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Starting to woodcarve, need advice!

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Forum topic by Micahm posted 353 days ago 869 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micahm

135 posts in 366 days


353 days ago

I want to do some wood carving, mostly relief carving and maybe a small sculpture if I get bored with relief haha. What is a good set of hand tools that will allow me to accomplish this? I want quality tools with a good selection of tools that will not leave me limited. I am interested in push type or using mallet to tap the chisel along. Looking for under $800 for set, the cheaper the better, but not sacrifice quality and diversity. I see woodcraft has Pfeil, they have good reviews but not sure if they are high priced for quality, is there anything cheaper that is good quality?

-- The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me. - Tony Konovaloff


13 replies so far

View hairy's profile

hairy

2010 posts in 2166 days


#1 posted 353 days ago

For all things woodcarving, woodcarving illustrated.

Most would recommend buying individual tools as required and not a set. I like and own some Flexcut, but most of my carving tools are flea market and yard sale buys.

-- the last of Barret's Privateers...

View MyWayChipCarving's profile

MyWayChipCarving

49 posts in 511 days


#2 posted 352 days ago

I have seen this question over the last several years on here. Everyone gives there advise. “you should start with X,Y,Z tools and then get A,B,C tools”. Here is the way I see it, take it for what it’s worth.

You have a project you want to do. Research the project, see what tools you will need for that project. If you can afford the tools to make the project easier get them, (hence, right tools, right job).

I am a woodcarver too. I have seen people starting out in carving, go out and buy the biggest sets of tools just because they wanted all the fancy tools. But they end up only using half of the tools.

P.S. Also look around in your area for carving club and classes. That helped me out a lot.

All in all, I suggest, buy what you need, when you need it and soon you will find out what you truely need. It’s a trial and error.

-- Please recycle. Save the trees.......for woodcarvers!

View Loco's profile

Loco

210 posts in 383 days


#3 posted 352 days ago

Here’s a suggestion you wont see. Go to Brownells and look at inletting tools. They’re far superior to what “wood butchers” normally use.

-- What day is it ? No matter. Ummmm What month is it ? No moron. I paid for a 2 x 6. That means Two inches by six inches. I want the rest of my wood.

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4510 posts in 926 days


#4 posted 352 days ago

This is the same question I faced a couple of years back when I wanted to try my hand at carving. I agree with MWCC—pick the project you want to do and buy the right tools for that project. Also, I highly recommend DVDs and all material by Mary May (just Google her name). My philosophy became that wood carving tools are like router bits—you can’t buy them all to start out, sets contain bits you’ll never use, so buy them as the need arises. And, by the way, I bought my chisels from Woodcraft and have been very happy wit the Pfeil brand—just keep them stropped as you use them.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Micahm's profile

Micahm

135 posts in 366 days


#5 posted 352 days ago

Loco, I may have to check that out, I have a gift certificate to Brownells haha.

I will look into some projects that interest me and see what is used, and see what the most used ones are across several projects. I guess I can get high quality tools buying them separately than buying a set.

-- The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me. - Tony Konovaloff

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HillbillyShooter

4510 posts in 926 days


#6 posted 352 days ago

Watch for Woodcraft 10% to 15% (sometimes 20%) off sales—that’s how I accumulated mine.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Micahm's profile

Micahm

135 posts in 366 days


#7 posted 352 days ago

So which brand of tools do most of you prefer?

-- The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me. - Tony Konovaloff

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4510 posts in 926 days


#8 posted 352 days ago

Pfiel for me; and, not to start an argument, I’d note that I’ve been purchasing from Bownell’s since the 70s and have done stock inletting, including pillar bedding, checkering and trigger jobs on S&W revolvers and 1911s. Pfiel comes sharp and is easy to keep sharp—just be sure to strop it often, I use horse hide and green honing compound (c.f., http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/dept/TH/item/MS-GREENHN/Green_Micro-fine_Honing_Compound ). Good luck.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Richforever's profile

Richforever

739 posts in 2354 days


#9 posted 352 days ago

I like the look and feel of the Stubai tools. (Made in Austria) “http://www.stubaidirect.com/”

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Micahm's profile

Micahm

135 posts in 366 days


#10 posted 352 days ago

Does anyone have any information on this Flexcut Starter Carving Set

That is pretty cheap for the amount you get, if not that I guess I will try to pick out some individual tools.

-- The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me. - Tony Konovaloff

View jackthelab's profile

jackthelab

306 posts in 1327 days


#11 posted 352 days ago

You are right track with the chisels but also consider a decent set of files for carving. I use those quite a bit and they come in handy to have to both remove material and to “sand” to smooth out the finish.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View Jim Finn's profile (online now)

Jim Finn

1658 posts in 1556 days


#12 posted 350 days ago

I stared carving long ago in Calif and I found the local chapter of “California carvers guild” and took a carving class from them. All questions were answered there. Look for a carvers Guild in your area. These guilds are all over the USA.

-- In God We Trust

View katilicous's profile

katilicous

29 posts in 1038 days


#13 posted 281 days ago

The Flexcut Slipstrop pictured above is a great strop for carving tools and try saying that 3 times fast and it takes some practice

-- If you fall, I'll be there. -Floor

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