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Why Did I Wait So Long?

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Review by Ron Aylor posted 05-15-2018 12:53 PM 1768 views 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Why Did I Wait So Long? Why Did I Wait So Long? No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

My first foray into 17th-Century New England carving was a blast! I hesitated for years taking that first step, due to indecision as to what tools to use. I have always been an advocate of, knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.  Well, I’m now convinced that that  does not necessarily apply to carving tools. Having used some rather inexpensive tools with most disastrous results, I decided to give the Hirsch Werkzeuge carving tools a try, and I’m sure glad I did.
 

 
Hirsch carving tools have been manufactured in Germany continuously since 1780, and are regarded by many as Europe’s finest woodcarving tools. These tools are made of high carbon tool steel and tempered to a Rockwell hardness of 61. Fitted with large octagonal handles for a sturdy grip, the gouges are finely polished inside and out, and after just a minimum of stropping, you can achieve a razor-like edge. My first carving was in ash. These tools cut through the stock like butter!
 
I purchased my set from Highland Woodworking, Atlanta, GA. Ranging in price from $22.99 to $96.99, they are well worth the money.




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Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 822 days



24 comments so far

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Oldtool

2732 posts in 2365 days


#1 posted 05-15-2018 03:47 PM

Nice to know about Hirsch carving tools, my next planned experience when I complete the current project.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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Dave Polaschek

2704 posts in 757 days


#2 posted 05-15-2018 04:10 PM

One of the things that stops me from picking up carving is deciding which tools I need. There’s a huge variety, and different people recommend different “starter sets”.

How did you decide which six you needed to get started?

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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Andre

2138 posts in 1981 days


#3 posted 05-15-2018 05:04 PM

Something to be said for the German tools, my Two Cherries chisels are amazing! Just wish they weren’t so darn pretty!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 822 days


#4 posted 05-15-2018 05:21 PM



One of the things that stops me from picking up carving is deciding which tools I need. There’s a huge variety, and different people recommend different “starter sets”.

How did you decide which six you needed to get started?

- Dave Polaschek


Dave, I decided on my set based on Perter Follansbee’s basic set …
 

 
... given that I’m only interested in 17th-Century New England carving

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jdh122

1043 posts in 2992 days


#5 posted 05-15-2018 06:08 PM

Andre, my understanding is that Hirsch and Two Cherries are the same gouges – made in the same plant in Germany.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 822 days


#6 posted 05-15-2018 07:47 PM


Andre, my understanding is that Hirsch and Two Cherries are the same gouges – made in the same plant in Germany.

- jdh122


Yes, the gouges are very similar. The difference lies in the fact that the Hirsch tools are the original line being produced continuously since 1780. The two Cherries line is a collaboration with Schmitt & Co., having been produced since 1858. Both are quality tools.

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Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 822 days


#7 posted 05-15-2018 09:01 PM



How did you decide which six you needed to get started?

- Dave Polaschek


Dave, to further describe my set …
 

 
From left to right: 10mm #7; 14mm #5; 18mm #9; 20mm #5; 20mm #7; 10mm #41

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Dave Polaschek

2704 posts in 757 days


#8 posted 05-16-2018 12:38 AM

Thanks, Ron. I guess if I could narrow down what kind of carving I’d like to do it would be easier, but I haven’t figured that out yet. Ah well. There’s time.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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doubleDD

7774 posts in 2218 days


#9 posted 05-16-2018 01:14 AM

Glad you found the set that makes life easier. They look to be good quality. I have to say there are a lot of times we don’t jump in and buy the best when we go on a new journey.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 822 days


#10 posted 05-16-2018 12:41 PM



Glad you found the set that makes life easier. They look to be good quality. I have to say there are a lot of times we don t jump in and buy the best when we go on a new journey.

- doubleDD


That’s very profound, Dave. I did have a very inexpensive set of gouges, but the profiles looked nothing like what Peter Follansbee uses. I tried to sharpen them, but ground them down to nubs. Wanting to emulate his work, I felt I had no alternative. These tools definitely make life easier, and I’m so glad I took the leap.

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Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 822 days


#11 posted 05-16-2018 12:44 PM



Thanks, Ron. I guess if I could narrow down what kind of carving I’d like to do it would be easier, but I haven’t figured that out yet. Ah well. There’s time.

- Dave Polaschek


I can see hoe that can be confusing. I’m happy being a flat boarder  … LOL!

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Blackberry

121 posts in 1328 days


#12 posted 05-16-2018 07:27 PM

Based on the title I thought you were going to say you added electricity to the shop!

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Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 822 days


#13 posted 05-16-2018 08:41 PM



Based on the title I thought you were going to say you added electricity to the shop!

- Blackberry

Blasphemy!

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Blackberry

121 posts in 1328 days


#14 posted 05-16-2018 09:10 PM


Based on the title I thought you were going to say you added electricity to the shop!

- Blackberry

Blasphemy!

- Ron Aylor

That’s funny, I saw that response a mile away.

View wrenchhead's profile

wrenchhead

221 posts in 3338 days


#15 posted 05-24-2018 01:36 AM

Nice set. I like Peter’s style and have a similar set of profiles but have not been able to produce those results. He makes it look so easy!!

Your carving turned out great!

-- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkRuFxW8HhRfyhbTP4SY5UA I could quit if I wanted

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