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wood hardner


Ed Twilbeck

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i have used minwax wood hardner on a few pieces of lightly spalted maple and hickory. it was only used to "seal" the spalt,it will slightly darken a light wood . for carving i prefer a wood that isn't decomposing to start with. as far as basswood is concerned ,i use northen basswood as opposed to southern basswood. the northen seems to be a little harder than the southern and a better carving wood based on opinions from southern carver who have switched to using northern wood.

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Has anyone used wood hardner on basswood or any drift wood? If you did, what effect did it have on the finish? Did it change the color? what effect did it have on carving the wood after it was applied? I know that there is a well nown brand on the market.

I've also used Miniwax hardener. Some on basswood, but mostly on tupelo and found it good for hardening the wood which was in good shape to begin with. Being a birdcarver, I paint my pieces and am not concerned about it darkening the wood. However, I remember that there was a little darkening. Suggest that you try applying it to a piece of waste wood. I've never done any post carving but I would guess that your tools would get gummed up.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I've also used Miniwax hardener. Some on basswood, but mostly on tupelo and found it good for hardening the wood which was in good shape to begin with. Being a birdcarver, I paint my pieces and am not concerned about it darkening the wood.  However, I remember that there was a little darkening. Suggest that you try applying it to a piece of waste wood.  I've never done any post carving but I would guess that your tools would get gummed up.

 

 

 

I have used crazy glue applied to thin basswood, but of course you can't stain it. I think the old masters applied shellac to some of the classic lime wood carvings

 

 

Kurt

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Hi Janel. I've been lurking for a while and thoroughly enjoy the forum; the work and intelligent discussion is fanastic, but humbling. I became interested in netsuke when I tumbled onto your website a couple of years ago, but have not yet attempted to carve a piece. My birdcarvings range in size from miniatures (body length of 2 to 3 inches) to life size birds of prey or waterfowl. There are two reasons why I haven't jumped into the forum: (1) my skill area ( birdcarving ) is not very relevant and I probably would not have much to contribute and (2) I'm the world's worst photographer. ( foreshortening, glare, shadows, bad cropping, etc ). I'll see what I can do, but give me a week or two. Thanks for your interest.

Lee

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What about carving in the small scale is not relevant? We are such a diverse group here and are having a grand time learning from each other! Jump in!

 

How about a question for you. Do you put feather texture, defining all of the parts (I cannot even think of the right words) of the feather? The little somethings that make up the feather... what is the word? How do you do that?

 

I understand the difficulty with photography. Many of us have had to climb that mountain, and many of us have knowledge to share. Our PHOTOGRAPHY forum area may even have some old setups to look at. I know that Don Fogg's Bladesmiths forum has a great series of photo setups for swords and knives.

 

Good luck and speak up once in a while! :rolleyes:

 

Janel

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Yes Janel, I usually texture my birds, trying to make them as realistic as possible. This is achieved with a micro-grinder and burning pens. I use a Gueswein micro-grinder. Actually I have two of them ( one I got 25 years ago ) and love them. Each little barb of the feather is burned in and this can get pretty monotonous. I've been known to nod off during this process. I feel that composition and design is very important and try to present the bird on suitable man made habitat artistically.

Part of my photography problem is that I would rather be carving than "climbing that mountain." Thanks for the tip on the photography forum, I'll check it out.

I have to say that I am amazed that you folks with so much talent are so willing to take the time to help people like myself. Thank you.

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Sharing knowledge as we do on this forum, carries more umph than if I were to write answers to individual email questions. If the question askers are willing to read and SEARCH the archives that is a great thing to do as well.

 

I understand about the mountain, but I need to be able to do my own documentation. Living an hour from a metro area makes the cost of pro photographers two hours of my time even more expensive for one trip. Shows, advertisement, blah-blah, I've learned to meet the call for visual and written materials. If you do not need to learn all that, and can sell the work you do without, that is good. (Except that we will not get to see what you do! {slightly frowning smiley}

 

Do you nod off because of boredom or noxious fumes? I hope the burning pen has an automatic shut off!

 

Might you write about the skills and knowledge about using the burning pens for texture in the TUTORIAL section? I know that at least one or two other members use such tools for texturing, they may also pitch in with their own experiences.

 

I've never used the burning pens in my adult life, though my dad played a little with it 40 years ago. I'd find it interesting.

 

Janel

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Janel: I've been selling through "Art and Carving Shows" and private collectors with nothing more than a business card, but if I had to rely on these sales for survival I's starve. I'm sure that good photos, literature, and maybe even a website would enhance sales considerably.

Although where you live is beautiful and has many advantages, it's got to be difficult to be remote from needed resources. Luckily,I do not have that problem. No, It's just boredom, not fumes that gets to me. I usually use a blower to draw the fumes away from me.

I'll be happy to write about texturing, but will require some photos. I'll try to get something together within two weeks.

I'm afraid that my adult life began much longer than 40 years ago. Chronologically that is. Many will agree that it has yet to begin.

 

Doug: No, I'm the undisputed world's worst photographer. And judging by the photos of the fine work on your website, you are far above the base camp.

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  • 2 years later...

Lee

I started on bird carving and also use a burning pen and 5 various Dremels as well as an NSK. Burning can be very boring. Do you listen to radio, MP3's etc while busy? I understand this forum is for anyone who does small carvings -- 2-3 inches surely qualifies you B);) . I also came across Janels work many yrs back and as a result have tried my hand at netsuke/okimono(spelling?) and thoroughly enjoy it. :D

 

Toothy

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  • 4 weeks later...
Lee

I started on bird carving and also use a burning pen and 5 various Dremels as well as an NSK. Burning can be very boring. Do you listen to radio, MP3's etc while busy? I understand this forum is for anyone who does small carvings -- 2-3 inches surely qualifies you :):) . I also came across Janels work many yrs back and as a result have tried my hand at netsuke/okimono(spelling?) and thoroughly enjoy it. :)

 

Toothy

 

 

As another rotary tool carver (I use a Foredom) I highly recommend an Mp3 player with earbuds (I recommend the silicone type) as it not only relieves boredom, it also cuts down on the headache-inducing whine of the motor.

I have a SanDisk Sansa 2GB, and love it. Compact, and half the price or less of an ipod, uses normal formats, and is very well made. No cracks or seams to get dust in. Mine's over a year old and has been a bit abused and has given me absolutely no problems.

LJ

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LJ

I also have an MP3 player for exactly the reason that you give. Mine is an APACER and works perfectly. I do have a radio but get tiered of and frustrated with it and the talking. Only interested in the news. Silence can also be most pleasant.

Toothy

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Been awhile since I've checked in.

 

So... another bird carve here! Good to see.

 

I've been moving away from trad decorative carving for awhile now, though for the past year and a half I've been unable to work at all (rheumatoid arthritis, we're getting there with treatment but it's very slow going).

 

Tupelo varies quite a bit in hardness. You can get stuff that is reasonably hard and dense. Probably enough not to need any special treatment unless the piece will be subjected to lots of handling. Suppliers are usually happy to get rid of it, since most carvers prefer it soft and light. Varying grain density can be a problem in any piece of tupelo but seems to be more of a problem with the soft stuff.

 

On its own, tupelo is not terribly exciting to look at, and would need staining and some kind of finish to be attractive.

 

I agree that CA is the best thing for hardening it up, but the only place I ever use it is on raptor beaks, on which the tip is quite fragile (for hummingbirds I use inserted ivory for the bill).

 

I have a Gesswein but was planning on getting an NSK, which is much quieter (I ended up with a used faceting machine instead and never could afford to get an NSK too , so I continued to use the Gesswein for carving). I would really consider the NSK for an alternative unless you're sure you need the Gesswein's extra 20K rpm.

 

Burning is dog work. I try to turn it into a sort of meditative Zen trip but really, it's just plain boring. It'll also put a helluva crick in your neck if you're working on a big bird. I once burned the partially opened wings of a life size bald eagle for a friend who is one of the top guns in bird carving and was under deadline pressure. That is a lot of real estate to burn in three days. Even using a double burner tip, which made the job go somewhat faster, I could barely turn my head for a week after I finished the damn things.

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