carving.

Good on yer mate

Barry

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Baz:

 

I wish I could take credit for the design, but I copied it from an article on stone carving. It sure works better than the vise I was using, and doesn't damage the handpiece.

 

Janel:

 

I sit while using it, and the trickiest thing about it is determining the correct height. If you notice, the piece is mounted on a 2x8, this was both to give it a little extra weight and also to elevate it some. It was too low and I was having to hunch over to use it. I adjusted the height in the next one I made, which I use on my desktop. I also used a scrap of 1x12 to mount it on, so I had a nice flat surface to rest my forearms. On this I have placed a smaller piece of 2x8 for a handrest.

 

I think the article used a rolled up towel for a armrest. I haven't done that yet, but have considered a padded computer armrest but have been too lazy to go buy one.

 

The thing really does help reduce fatigue, I was able to work with it about 6 hours yesterday. Yeah, my neck and back hurt some, but not nearly as much as if I had been using the handpiece alone.

 

I hope you make one and give it a try. Just realize that the first one you make will probably be a prototype and don't worry about being too spiffy. I'm sure you'll figure out how tall it needs to be with trial and error. Both of mine have the hole for the handpiece approximately 6" from the work surface. The other tip I can give you is to make sure to extend the cut well past the hole for the handpiece. I had to cut it twice as the slit wasn't quite large enough to work well to clamp the handpiece.

 

Janel, I think you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll adapt. In some ways, you have much more control having both hands to rotate a piece. I know the Germans and Chinese do all their carving this way, but like I say, I use the handpiece only fine work.

 

Happy carving!

 

Debbie K

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