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Stephen Myhre style tool use by Janel


Janel

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Hi all,

 

We finally did it! Posted in Getting Started and Resources you will find a 15 minute movie created to demonstrate how one person uses the tools inspired by Stephen Myhre. It is a first time production for me, and I apologize for the knuckle shots and finger hair focus in some frames. I will use a better camera angle next time :P!

 

Lets use this topic to ask questions or offer advice, what ever might be related to that movie.

 

I hope that it works for each of you. Sorry for the file size for those of us with soda straw connections. I am one of them, and would have to wait about nine hours for the smallest Mac compatible version to upload to my computer. Ouch! What a drag. I hope you all have better connection speeds than I do!

 

;) Many great big thanks to Tassos for figuring out how to provide viewing options for both Mac and PC users. I will print his statement to the membership:

 

For each video I will include four versions:

Two Windows Media Video (.wmv), one large and one small,

Two Quicktime (.mov), one large and one small.

This should hopefully cover most computers and internet connections.

 

If these options don't work for someone, they should feel free to PM me.

I can do one of many things:

Upload another filetype that works better for them,

Send them a CD with the files for their computer (if their internet connection is too slow or non-existent),

Or send them a DVD to view on their TV.

 

Anyone interested in contributing a tutorial video to the forum, should PM me about how to send me the videos so I can upload them. It's probably better to talk to me about it, before the videos are shot (if possible of course) so we can discuss the various options.

 

Please feel free to also PM me for any other suggestions or comments.

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I've watched the video, and all I can say is ... WOW!

 

What a treat! I'm only a beginner (if that) in the world of miniature carving, and this forum has already been a wellspring of helpful and motivating information.... But WOW! Now you've taken it to a whole new level Janel. Maybe a beginner can appreciate this the most. Until now, perhaps becasue of my lack of imagination or exprience, the fancy looking tools you guys use have been just that to me. Now I can appreciate how they are used, just how much material they can be expected to remove, where to use which tool etc.

 

A picture says a thousand words, but that video said about a trillion to a beginner like me. Just chiming in to say "thanks for the effort" to all those involved. I'm that much more confident about learning how to do this kind of carving on my own.

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That's great stuff Janel.

 

I'm amazed at how useful a three-sided scraper is. I have a series of larger ones, made from trangular files, that I use mostly metal. A friend of mine uses a set of four tools that are almost identical to yours for doing open-work in wrought iron. The iron is carved or scraped in axactly the same way.

 

The tools that I use for boxwood, ivory, etc., all cut on the pull, sort of like over-sized dental picks. However, after seeing the way your tools work, I think I will have to add to my tool collection. You can never have too many tools.

 

Thanks for sharing this!

 

Phil

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;) The demo shows some of the usefulness of the tools, and you get to discover how much more useful they can be as you apply them to your own materials and carving styles. Many times I have said, or thought, while daydreaming of traveling, that I would like to be a fly on the wall of so many carvers' studios to watch them carving. This is a little like that, and it is a treat to share it with you.

 

My first three sided tools were made from high speed drill bits, the drilling end would be glued into the handle. I am not the best materials resource person for the best sorts of metals to use for the tools, I have used what is easy to find. I always hope that someday, someone will tell me, or show me, where to go and what to ask for use in tool making. (a bit of a wasteland out here and I am not metal smart :P )

 

OK, I used some other tools too that were not Myhre tools. The flat angled face tool of many sizes, is a useful tool shape which I have used for years, from pin or needle sized to the large one shown on the video.

 

Also, do you know what is cricking in the background? Crickets in the tree frog terrarium in my room. The tree frogs are subjects for many carvings, and the crickets are raised to keep the frogs thriving.

 

Have fun trying to use these tools now!

 

Janel

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I just had a look Janel. Thanks go to you, Tassos and Tom for getting the video online. I thought it was interesting how you use both the pointy and rounded tools as v- and u-gouges respectively. My use of scapers has just been for refining forms already cut with chicel and gouge. Never in a 'poking' motion, but in a sideways 'scraping' motion. I was using them as a step after shaping with chisel, and before sanding/polishing. You've got a few types in there I still need to fabricate.

 

Credit to the crickets, too, for providing the musical soundtrack.

 

-Doug

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HI JANEL!

Amazing video, thanks for it. As it is said "una imagen vale mas que mil palabras" an image is worth a thousand words. Watching the video I could perfectly understand your description in the TCP previous message about Stephen Myhre tools. Thank you once again! :P And I don´t want to forget Tassos´ virtual video support!!!!

Hey I agree with the crickets´ credits too ;)

THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!

Sebas

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The second part of the title for this topic has the reference to where the video is, but I think it was hidden in plain sight with too many words! Very sorry about that. I will amend my topic intro, thanks for pointing it out.

 

Kathleen, yes I use some favorite files, but rarely rasps and riflers, they seem too coarse, but that is only because of the ones I have. As in, I have not met a rifler that I could like yet! ;) I did not show the files because this was a flat piece, and the files work best on 3D forms. Perhaps an appropriately sized rifler with a bent end would be helpful. Lots yet to learn!

 

Doug, what ever works! No one told me I could not use tools any particular way, but the wood does, by ripping and splintering :P.

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Janel the video is great. Very helpful.

 

You talked earlier in this thread about what you used to create your first set of tools. I am very interested to hear from anyone else of a good source for tool "blanks" that could be easily shaped into the 3 sided tools Janel showed.

 

Any ideas out there?

Thanks

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This is to the general membership: I see that HSS (is that High Speed Steel?) is the material being described on that page. Is there other sorts of steel also used for tools? ( I know we have written about it before, but repetition is helpful for clay and wood bashers of an older sort.)

 

What process are recommended for shaping the tools, and is heat involved as with annealing and hardening? Shaping cold or with grinder which produces heat, should the heat of grinding be avoided? Who remembers where these questions have been addressed before? Link to there or rewrite them here for continuity for the less experienced tool makers please? Thanks for the help.

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This is to the general membership: I see that HSS (is that High Speed Steel?) is the material being described on that page. Is there other sorts of steel also used for tools? ( I know we have written about it before, but repetition is helpful for clay and wood bashers of an older sort.)

 

What process are recommended for shaping the tools, and is heat involved as with annealing and hardening? Shaping cold or with grinder which produces heat, should the heat of grinding be avoided? Who remembers where these questions have been addressed before? Link to there or rewrite them here for continuity for the less experienced tool makers please? Thanks for the help.

 

Hi Janel,

 

There are quite a number of steels that are useful for making carving tools. High speed steel (HSS) is useful, and will not loose it's hardness by grinding heat. It is designed to maintain hardness under high heats, but is very difficult to work with.

 

My preferred steels are commonly available in many hardware stores or metals stores, such as Metals Supermarket.

 

I tend to use water-hardening drill rod for engraving tools, and either old files that have been annealed (by heating to a dull red and buried in ashes to cool) or carbon spring steel such as 1095, for carving tools. In either case, the steel is relatively soft when purchased (it comes anealed) and can be shaped by grinding, filing, or forging. Once you have achieved the desired shape, it must be hardened by heating to a "cherry red" heat and quenching inn either water or oil. The tool will then be very hard, buut brittle, and must be re-heated to a lesser heat to "temper" the steel. All of my hardening and tempering is done by judging the heat by tthe color of the metal by experience, rather than using ovens or furnaces with thermometers. It is actually not that complicated, and most small tools require only a propane torch to give enough heat.

 

I presented a paper, at various conferences on conservation, on the subject of ferrous metalurgy, and traditional techniques of hardening and tempering carbon steel tools, which was heavily slide oriented, and photographed at the forge. If you are interested, I could scan the slides and turn them into a tutorial?

 

Phil

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Janel

 

thanks to your video i was inspired and made my own pseudo tools... out of O1 drill rod

 

my handles are just rough scraps i had laying around... and the wire is locked with varnish...

 

DSC04023.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/dim...el/DSC04026.jpg

 

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e396/dim...el/DSC04028.jpg

 

 

they work real nice... especially if they are super duper sharp...

 

 

Greg

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Hi Janel

 

the tools look crude ... and i should have smoothed down the transition point where the wire wrap is...... but with my rough hands, i get along better with a more textured surface and having facettes.... as i have a hard time with the small smooth surface

 

the drill rod was 1/8 and one size up ... i'll have to check that other to see...

 

after using it a little bit... i really wish i woulda had something like this ...years ago...

 

 

take care

Greg

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I believe you! The range of sizes for such tools can vary from very small, I have some tools from 1/16" and larger. I am a small details person, so small sizes come in handy after the bigger ones do their work. Thanks for explaining about how the tools fit your hand. It makes sense.

 

Thanks Greg,

Janel

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  • 7 months later...

Janel,

I have watched your video, I have looked at other success stories of people making the Stephen Myhre style tool, and my extensive experiance in making tools and I still am unable to make this tool to the specifications of this instrument. I have reworked one piece of metal to the point I had only 1 inch of metal left. My hat is off to everyone that seems to be able to make this tool. There has to be a secret to this tool and everybody is keeping it from me - it must be a conspiricy!!!!!!!!!!

Sincerely Suspicious,

Debbie

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Hi Debbie,

 

Try starting by making a portion of the tip of your metal stock into a equal sided triangle. (Future tools can have two equal sides and the third side narrower/wider as you wish to be experimental.)

 

smyhre_1.jpg

 

smyhre_2.jpg

 

These are the tools made by Stephen Myhre which I own. The tools that I have made (left side of image)

 

jjtools_re.jpg

 

are differently shaped, but do good work.

 

The third side (top photo of each of SM's tools, top side is third side) has been angled. That face on his tools are almost flat but seem slightly curved. Most of my tools' third faces are not flat, but more rounded than the SM tools. I use them for scooping...this angle makes the edges functional for me.

 

Stephen's tools third face varies between shorter and longer. The two opposite faces are correspondingly shorter and longer. You can see the difference. The top tool is longer and has a thinner cutting edge and a more acute point. It is used differently than the second tool, which is sturdier and broader at the tip and cutting edge.

 

When starting from an equal triangle, determine which face is the third face and make that surface shorter in length along the shaft than the side faces. Make it angle "downward" towards the tip. Make the side faces come together in the middle at the cutting/scraping edge. Where and how they meet, opposite from the plane of the third face, will be determined by how you set the angle of each side face. You are not working parallel to the axis of the shaft of the tool anymore. You are basically setting angled planes with greater or lesser skew. You are setting the angle of the cutting/scraping edges in concert with the top face. You may be setting flat planes or rounded surfaces, according to the sort of tool you want to be using.

 

Once you "get it" you will be delighted with the variety of edges you will be able to make and use, from needle sized up to real hunky ones.

 

Stephen describes in his book about where this tool concept came from. The original tools were made of stone, for use with shaping other stone. What a concept!

 

I hope this is a little helpful.

 

Janel

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Guest Clive
Stephen describes in his book about where this tool concept came from. The original tools were made of stone, for use with shaping other stone. What a concept!

 

Janel.. I'm a bit puzzled as to why this idea is credited to Stephen Myhre or the Maori bone carving tradition. Scrapers of this design have been used in most of the Asian ivory carving traditions for hundreds of years.

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Hi Clive,

 

Because I did not know that! My introduction to this sort of tool was first through Myhre's book. I have not had more than fleeting glances at Asian tools, through glass, or fuzzy photos, and have not really been able to connect or explore that realm of wonderful tools. I am living the life of the uninformed, hoping to some day have access to such tools, with materials in hand for trying them out.

 

Thanks for asking, by the way. Everyone, please know that I am not the end-all of information. I only know what I know, and that is not much.

 

Janel

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