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Beginner carver - Do I have everything I need ?

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Forum topic by Nikki posted 04-15-2016 04:13 PM 710 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Nikki

75 posts in 233 days


04-15-2016 04:13 PM

Hi everyone,
I’m new to woodcarving but not new to woodworking. I’ve got plenty of good tools and will be adding a Dwalt 788 scroll saw and have ordered an SCM 400 XS with a router attachment and 5 bits.
I’ve got a dremel, fordem, Razortip wood burner and plenty of manual chisels. I even have that special paper to make my own designs to stick to the wood. I’ve got different types of wood I’ll be working with but all are hardwoods. Some are exotic and some are domestic right off our property.
I’ve got aniline dye pigments and Windsor Newton watercolours as well as good acrylics and oils for any colouring I may wish to add.
I’ve got a large selection of finishes also and have some ideas already picked out.
Since I don’t have my equipment I can’t start yet but look forward to doing so shortly.

With all these tools and supplies will I be able to carve ?

I’ve never carved anything in my life so am excited to try.


9 replies so far

View DanielP's profile

DanielP

489 posts in 1353 days


#1 posted 04-15-2016 05:07 PM

You can do a lot with a good pocket knife.

-- --- Dan

View WoodHoarder's profile

WoodHoarder

66 posts in 1742 days


#2 posted 04-15-2016 05:42 PM

I started with a cheap set of Harbor Freight chisels. You add better equipment as you learn your style. Looks like you’re good to go.

-- Christ was a carpenter...a fact that humbles and inspires me.

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Nikki

75 posts in 233 days


#3 posted 04-16-2016 04:28 AM

I could do a lot of damage with a pocket knife.

I’m looking forward to getting this equipment. At the moment I’m presently turning acrylic so it’ll be a big change.

I’ve got so many ideas that I don’t know what to start first or on what wood. Lol

Thanks guys(wave)

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1636 posts in 1778 days


#4 posted 04-16-2016 04:40 AM

You have enough. Just get some wood and start working on projects. Carving doesn’t require much in the way of tools unless you subscribe to the method of using matching gouges for every profile. Simple, knives and straight chisels cover a lot of ground.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

View Dark_Lightning's profile

Dark_Lightning

2632 posts in 2570 days


#5 posted 04-16-2016 10:32 PM

Yes, it seems like you have enough tools. Look around for some classes. I have been working wood as a hobby for over 40 years, and just took up wood carving a little over a year ago. Taking classes at the local senior center helped (I’m retired). You have more tools than I do! I’d recommend starting with basswood for hand carving, and tupelo for power carving. I learned about tupelo the hard way- it leaves a lot of fuzz if you hand carve it, and will tear out even with the sharpest tools. I made a wood spirit out of tupelo, and had to cut with the grain to avoid tear out, only to find (a year later) that there are knives made for wood like that. I’ll just stay away from it unless I do power carving. I like hand work, it’s peaceful and quiet- unless you get a blowout. Lots of how-to books available.

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1138 posts in 1135 days


#6 posted 04-16-2016 11:15 PM

<

With all these tools and supplies will I be able to carve ?

I ve never carved anything in my life so am excited to try.

- Bittersweet

Just start a bit of waste removal and find out.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View Nikki's profile

Nikki

75 posts in 233 days


#7 posted 04-17-2016 01:42 AM


Yes, it seems like you have enough tools. Look around for some classes. I have been working wood as a hobby for over 40 years, and just took up wood carving a little over a year ago. Taking classes at the local senior center helped (I m retired). You have more tools than I do! I d recommend starting with basswood for hand carving, and tupelo for power carving. I learned about tupelo the hard way- it leaves a lot of fuzz if you hand carve it, and will tear out even with the sharpest tools. I made a wood spirit out of tupelo, and had to cut with the grain to avoid tear out, only to find (a year later) that there are knives made for wood like that. I ll just stay away from it unless I do power carving. I like hand work, it s peaceful and quiet- unless you get a blowout. Lots of how-to books available.

- DarkLightning


Thank you all for your comments and recommendations.

Hi DarkKnight
I’m in early retirement also and have been woodworking on and off for 27 years now.
I’m quite familiar with basswood or linden wood and Tupelo. My husband carves songbirds and prey birds so uses those woods often.
I’m also use to using chisels because I do lathe wood and chisels are a big part of turning. Without them it’s pointless. Lol Because I turn I’m also accustomed to the term tear our. There are even solutions for that.

I also know how to sharpen my own chisels so I at least figure I’m ahead of the game in those respects. That took a bit of patience and practice.

The reason who I choose this tool is because it turns at 400,000 r.p.m so tear out doesn’t happen if ever. It just turning to fast.
I need to be able to carve hardwood because that’s the type of wood I made my items from already. Getting wood isn’t a problem because I live in a forest in the country with a planer, table saw, radial arm saw, etc.
I personally like working with fruit woods like cherry apple and plum. They are softer of the hardwoods to offer more forgiveness.
Some of our imported woods such as wenge or Bibinga is very tough wood with very pitted grain. Those two ill pass on but there’s another 2 dozen to choose from at least.

This power engraver is actually nothing more than a dentist drill and as soon as I saw the demonstration on how it works I figured it would be idea my next stage in woodworking.

I don’t expect it for at least a week but the good news is my scroll saw should be here at the same time.

Now I even have my very own workshop . Oh joy! Oh bliss.

I won’t be joining any wood working clubs. That’s just not possible.

View Matt's profile

Matt

182 posts in 879 days


#8 posted 05-03-2016 03:06 AM

Walnut and butternut are favorites. Fruit woods are good too.

Mary May has a few beginners videos that are slow paced but cover some good basics for free. That includes tool selection, sharpening various gouge shapes, and some basic carving mechanics. For the money they are hard to beat!

-- I do this for fun.

View Nikki's profile

Nikki

75 posts in 233 days


#9 posted 05-03-2016 04:30 AM


Walnut and butternut are favorites. Fruit woods are good too.

Mary May has a few beginners videos that are slow paced but cover some good basics for free. That includes tool selection, sharpening various gouge shapes, and some basic carving mechanics. For the money they are hard to beat!

- Matt


Hi Matt,
Thank you very much for the advice.
I’m already VERY fond of fruit woods. They are softer hardwoods that have a gentler grain pattern making carving it a pleasure. Plus they always smell so nice.
I’ve carved butternut but haven’t carved walnut yet but the good news is I have all of those woods. The fruit woods I can harvest myself.
I’m currently working on carving a leaf in some Pau Ferro wood. I know it’s super dense but it’s actually turning out nicely. It’s not a huge carving because I only make little dainty things but it’s as cute as a button.:D
And I definitely could use some video instruction. Cool , thanks !

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