New woodworker. Well, sort of... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-11-2011, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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New woodworker. Well, sort of...

Hello. My name is Steve. I am a new woodworker but far from new at working with wood. I've built quite a number of things from wood (games, magic props, electronics workbenches/counters, speaker boxes, etc...) throughout my life and I've been a whittler/woodcarver for right at 20 years now.

As far as being a "woodworker" in the traditional and popular sense, however, I consider myself very green. I haven't made any "real" cabinets (with drawers or doors) and I haven't made anything one would consider "fine furniture" or anything of that caliber. But I am getting more and more interested on woodworking now that I actually have room to do it.

I am in the process of setting up my first shop where I can actually have a functional place for my woodworking tools. I own a table saw, jointer, compound miter saw, drill press, scroll saw, band saw, lots of handheld power tools and hand tools and so on.

We've been in this house for almost a year now. A wall is in the process of being built in our 3 1/2 car garage to define my work area and to keep my wife's car free of sawdust every time I'm working on a project. I'm looking forward to the convenience of not having to shuffle things around as often to be able to work. And looking forward to the AC that is going to be installed. I'm tired of dripping sweat on the cast iron of my table saw.

Sadly, the wall construction is forcing me to set aside my mantle project (that I'm almost done building) for a couple of weeks. I've had the top part done and mounted since before Christmas last year. But I am finally almost done with the two vertical sides. They're in the finishing stage now.

I hope to become more skilled at woodworking and am glad to be here at Woodworking Talk.com

Here's a little sample of my whittling:
















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post #2 of 16 Old 08-11-2011, 01:18 AM
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Wow Steve, can't wait to see your skills with a blade applied to furniture!
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-11-2011, 04:43 AM
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-11-2011, 08:38 AM
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Scott
OH, wait a minute ............Yep!.............That's what he said!

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post #5 of 16 Old 08-11-2011, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdntrdr View Post
Sometimes so much can be said without even speaking. This is one of those times!

Thanks for the welcome, guys.

In case anyone wonders, all of the carvings I posted are carved from single pieces of wood. Nothing is glued together. So all of the loose parts you see do actually move freely and are actually whittled in place, just as you see them.

If anyone is interested I'll post some step by step pictures for a few examples sometime. I know this isn't a woodcarving forum so I'll refrain from posting much carving stuff. But a lot of wood "workers" are also woodcarvers so I figure some one here may have an interest.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-23-2011, 05:48 PM
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Is not carving a chunk of wood the same as working with a chunk of wood? Do we not go from a piece of wood to something possibly useful, or pretty, or to be proud of?

I would submit carving wood is as much a form of woodworking, older in style, than using any powered tool to alter the shape of the wood.

Bring on the photos say I.

Never Stop Learning - You Stop Living.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-23-2011, 08:35 PM
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That chain is really cool!
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-24-2011, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Here's some brief notes about the pictures above:

1) A-ball-in-a-cage-in-a-cage-in-a-cage. (three cages). Mahogany. Lacquered.

2) Skull with tophat chain. Yellow pine. Polyurethane.

3) Basic chain links and rings. Pine. Lacquered.

4) A "pair of pliers". Wood unknown (was a drawer support in a dresser that got scrapped many moons ago). No finish.

5) Skeleton Guitarist. This one looks even cooler in person and always gets pleasant reactions. Yellow pine. Polyurethane.

6) Face in maple. Lacquered. (Won 2nd place in category at Ridge Woodcarvers annual show. Don't recall year off hand)

7) Ring with loose slugs. Pine. No finish. (Won 2nd place in category at Florida Citrus Festival '91 or '92)

8) Fancy chain in pine. Face/head on each end. The rod inside the spiral IS loose. The cage at the 8:30-9 o'clock position has two shared-barred cages, each containing two loose balls. At the 5:00 - 6:00 position, you can see the dramatic width difference between side-to-side chain links and chain links oriented corner-to-corner. Lacquered. Telescoping rings at 3:00 position. (Won 1st place in category at Ridge Woodcarvers annual show. Don't recall year off hand)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warnock View Post
Is not carving a chunk of wood the same as working with a chunk of wood? Do we not go from a piece of wood to something possibly useful, or pretty, or to be proud of?

I would submit carving wood is as much a form of woodworking, older in style, than using any powered tool to alter the shape of the wood.

Bring on the photos say I.
Absolutely. Kind of like how our carving club has a few members who aren't really carvers but, instead, do woodburning, intarsia, scrimshaw, scroll-sawing, turning, inlaying, etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc7
That chain is really cool!
Thanks. I'm glad you like it.

Last edited by Chaincarver Steve; 09-03-2011 at 12:29 PM. Reason: Had ring with loose slugs improperly labeled as being cedar. It is pine.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-03-2011, 11:51 AM
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The chain is stunning work Steve. Welcome from the UK

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post #10 of 16 Old 09-03-2011, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by debdaz View Post
The chain is stunning work Steve. Welcome from the UK
Thank you sir! There's plenty more where that came from. I plan to post more pictures of some of my whittlings (chains and other) from time to time.

Here's 2 more if you're interested. One is a work in progress: http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f13/king-spades-29111/
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-03-2011, 02:26 PM
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Great work!

My great-grandfather was into that kind of carving/whittling. I wish I was that good.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-03-2011, 06:34 PM
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Dude, that's just sick! Tried to whittle a chain once. Cut my thumb to the tune of 5 stitches, threw the wood into a fire and never attempted whittling/carving again. Give me power tools any day, they're much safer

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-05-2011, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sawdustfactory View Post
Dude, that's just sick! Tried to whittle a chain once. Cut my thumb to the tune of 5 stitches, threw the wood into a fire and never attempted whittling/carving again. Give me power tools any day, they're much safer
Funny that you should say that. Believe it or not, within the very first inch or so of my very first attempt at chain carving (a week or two out of high school, 20 years and a few weeks ago) I sliced my right palm open. About a 2 inch gash. I should have gone to the hospital but, after the faint feeling in my gut passed, I simply washed it really well and wrapped the wound, re-dressing the gash every few hours for over a week.

But then, after I healed I picked up the same piece of wood and knife and had the piece done within a week or so. HOWEVER, that first gash taught me several very important lessons, which I've applied ever since then.

When it comes to whittling/carving. and woodworking in general, a bad cut right out of the gate will teach you a harsh lesson and either scare you off for good or strengthen your resolve. I am thankful it only strengthened my resolve because I've made all kinds of cool pieces that I am quite proud of.

And thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you like them.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-05-2011, 10:10 AM
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I usually don't pay much attention to the introduction Steve, but for some reason, I checked this one out. Very nice work. I really like them all. You've got some skill my man. Maybe I should start checking out intros, I could be missing out on some really awesome work that is being posted.
Oh yeah, even though you're at your 68th post, I guess I should say welcome.

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-05-2011, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chris86 View Post
Great work!

My great-grandfather was into that kind of carving/whittling. I wish I was that good.
Thanks. Yeah, this is a pretty much dead art. Most people who are even aware at all of the existence of chain whittling associate it with a grandpa wearing overalls sitting in a rocking chair on a log cabin front porch. Even within the modern day carving community, chain carvers are almost extinct. I'm proud to be one of the hangers on trying to keep the art alive and within the realm of the modern scene. At our carving shows each year, my dad and I have been almost the exclusive entrants of the genre.

In fact, my Grandpa (Dad's dad) whittled some basic balls in cages and basic chain links about 25-30 years ago. My dad and I were enthralled. A year or so later my dad got a copy or Whittling and Woodcarving by E.J. Tangerman. He started whittling chain, rings, balls in cages, back scratchers, etc... My two brothers each wanted dad to make them a back scratcher and so he did. I wanted him to make me a back scratcher. He got me a knife...

And that is what set it all in motion. The older of my two (younger) brothers has made himself a collection of chains and the such as well. That's 4 of us in 3 generations doing our part to make sure that chain carving, whimsey carving, trick carving, whittling - whatever you want to call it - doesn't lay down and fade away into complete obscurity.
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-05-2011, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenbo View Post
I usually don't pay much attention to the introduction Steve, but for some reason, I checked this one out. Very nice work. I really like them all. You've got some skill my man. Maybe I should start checking out intros, I could be missing out on some really awesome work that is being posted.
Oh yeah, even though you're at your 68th post, I guess I should say welcome.
Gracious. I've read a lot of your posts in my short time here so far so I am somewhat familiar with you, as if we've already had informal introductions.

I do appreciate your checking out this topic, even though it is a mere introduction thread. I wanted to include some pictures so people know where I'm coming from and understand some of the kinds of experience I have with respect to wood. Or at least this facet of my experience. I noticed that there isn't much here in the way of carving/whittling and hoped that I might have something to add to the mix that might inspire others and help flesh out the forum a little more. There are so many talented woodworkers here.

I am very pleased to have been welcomed to the forum with open arms and look forward to many years of involvement.
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