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Playing Around with Carving #1: Getting Rolling

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Blog entry by WayneC posted 1153 days ago 2444 reads 2 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Playing Around with Carving series Part 2: ZOMG! Knife to wood »

I had been thinking about playing with carving for a while. I did some exploring in a forum post and decided it would be better to continue the discussion in a blog format. This way I can track my progress. The original post that got this started is located here. There is lots of good information in the forum post on safety and carving resources.

I’ve decided to start with chip carving for several reasons. First, I am currently temorarly stuck in a wheel chair/walker due to a fall earlier this year and have very limited access to my shop. Chip carving can be done with minimal needs from my regular shop. Also, because my fall, I am on blood thinners. My perception is that chip carving is safer than methods of carving that involve holding the item being carved in your hands. Another factor in this decision is that Marty has posted a chip carving class in his Blog that I can follow to gain basic skills. The final deciding factor was initial investment. To get started, you need a couple of chip carving knives, the ability to sharpen the knives, some basswood, a pencil/compass to transfer patterns to the wood and a good straight edge. I plan to explore other forms of carving in the future.

Last week I ordered some Hock knives (I am a fan of Hock Products) from Craftsman Studio in southern California. I ordered the full set, but you should only need Chip Carver #CKC100 and the Stab Knife #CKS125. They are the bottom two knives in the photo.

Marty also sells knives on his web site. There are a couple of options. The Barton Knives are currently the gold standard for chip carving knives. The lamp knives look interesting and there is a modified knife that is worth consideration. Also, in the next few weeks Marty is coming out with a new line of knives he developed. They would also be worth looking into.

https://mychipcarving.com/Chip_Carving/Store/knives.htm

My Hock knives came in today so I need to get them sharpened. Over the weekend I went to woodcraft and purchased some basswood and some stropping compound. I intended to buy a strop but felt the cost was too high. I need to find some leather around the house and make one. I also purchased and read Wayne Barton’s chip carving book “The complete Guide to Chip Carving

To finish up the preparations I ordered a leather lap apron so I can carve in my lap from Lee-Valley and I ordered a set of ceramic sharpening stones, additional basswood, and a pattern transfer tool from Marty’s web site. I also signed up for a platinum membership on Marty’s site to get access to the videos and patterns that are available there. I would really like to take a minute to thank Marty for putting the Lumberjocks chip carving course together. He is a great guy to interact with and is an dedicated chip carving Evangelist.

Well off to look for some dinner and then see if I can make a strop.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov



19 comments so far

View mafe's profile

mafe

9456 posts in 1690 days


#1 posted 1153 days ago

Looking mighty good.
Sounds like you are on the road now.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Don W's profile

Don W

14646 posts in 1169 days


#2 posted 1153 days ago

I’ll be waiting for the results. I’ve done some carving in rifle stocks, but it never really did it for me. Of course I didn’t have those nice utensils you have :-)

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2699 days


#3 posted 1153 days ago

Thanks Mads, I’m hoping this will help with the cabin fever.

Don, I love quality tools. I’m looking forward to seeing how these knives work.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Dave's profile

Dave

11142 posts in 1441 days


#4 posted 1153 days ago

Go get her done Wayne, cant wait to see some projects..

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34858 posts in 3002 days


#5 posted 1153 days ago

find an old belt and make your strop.

But I’ve also put red polishing compound on a flat piece of cherry and do my stropping on it. I’ve also used green Chromium compound also.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2699 days


#6 posted 1153 days ago

Thanks Dave, I am working on it.

Karson, I found the piece of leather I was looking for. I need to glue it to a board. Rubber cement is recommended, but I do not have any at the moment. Hoping to get some tomorrow. I have some green honing compound.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View ksSlim's profile

ksSlim

956 posts in 1491 days


#7 posted 1153 days ago

Barge leather cement is nothing more than Eastman 1300 (formica glue) contact cement.
used mine for 30 years.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 1927 days


#8 posted 1153 days ago

You got yourself a good thick apron? I know I would cut myself up… first day :) Calamity Jane.

View Tony's profile

Tony

978 posts in 2632 days


#9 posted 1153 days ago

Hi Wayne – get some honing compound to impregnate into the leather as well (I normally use the Tormek compound, which readily available). By the way you can also impregnate a little 19mm MDF with the compound, this is also great for honing all sorts of tools, flat and curved surfaces, just remember to pull, not push :)

I prefer to hone on a hard flat surface, rather than a strop, it does not round the bevel so much, therefore requires grinding less often. Have fun

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

View Rustic's profile

Rustic

3127 posts in 2198 days


#10 posted 1153 days ago

you can also use a piece of cardboard as well as newspaper ( i believe)

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

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2699 days


#11 posted 1153 days ago

I’m planning to get to Home Depot this evening and get some contact cement and put one together from that. I’m looking to make something similar to the strop in the following post. I’m planning to use some green honing compound on the strop.

http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/640503-Make-a-leather-strop

mtKate, I ordered a lap apron from Lee-Valley yesterday and hope this will do the job for my legs.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 1927 days


#12 posted 1153 days ago

I gave that as a gift to my mom for her carving two years ago. She loves it.

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

19319 posts in 2452 days


#13 posted 1152 days ago

Go for it Wayne. No stopping now.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12255 posts in 2699 days


#14 posted 1152 days ago

No glue today. I am stalled….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View MyChipCarving's profile

MyChipCarving

463 posts in 1726 days


#15 posted 1149 days ago

Hey Wayne and all,
For final stropping I would suggest you use a piece of hard cardboard (not corrugated) and apply your compound directly to the cardboard. Leather will flex too much when stropping a chip carving knife and you will round over the edge. Ev Ellenwood told me to try this (Ev is the author of: Complete Book of Woodcarving, Sharpening Simplified)

In the My Chip Carving Sharpening Kit I include a piece of this cardboard along with 4 grits of psa abrasive strips, red rouge compound, spray bottle, and double strength glass. You can get an amazingly “scary sharp” edge using these simple materials.

-- Marty, https://www.MyChipCarving.com, 866-444-6996

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