Showing posts with the label Tools

Carving Arm

I often get questions about my carving arm and where to get one. I do not remember the source of mine, but I have found that The Woodcraft Shop has a  laminated oak carving arm  for sale. If you are interested in making your own, Woodcarving Illustrated has a Building a Carving Arm article on their site. The article includes detailed plans. A secure way to hold your work as you carve is key to personal safety. Are you using a carving arm or something similar?

Woodcarvers Tool Totes

I really like the look of these woodcarvers tool totes . I think I will have to put one on my wish list. I'm not yet sure which size I prefer. Which one do you like?

Carvin' Jack

I was recently in the woods with my son. He handed me a stick he had been carrying while he went to play a game with some other kids. I happened to have my Flexcut Carvin' Jack with me, so I decided to pass the time by carving a face in his stick. This was my first real opportunity to use the Carvin' Jack and I thought I would share some thoughts about it. The Carvin' Jack turned out to be quite a nice little tool for this kind of ad-hoc carving. It is fairly light and easy to carry with the included leather carrying case. There are three blades with different profiles on each side. All of blades lock securely in place when opened. Because of the design of the blades, the Carvin' Jack is sold in either right or left handed models. I did find it a little difficult to open the blades since they tend to drag other blades open with them. When opening the knife blade, the V-tool and chisel blades would start to come out as well and I would have to push them closed before cu

Bill Judt's Carving Bench Design

Bill Judt has designed a carving bench with a top that tilts and rotates. It is quite impressive. He is offering the plans for a very reasonable price. Have a look.

Clamping Devices for Carving

Here are some of the devices that I use to secure wood while carving. First up is the end-mounted bench vise. A bench vise like this one is very useful for either directly clamping your work or for holding other clamping devices. Note the wooden jaw plates attached to this vise to prevent the metal jaws from marring the work. This is a carving arm (sometime called a carving knee.) This one is adjustable in the angle of the arm. Next to the carving arm is a long bolt with a tapered end that can be screwed into the bottom of a carving and the placed in the slot in the carving arm. A threaded handle is then used to tighten the carving to the arm. Another device that can be used to attach carving to the arm is a piece of plywood with a carriage bolt run through a counter sunk hole. the plywood platform is then screwed to the carving. This device is also clamped onto the arm using a threaded handle or even a simple flange nut with a fender washer. This works particularly well with

Tool Cabinet and Adjustable Light

This is the tool cabinet that I built to go above my workbench. An adjustable lamp is mounted just above it.

Leather Stamping Tools

A carver with leather working experience asked me if the background texturing tools used for leather can be used for wood. The answer is yes, but with a caveat. I have used leather stamps on several carvings. It's hard to see in this picture, but the backgrounds in this carving are stamped with a leather working tool. I use a teardrop shaped, cross-hatch stamp the most. Some stamps will not work very well - especially those with much detail. The stamps work by crushing and tearing the wood fibers. The torn wood fibers will remain torn, but the crushed ones will (to some degree) return to their original form. Therefore, stamps are best used for creating texture, but not for detail. Creating texture will also add color since it will reflect light and take finish differently.

Carving Tools

People often ask me which carving tools I recommend. Generally speaking, for a traditional style of carving, I recommend full sized (sometimes called "professional sized") carving tools. These are usually close to 10 inches in length and are meant to be held with two hands or driven with a mallet. The brands that I have used and found to be of good quality are Pfeil "Swiss Made", Ashley Iles, Stubai and Dastra. Flexcut also make a good line of tools. They have full sized tools that are usually a little less expensive than the other brands listed above. Due to their design, I'm not sure you will get quite as long a useful tool life out of the Flexcut as the others. Before you think I have anything against Flexcut, consider that I measure tool life in decades. You can get a lot of good use out of Flexcut tools. Flexcut also makes some carving tool sets that have interchangeable handles. Changing handles can be a pain for extended carving sessions at your workbench