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Forum topic by Smokey583 posted 09-09-2015 12:39 AM 624 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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Smokey583

4 posts in 459 days


09-09-2015 12:39 AM

I am new to carving with a few non- impressive projects under my belt. Although, my lettering has been pretty good so far, especially considering I do not have any real carving chisels. I want to purchase some Pfeil tools, but was curious if any one has had experience with the Chinese Chisels from Don Yang China. I saw that the Planeman40 had purchased a set and was making handles and putting an edge on them. Looking at their photos, it appears they are primarily fishtail gouges, but appear that they could span all aspects of carving. I know that Stubai, Pfeil, Sorby, Lie Nielson and the like are unmatched. So is the cost for this type of quality. Truly these are the tools I would prefer, but would also like to start carving before I am no longer able to move the material or hold the best tool available. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Lumber Jocks!


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mpounders

821 posts in 2362 days


#1 posted 09-17-2015 08:57 PM

Chinese tools like you mentioned and ones from woodcarverssupply.com are not bad tools, as long as you understand that they will need to be tuned up before you start using them. You may need to do some work with handles but primarily the edges will need to be adjusted. For carving basswood, the bevels will need to be flatter and of course they will need to be sharpened well. That can be an issue for a new carver. I had no idea what sharp really meant, as far as carving demands, and I had no idea how to make them sharp. I blamed tools as being the problem. Yes, the brand new tools wouldn’t cut even when pounded with a mallet, because the bevels were too steep, and the heels on the V tools were too thick. A lot of carvers give up because they can’t figure out how to sharpen, or at least a method that works for them. When I first bought tools that came properly sharpened, like Pfeil, or Flexcut, or Helvie, or Drake or OCCT, carving became a lot more fun. Then, since I knew how a sharp edge looked and how it was supposed to cut, I had a better idea what I was trying to achieve. Sharpening by hand can be a time consuming process if you have a lot of tools. But an instructor at a carving seminar I went to showed me how she sharpened with a Burke sharpener. I practiced every night for a week after class was over and I now own several of those sharpeners. But other methods work also. You might start with fewer tools that are sharp rather than buying a bunch that aren’t. Depending on what you want to carve, you may not need many tools at all.

-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com

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