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post #1 of 18 Old 02-13-2015, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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I wanted to try my hand at some relief carving and probably some inlay work on rifle stocks and was wondering what the basic "need to have" tools are - I don't want to spend $300 on tools I don't need or won't use if I find out it isn't my thing.

So, what tools, selections and sizes are necessary for this type and scale of work? [gun stocks - pretty fine work]

Any particular brands to stay away from?

thanks!
-sean
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post #2 of 18 Old 02-13-2015, 06:11 PM
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For carving rifle stocks you would need chisels in the smaller range. As long as you got real chisels instead of these little sets in packages you would be alright with any brand. The sizes will likely be in a metric size so that is the way I'm listing them. The sweeps is how curved the chisel is. A flat chisel like a carpenters chisel would be sweeps 1 and one U shaped would be sweeps 11 and one V shaped would be a parting tool.
Sweeps 1 3mm
Sweeps 1 6mm
Sweeps 3 6mm ground to a left angle as a skew
Sweeps 3 6mm ground to a right angle as a skew
Sweeps 5 6mm
Sweeps 8 6mm
Sweeps 8 12mm
Sweeps 11 3mm
Parting tool 10mm
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post #3 of 18 Old 02-13-2015, 06:50 PM
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I have to disagree with Steve on this one.Not about the chisels needed but the quality.I would get the best quality I could afford for this type of work.You're not carving something in a $10 piece of wood that can be started over if you FU.If you mess up the stock of a gun by using inferior chisels you need a new stock so what have you saved?Also learn how to sharpen all of them properly before you begin and have a good sharpening system.
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post #4 of 18 Old 02-13-2015, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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I have to disagree with Steve on this one.Not about the chisels needed but the quality.I would get the best quality I could afford for this type of work.You're not carving something in a $10 piece of wood that can be started over if you FU.If you mess up the stock of a gun by using inferior chisels you need a new stock so what have you saved?Also learn how to sharpen all of them properly before you begin and have a good sharpening system.
No gun stocks have been harmed yet :)

Dad has been working for a tree service for quite some time and has amassed a large pile of wood he's 'rescued' from the chipper lots of different fruit woods walnut etc. so no lack of scraps to practice on.

Sharpening - ran across this one before. Point taken.

but as to selection, Steve mentioned about 12 different shapes/sizes... if I went top of the line that would be somewhere about $500!

But you do agree with the size/selection?

How about used? I tried to find some on Kijiji - no dice... if I did go 'all out' and it doesn't work out for me, what are the odds of being able to sell them?

-thanks
-sean
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post #5 of 18 Old 02-13-2015, 07:40 PM
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I do agree with the sizes.And I don't recommend going top quality on the chisels.Just a good quality and a good sharpening system so you don't get aggrevated before you even get started.Decent tools are so much better to work with.I've seen to many beginners starting with crap tools and get discouraged with W/W before they even have a chance to realize how great it can be.
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post #6 of 18 Old 02-13-2015, 08:44 PM
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I have more than a dozen different brands of chisels, some of which weren't proud enough to put their name on and I really don't see a difference between them. For the Sweeps #1 chisels I just use common carpenters chisels, and one set is made by Harbor Freight. Actually the only chisel I own that seems to be better than the rest is a homemade chisel I made from a jointer knife.
The favorite chisels of the man I took carving classes from was Frank Mittermeier. They hold an edge well however the smaller chisels where the chisel goes into the handle is weak and I had one break in two seriously injuring me. It's probably been 30 years since I've bought chisels and I did a brief search and was distressed the 30 to 50 bucks each for chisels and I especially don't appreciate them being grouped in sets. A person needs different chisels for different applications and a set you may only need half the chisels on a regular basis. I think if I had to replace my chisels I would search ebay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Stub...item3cf2d60e4e
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post #7 of 18 Old 02-13-2015, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Funny you should mention making your own ... I was just thinking - proper steel, a bit of hardening & a home made handle & you are good to go. getting symmetrical sweeps might be a bit of a challenge, but not insurmountable...

that being said,

It occurs to me that if I'm just trying it out - I don't/shouldn't really need to drop a bunch of cash on a dozen tools - 3-4 should get me started & if I do like I can add to the set as needed [Amazon ships pretty darn quick]

Any opinions on stubai tools? http://www.stubaidirect.com/wc.html they seem to be moderately priced...

Also - what is the difference between palm and long handled tools? is that just a matter of preference?
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post #8 of 18 Old 02-13-2015, 09:30 PM
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As long as you are getting chisels about 10" long I would give them a try. I just wouldn't buy too many until you use them for a while. Some chisels with cheap steel you can't even put a sharp edge on them.

If you are going to carve some wood that is very soft like basswood then palm chisels might work for you. I just started off and have always used long handled chisels. You just couldn't use a mallet with a palm chisel so if you were to try to carve a wood like walnut you would have a very hard time of it. You would pretty much have to forget trying to carve oak with a palm chisel. I make most every cut on oak using a mallet.
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post #9 of 18 Old 02-13-2015, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
As long as you are getting chisels about 10" long I would give them a try. I just wouldn't buy too many until you use them for a while. Some chisels with cheap steel you can't even put a sharp edge on them.

If you are going to carve some wood that is very soft like basswood then palm chisels might work for you. I just started off and have always used long handled chisels. You just couldn't use a mallet with a palm chisel so if you were to try to carve a wood like walnut you would have a very hard time of it. You would pretty much have to forget trying to carve oak with a palm chisel. I make most every cut on oak using a mallet.
Ahhh - very good point. pretty much anything I will be doing will be hard/dense wood walnut and maple are the wood of choice for stocks...
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post #10 of 18 Old 02-13-2015, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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So its done ....

Straight Chisels ◊ 1 Straight Chisels: 1 - 5mm $27.10
Straight Chisels ◊ 1 Straight Chisels: 5 - 8mm $27.35
V-Parting Tools ◊ 1 V-Parting Tools: 60 deg - 12 - 6mm $31.75
Straight Chisels ◊ 1 Straight Chisels: 11 - 3mm $30.15
CART SUBTOTAL $116.35

Tried to round it out a bit - place is close to me [Sarnia ~ in Canada :)] and did expedited shipping [the only option] for only $10 ... so if things go well I can stock up quickly.. and if they go poorly, they are the Pfiel Swiss made ones, so I should be able to kijiji/ebay them and not take a bath :)

thanks for your help guys.
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post #11 of 18 Old 02-14-2015, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean69 View Post
Funny you should mention making your own ... I was just thinking - proper steel, a bit of hardening & a home made handle & you are good to go. getting symmetrical sweeps might be a bit of a challenge, but not insurmountable...
?
Easier getting a symmetrical sweep than properly tempering the steel. Bladesmithing can be enjoyable but ive lost more than a few blades to the flames. Devils in the details for that, get the tempering temperature off by a bit and first time you tap your newly minted chisel it'll shatter like glass

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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post #12 of 18 Old 02-14-2015, 09:52 PM
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OK now you have some chisels ordered you will need some sharpening stones to sharpen them. I prefer to use natural Arkansas sharpening stones. You would need a coarse, medium, fine and extra fine stones. Also for the final treatment I have a piece of leather stretched over a 1x4 that I load down with a jewelers rouge to strop the chisels. The chisels will need to be sharpened to razor sharp.
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-09-2015, 02:20 PM
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I suggest that you do some serious window shopping at Brownell's online. Bigger and better gunsmithing site than anyone else.
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post #14 of 18 Old 03-09-2015, 06:11 PM
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Here is another good site for carving:
http://woodcarvingillustrated.com/fo...dcarving-forum

http://www.diychatroom.com/

BigJim

Anything is possible IF you don't know what you are talking about.
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-10-2015, 01:02 AM
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Careful. WCI is in the middle of a total software shift for all the forums. The old was hacked and is being replaced. . . . slow. I have to log in twice to do anything and some forums are still closed.

But, it is the world's biggest and best woodcarving forum website. The thread archives can answer any questions. Please do not expect that you can bounce around in there. It gets shut down for days at a time.

www.woodworkingchat.com has a carving forum with some very talented relief carvers. Go there first.

I'm not particularly interested in relief carving as you will see quickly from my threads posted there.
But, I can and will do it as the need arises. As it has over the past 15+ years.
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-10-2015, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
Careful. WCI is in the middle of a total software shift for all the forums. The old was hacked and is being replaced. . . . slow. I have to log in twice to do anything and some forums are still closed.

But, it is the world's biggest and best woodcarving forum website. The thread archives can answer any questions. Please do not expect that you can bounce around in there. It gets shut down for days at a time.

www.woodworkingchat.com has a carving forum with some very talented relief carvers. Go there first.

I'm not particularly interested in relief carving as you will see quickly from my threads posted there.
But, I can and will do it as the need arises. As it has over the past 15+ years.
I was wondering why the site had changed so much, thanks for the heads up.

I agree we do have many talented carvers here.

http://www.diychatroom.com/

BigJim

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post #17 of 18 Old 03-10-2015, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Yea - forums get hacked all the time, especially the older software - if the forum has been around a while there can be hundreds of thousands of posts/users/accounts to migrate to a platform and things don't always go well during migrations of that size. :(
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-10-2015, 12:44 PM
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"Wood Carving Illustrated" seems to have become a contradiction in terms! Most illustrations (avatars and thread pictures) had to be peeled off for the shift/migration. Maybe they come back, maybe they don't, only time will tell.

The carving forum in WWC has a couple of very good and lengthy relief carving tutorials, run by Lora Irish, no less. Next up will be a carved cane topper.
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