Oh boy, carving tools! From Home Depot!

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Forum topic by NateX posted 01-17-2012 09:20 AM 13412 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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98 posts in 3146 days

01-17-2012 09:20 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question humor resource carving tool carving sharpening

So I got this set of Buck Bros. carving tools for Christmas and I have no idea what to do with them. I have looked around a little on the web and you tube and no one uses some of the stuff in this set. I have no experience carving wood with anything other than a saw or chisel. And to be honest its usually a table saw or a router.

Then I read the reviews on the Home Depot page…they were less than enthusiastic. One guy called them a “blunt denting tool set” Apparently the bevel is all wrong to boot. Maybe just return them and buy a few cans of lacquer and some paste wax?

Here’s a pic if the Home Depot link acts weird:

Does anyone know any good online resources for carving? I imagine bass wood is a good place to learn to carve. Any other woods good for beginners?

It seems like neat skill. That one guy who makes the fish on here really got my imagination going. Imagine all the sea creatures I could carve from old chunks of wood!

My next project, this bench!!!!

17 replies so far

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2504 days

#1 posted 01-17-2012 09:45 AM

Well, I forget the name of the one on the left, 2nd one is a v grove, third I’ve heard called a couple of different things, so I won’t call it cause I’m not sure which is the real name in my fatigue, the next to are both gouges, the last being a skew chisel, The skew is a pretty nice chisel, the rest you will need to study up on to figure out how they should be properly sharpened. Sharpening is extremely important for chisels that come from box stores.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3016 days

#2 posted 01-17-2012 02:54 PM

Here’s a few places that you can get started with. I’ve done business with all of these.

woodcraft Supply

Highland Woodworking

Little Shavers

Texas Woocarvers

Smoky Mountain Woocarvers

Chipping Away


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3235 days

#3 posted 01-17-2012 04:43 PM

Glad to see that your first carving project is going to be a small one :-). The first thing I did when I got
interested in carving was to go online and do a search for carving clubs in my area, and there was one
that meets weekly, carvers like most woodworkers are willing to answer most questions and give helpful
advice. Missoula also has a good hobby shop and a good tool store that both stock carving tools, so I
was lucky. I have found that I am more interested in playing with my lathe than carving, but it is a nice
back up when I do not want to heat up my big shop.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View StumpyNubs's profile


7656 posts in 2950 days

#4 posted 01-17-2012 04:59 PM

Any carving tools will cut wood, but you may have to properly regrind the bevels. However, cheap ones will dull quickly and lead to frustration. If you want to do any amount of carving, take them back and get a few better ones. You don’t need to buy a whole set. Just pick out your first project and buy the ones you need for that. Then add more as you add experience.

Thanks for posting!

-Jim; aka “Stumpy Nubs”
(The greatest woodworking show since the invention of wood is now online!)

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Sylvain's profile


731 posts in 2649 days

#5 posted 01-17-2012 05:42 PM

these are other links :

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View Alan Robertson's profile

Alan Robertson

66 posts in 4068 days

#6 posted 01-17-2012 05:43 PM

If that bench is to be your first project, I shall from here on refer to you as——- Master.

I have over 50 Buck Bro’s. chisels, carving tools, knives, lathe tools. Proud to own them. Hold an edge beautifully. BUT, OF COURSE: they didn’t have to travel across the Pacific in a container. They were made by an American company with American labor and great steel. Another proud company that has sold out. I wish that when they take their business over there and bring their all too often inferior product back to us poor slobs, they would be required to at least place the manufacturing countries flag on it. Then you could shop without a made in China magnifying glass.
Down boy, down.
As stated by Stumpy: take ‘em back. Have seen good carving tools in the the LJ classifieds. English, German, Swiss, Japanese, older- continental American. Check other woodworking sites.

At some time I would like to see a quality Chinese set. Know they have them. They just don’t ship them to us.

I apoligise if anyone thinks I was ranting, was only truthing. Grasshopper, out.

-- MrAl

View Mike55's profile


8 posts in 2473 days

#7 posted 01-17-2012 05:52 PM

Those chisels will be ok for beginning projects but rebeveling to a 25 or 30 degree bevel is advisable. If you plan to carve a lot I suggest you learn to sharpen your tools properly. This includes honing or polishing. Be careful when you bevel the tools that you don’t overheat and ruin the temper. But you can retemper it just takes some expertise. I am a member of Woodcarving Illustrated and they have several tips and referrals to help you with this. Good luck w/that bench.

-- Got wood?

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3016 days

#8 posted 01-17-2012 11:46 PM

Alan, if I’m not mistaken, I believe that Woodcarvers Supply down in Florida might sell some pretty good Chinese tools. I’ve never owned any of them so can’t personally vouch for them. However, I’ve certainly seen some beautiful carvings that came from china so I’m like you I’ll bet that they make some good tools.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View mpounders's profile


890 posts in 3045 days

#9 posted 01-18-2012 12:12 AM

Here is a link to all kinds of carving resources and I recommend the woodcarving illustrated site as being especially helpful! I have the same set of tools that you have! They are cheap and not sharpened correctly for carving, but…...they would be really great for learning how to sharpen carving tools, as you have little to lose. I reground one just a few weeks ago when I built a new sharpener and it will actually cut now! I have a drawer full of carving tool sets like this, that I once thought were great deals ( or that someone gave me), and I’ll try to tune them up and give them to someone who thinks they might want to carve. These have a steep bevel, more like a bench tool, and should be ground down to about a 10-12 degree bevel for most carving. Poplar and pine are not too bad for carving, but northern basswood is the best. You won’t find good basswood at the hobby stores; just order a bit from online. Check out some of the carving sites if you are interested in learning… you’ll meet some great people!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View doughan's profile


96 posts in 2740 days

#10 posted 01-18-2012 12:24 AM


even if a chinese tool is of comparable quality(haven’t seen that yet) if you buy american made maybe just maybe the money will circulate through our economy and someone that gets it will buy one of your projects.Or atleast hire me to do one.Money sent to china will be used to buy raw materials ,spoil the environment and enslave your great grand children.

View Richard549's profile


17 posts in 1549 days

#11 posted 07-30-2014 10:56 PM

That same set was one of my first purchases and one of my biggest regrets. Don’t confuse this Buck name with the excellent Buck knife company here in USA. These are junk! There are some nice starter sets available that will come super sharp and will stay sharp with little effort. My personal favorites are the Flexcut set I have and a small selection of Ashley Isles two-handed gouges I bought from a carver friend. Both are a pleasure to work with year after year, and that is what carving is all about…enjoying yourself. There is great advice here and very useful links. I wish I would have found L.J’s. years ago.

-- Richard in Oroville

View MarcusM's profile


57 posts in 3130 days

#12 posted 07-30-2014 11:55 PM

hi Richard, and welcome, gotta agree with you on the Ashleys…some of the best carving tools out there. Dating myself a bit, I’ve had a set of Ashleys for over 40 yrs. now.


-- Tilbilly Mark

View Planeman40's profile


1257 posts in 2910 days

#13 posted 07-31-2014 03:50 PM

The best deal on carving supplies is from Wood Carver’ Supply ( I believe their chisels are made in China as upon close inspection I firmly believe they are the same chisels I bought directly from China. I am making all of my own carving chisels, a complete set, from scratch using rough forgings obtained directly from China. The specifications on the website where I bought them states “The cutting edges are remarkably durable. The smaller detail carving tools are made of a single layer of carbon steel (C60) with the hardness of (RC 58). The large carving gauges are made of double layered steel and have a cutting edge whose hardndess is over (RC 60)”. The hardness numbers are Rockwell hardness numbers. I believe it after polishing and sharpening 31 of the 62 chisels. Hardest steel I have ever worked with! So I am satisfied with the quality. You may want to try buying a small finished set of tools from this same Chinese supplier which is a luthier’s supply house. They have a lot of nice stuff. ( Be sure to read the complete description of the steel chisels on the website.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Woodman246's profile


1 post in 1237 days

#14 posted 06-04-2015 10:35 PM

I was a professional wood carver in the furniture business for over 25 years. The best carving tools are antique tools made before 1920. The are usually German, Swiss or English. I personally used Frank Mittermeier DASTRA tools. But I have bought many antique and vintage Buck Bros. tools that were made in the USA. They are all Cast steel tools. Cast or “Crucible” steel is very hard, so hard it can actually be reground on a electric grinding wheel at high speeds if done with care, slowly with frequent dips in water. I no longer carve for health reason (arthritis ) but sale vintage and antique tools on eBay at this site. They are always sharp and ready for wood.

View rwe2156's profile


3095 posts in 1630 days

#15 posted 06-05-2015 12:56 AM

I got interested in chip carving a couple years ago and was fortunate to take a class with Wayne Barton.
It was completely worth the money and I’m glad I did it.

I would take a carving class somewhere before you start investing in tools.

Check out Mary May. She is based in Charleston, SC, but travels around the country doing classes.

One last thing: a good rule of thumb is don’t by handtools from China, OK?
Pay attention the Woodman he is right the best tools come from Germany and Switzerland.
I’ve heard alot of good things about Stubai and Pfeil.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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