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Getting into carving

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Blog entry by Rustic posted 09-01-2010 07:25 PM 975 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As most of you know my Grandmother passed away in July. Well. this past weekend was her memorial service. The Grandkids were allowed to go through her stuff and grab some momentos. Well, I really loved all her carvings. Noone else touched her carving books,wood, and partially finished carvings. So I got it all. So now I am going to take up carving and try to complete what she started. I will be taking pictures soon of the goodies. So if there are any carvers in my area that would like to take me under thier wing it would be appreciated. More to come.

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI



10 comments so far

View lew's profile

lew

10159 posts in 2506 days


#1 posted 09-01-2010 07:32 PM

Rick,

Seems like sometimes destiny plays a part in all of our lives. Your Grandmother must have been holding these for you and made sure, from heaven, that you were the one who received them.

Looking forward to seeing the pictures.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3156 posts in 2347 days


#2 posted 09-01-2010 07:34 PM

My cousin told me that I am the woodworker in the family and it is only right that I get it.

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2592 posts in 1769 days


#3 posted 09-01-2010 08:19 PM

Main thing is to get a leather power strop at slow speed and hone your edges to a mirror finish with polishing rouge and keep your edges protected and keep your fingers out of the way! I cut myself numerous times and didn’t realize I had cut myself till I saw my DNA all over the work piece! Sharp tools hurt less initially but just as much afterwards! Main thing is to practice, practice, practice and more practice! You have to familiarize yourself with each tool and the way it cuts and also with different woods and watch the pattern of the grains. Cut into the direction of it, practice all kinds of cuts into and against the grain to know what will happen when you don’t do it right. Best wood to practice on is Basswood as it has no strong grains. I also like to carve on white pine. Sugar pine is also excellent. If you need more info feel free to PM me and I will help in any way that I can or I think (know really) someone here will step up and give you a hand. Also check for local carving clubs, they are a good source for help and info.

My condolences on your G’Ma’s passing and hope her gift to you will be rewarding! My own MIL and FIL got me started with a Christmas gift and it took off from there. My interest changes from time to time and I do other types of wood working and come back to carving.

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

16043 posts in 1617 days


#4 posted 09-01-2010 08:48 PM

Rustic, I have carved off and on for a good while but I’ve never gotten very good at it and I believe the key words are ‘off and on’. It’s like Bearpie says – practice, practice, practice. If you want to be good at carving it’s the kind of thing that you just can’t stop doing for 6 months at at a time and then take it up again for a month and then stop again. More importantly than that learn how to sharpen your tools because you won’t get very far if they’re not really sharp.

Go to Amazon, search for woodcarving and take a look at the books by Chris Pye, Charles Hayward, and Rick Butz. I have those and they were very helpful to me. Woodcarving Illustrated is a good magazine and I subscribe to it. One of the best community sites is the one that is affiliated with Woodcarving illustrated.

I love to carve and have the natural ability to do it but I’ve never had the time to stay with it at any given time for over a month or so here and a month or so there. That’s not ever going to work very well – at least I don’t think it will.

I hope that you are able to devote some time to it and become good at it because I think it is one of the most rewarding ways to pass your time. I love the way a carving tool slices through the wood when it is sharp. It’s just very, very rewarding.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3156 posts in 2347 days


#5 posted 09-01-2010 09:06 PM

I have found a website that offers a beginners set with a leather strop and compound as well as a glove and thumb gaurd. for 59.95 is that a good deal?

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

1123 posts in 2536 days


#6 posted 09-02-2010 03:04 AM

Hi Rick, Sounds good to me. We need more carvers on LJ’s.
Walmart sells Kevlar gloves for cleaning fish that are basically the same cut proof gloves as for carving. Although remember no glove is puncture proof.
And to me that is not a very good deal.
I use a power strop for keeping a scary sharp edge on my tools. I get the green compound for stroping.
Any questions please feel free to ask I will be more than happy to help if I can.
I have been carving for about 3 years now and still cannot put the knives and gouges down….lol
I hope you will enjoy carving and can complete those unfinished projects.
God bless

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Bearpie's profile

Bearpie

2592 posts in 1769 days


#7 posted 09-02-2010 03:24 AM

I don’t know if it is a good deal or not, I would rather see you get like a leather wheel that is about 3/4 ” thick and put it on a slow grinder going in reverse! when sharpening carving tools on a grinder, you want the wheel to be going up in front, that way you can get a honing effect rather than a grinding effect. You put the blade with the sharp edge up and buff from the back to the sharp edge then flip blade over and do the other side. If your cuts show like a nick in the wood, you have a nick in the blade. A sharp tool cuts easy with less effort than a dull tool and the work looks better so it would really pay you to learn to do it properly so you can almost do it blind folded. I have a thumb guard but after a few days I stopped using it as I felt I didn’t have full control. I don’t use gloves for the same reason. However if you happen to be one of those guys who are “clumsy prone” (I don’t mean this in an offensive way) then you should at least start out with the gloves and feel your way around. I know a very talented carver who refuses to carve without his kevlar glove on one hand so there should be no offense taken!

Erwin

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3156 posts in 2347 days


#8 posted 09-02-2010 04:24 AM

none taken bearpie—could your direct me to a site that has the wheel setup you are taking about?

-- www.carvingandturningsbyrick.com, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View grosa's profile

grosa

911 posts in 1580 days


#9 posted 09-02-2010 04:25 AM

If you love doing it you will do just fine.

-- Have a great day.

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

1123 posts in 2536 days


#10 posted 09-02-2010 05:45 AM

Im a clumsy 1 thats fer sure….lol
I always wear my glove…i think though for the most part I would use even a cotton glove. The oils from my hand seems to grey the wood then I hafta keep sanding it of, you will love the sanding the best….lol
In my opinion the Ultimate sharpening and honing machines is the best for keeping my gouges and knives at thier best.
You can look at it at www.chippingaway.com
I have both of them and most of my carving friends that use them or mine, say that they work just perfect and so very fast.
The cost is about 600 for both but like Helluvawreck said a sharp tool is so much easier to carve with and your struggles will be less.
I spend more time carving and less sharpening….thats usually the oppisite for alot of carvers.
Jim

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

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