Can you recommend me a good basic wood carving set - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-13-2018, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Can you recommend me a good basic wood carving set

I have nice oak floor boards that I want to carve pictures on for a large project I'm doing, the carving if good enough will be about 6 inches by 20 inches wide and be a nice decorative piece o the wall in the place I'm doing up. I've never carved before but can pick things up reasonably well and have plenty of bits of oak floor boards to practice on.
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-13-2018, 02:49 PM
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First of all if you are not an experienced wood carver you don't want to carve oak. The chisels have to be sharpened at a different angle than softer woods and just the amount of work and time is about four times as much on oak than softer woods. Woodcarving is a very time consuming art anyway. I think you would do yourself a favor by buying some softer wood such as poplar or alder to learn on. Walnut or mahogany is good to carve but more expensive.

As far as a set of chisels they don't really come as a set except for the cheap junk chisels. You buy individual chisels depending on the type of work you intend to do. If you could post some pictures of what you wish to carve it would help us with a starter list.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-13-2018, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Its basically just going to be a scene of the countryside with a mountain and various pictures of outdoor pursuits eg hiking, surfing etc blended into one scene. I can't be more specific as I haven't finalised the picture yet. I saw this set on a woodworkers website and was thinking this is the sort of thing I need: https://www.woodworkersinstitute.com...s-carving-set/

And noted about using softer wood!
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-13-2018, 03:54 PM
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That is some nice chisels, but like Steve said, you are going to have a heck of a time carving oak.

http://www.diychatroom.com/
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-13-2018, 04:03 PM
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Reads to me like the OP wants to do a relief carving in a wood panel.
There is a process to relief carving = what to do first, second, third and so on.
Setting in and stop cuts, those kinds of cuttings.


The wood. Oak turns from cheese to bone as it dries. Set that aside for the time being

and do a prototype in basswood, tupelo or maybe even birch at the hardest.)
Might be the easiest way to consolidate your design elements.



It's never a mistake to buy top quality wood carving tools from "open stock."
Most pieces run in the $30 - $50 range. You won't need an adze blade, I pay $100 each and don't blink.


In other words, one at a time as you need them. That particular kits for relief carving looks quite sensible.
Since they give you the list of sizes and sweeps, what would the equivalent Pfeil tools cost? Stubai?
A small (12-16 oz) wood carver's mallet with a polyurethane face will give you more control in hard woods.



About 1/2 your learning will be maintaining your tool edges in "carving sharp" condition.
Consistent bevel angles day in and day out and all day long. This is different from woodworking sharp.
There are maybe 4-5 different sharpening and honing techniques which all produce exactly the same result.
Again, you have to pick one, experiment and learn it to become proficient.


Make some chips. Any kind of wood(s). I expect it wil give you something to think about!
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-13-2018, 06:41 PM
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there are sets and there are sets.
I would buy just the profiles you need for the job
and add more as you gain experience.
if you can find some Bass Wood, that would be good to practice with.
get to know the tool and how it acts in your hands.
not just the tools, but you must have the knowledge of how to properly
sharpen them and keep them sharp. a dull gouge is a dangerous tool !!!
carving is fun !! but can be extremely frustrating if you don't have the
skill, patience, correct tools and correct wood to start with.

and since you are in the UK, it may be a little more difficult to find
the tools and wood there that we take for granted here in the U.S.

.

.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-13-2018, 07:21 PM
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Double ditto on Mr. Smith's commentary. Oak is tough but doable however you will be come expert at sharpening. Also carving Oak is not for the faint of heart.



Check out www.MaryMayCarving.com



and...


This is a really good selection of quality starter tools.

http://www.chippingaway.com/shop/han...oodcarver-set/

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post #8 of 12 Old 11-13-2018, 11:06 PM
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I have no YouTubes so my decades of carving and sharpening cannot be trusted to the perfect tools and the perfect woods as shown.
Do a prototype. Learn what "carving sharp" means and learn to do that for all your edges.


Many of the magnificent carvings in history are done in England by English carvers with English tools.
They have a very good grasp of steels and carving English Oak. Visit some churches. Spell Sheffield.



Many of the carvings in Buckingham Palace had to be done in fresh oak so that they would shrink to fit.
The Americans learned how to do this when National Geographic tried to document the fire repairs.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-13-2018, 11:57 PM
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Assuming you wish to carve something like this I would recommend these chisels.
1 12oz or heavier woodcarving mallet
1 set common carpenters chisels 1/4" through 1"
1 V-groove or parting tool 6mm
Sweeps 3 25mm
Sweeps 5 8mm
Sweeps 8 22mm
Sweeps 8 6mm
1 set of Arkansas sharpening slip stones coarse through extra fine
1 piece of leather about 2"wide and 1' long and some jewelry rouge.

The sweeps of a chisel is the amount of curve to it. the higher the number the more curved it is. Chisels are in metric sizes and size listed is the width of the chisel.

Don't use sharpening oil with Arkansas stones. Keep them in water 24/7. Water will work fine as a lubricant and keeping them in water will rust away any metal that gets into the pores of the stone making them last nearly forever. Most of mine were bought in the 1970's and work today as though they were new.

Once the chisels are properly honed they need to be stropped on a piece of leather. You can get a piece of leather from a craft store about 2" wide and stretch over a piece of scrap wood and nail on the ends. This will hold it firm to strop chisels on.
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-19-2018, 08:11 PM
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There's a fairly new name making gouges almost identical to Pfeil but just in an economical set.
Reviews I read are all positive. Almost worth the gamble for me.


https://www.amazon.com/SCHAAF-Full-S...ct_top?ie=UTF8


But:
The company admits that none of the edges are carving sharp (no hair shaving).
That underscores the need and the value of making gouge edges "carving sharp."
It's a learned skill.
3M fine finishing automotive sandpapers 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500 which do have measured nominal grit particle sizes.
No guesswork about abrasives. Water is a vehicle, to flush away swarf, not a lubricant. Friction is your friend!
Hone on a hard box card strop with CrOx/AlOx. Tormek and TomZ are good machines.
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post #11 of 12 Old 11-20-2018, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
There's a fairly new name making gouges almost identical to Pfeil but just in an economical set.
Reviews I read are all positive. Almost worth the gamble for me.


https://www.amazon.com/SCHAAF-Full-S...ct_top?ie=UTF8


But:
The company admits that none of the edges are carving sharp (no hair shaving).
That underscores the need and the value of making gouge edges "carving sharp."
It's a learned skill.
3M fine finishing automotive sandpapers 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500 which do have measured nominal grit particle sizes.
No guesswork about abrasives. Water is a vehicle, to flush away swarf, not a lubricant. Friction is your friend!
Hone on a hard box card strop with CrOx/AlOx. Tormek and TomZ are good machines.
That does sound like a really super good price and you are probably right that it's worth at try. ANd they seem to be getting a lot of really great reviews too. I may buy a set myself just for grins.

Sharpening is key to carving and there are many sharpening regimes to choose from. Just pick one and stick with it so you will get good at sharpening. I use Tromek then finish off and touch up) with Japanese waterstones

Last edited by Bluenote38; 11-20-2018 at 06:32 AM.
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post #12 of 12 Old 11-20-2018, 12:12 PM
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About 5(?) years ago, I shifted away from the common european style gouges.
You can see 3 of my adzes in my avatar, they all have a sweep to the end (the blue Stubai is a 7/75.)
I have built more than 2 dozen crooked knives from blades in the styles of Pacific Northwest First Nations carving tools.
Everything is crooked = has a sweep to it.
So all my sharpening and honing is done with abrasives wrapped around mandrels of some sort, even old & dull chainsaw files.
I do the adzes with tennis balls.
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