Thank you Grizzman, for suggesting that my knowledge of power carving might be a welcomed topic for a blog series.
My intention is only to share with you what I know and have learned, not what I think any of you should do or change what you are doing. I have taught myself everything I know and my methods work for me. That’s not to say that I still can’t learn new things or methods. However, if I lay in bed at night and dream of what new tools to buy to help me, I really can’t think of anything else at this point.
Today I will share with you the only tools I have and use for all of my current projects and I hope in some way, I can encourage you to start power carving or add to your own knowledge.
1. Where would I be without my bandsaw? I won this in a contest and although it’s not the biggest I could have, it was free and so far it has worked for anything I’ve needed. When I start a carving, I only cut near to one profile. I prefer to hog off the true profiles with another tool.
2. My 6” jointer. I tried it for a few months without one because when we moved, my original jointer was too heavy. I enjoy the diagonal and individual blades on this one. I only use my jointer for laminating large objects. Again, it’s not the best there is, but it works for me.
3. Dentist motor and fan. I use this constantly for smaller projects. The highest speed is 5000 rpm and the coarse drum will remove almost anything. And talk about torque! I’ve leaned into it with all of my body weight and it never stalls. My only problem is with the drums and solid rubber mandrels themselves – hard to put on.
4. My rotary tools. These are my right hand men! I start my hogging with the Lancelot 4 inch chain grinder at 12 teeth per inch. I then go to the 2” Merlin chain, then to the heavy duty Dremel(which sadly is no longer made) and then to my smaller Dremels. I use a foot pedal for all of my power tools ALL of the time. I also use the flexible shafts on my Dremels.
5. And stand I do, for hours and hours in this tiny spot, with just enough light – but not enough light! However, due to the fact that I am currently a gypsy in transition, I can pretty well set up in any bathroom sized area. My dream is to one day have a big workshop but for now, I need to make money to get it so I don’t complain much. My stand is a garden shovel holder with a section of plywood. That way, I can easily dismantle it when I go to shows where I am required to carve.
6. Due to the fact that I do such large objects, my dust collection system has to be portable and mobile. One day in my dream shop I would have a better system but beggars can’t be choosers.
7. How could I have forgotten my burners? I prefer to use the Razertip most of the time but the soldering iron has it’s uses as well. I don’t find it stays hot for long enough but the bits are hardy for deep holes.
My next blog will be on all of the bits and burs I use with my tools. Please feel free to ask any questions or add your own advice.