Archives for March 2014

Weekend Whittler #002

Weekend Whittler #002

Weekend Whittler Wood Carving Newsletter, 2014, Issue #002

Carving Tool Handle Styles

Carving tools come with a variety of tool handle styles, let’s take this time to look at the most common and their specific uses. Shown in the photo above, left to right: palm grip, long straight handled, palm grip, tapered grip, and ergonomic.

Palm handles have a short length from the shaft of the cutting blade and end with a wide, bulbous shape that fits in the center of the palm. The weight of your entire arm from the elbow through the hand is directed by the palm handle into the push cuts of the tool. Palm tools are perfect for long, straight, deep cuts that need a little extra pressure.

Straight handled or long handled tools are griped with the handle reaching across the diagonal of the cutting hand palm. The handle is often 3/4″ or wider in diameter to insecure a solid grip. This handle grip places the cutting stroke in the hand and wrist and gives you total control over small, short, and delicate cuts.

Pencil handled styled carving tools have a wooden or plastic handle approximately 1/2″ in diameter or less, much like a large kindergarten style pencil. These narrow long handles are great for very fine detail work because they are very responsive to small changes in your hand position against the wood.

Thick, long, straight handles are used on carving tools to be worked with a leather or rubber mallet. The extra width prevents the handle from cracking after repeated mallet hits. Often a mallet handle tool will have one or more metal bands at the top of the handle to add more strength.

Ergonomic tool handles are becoming more readily available for the hobby carver. This style is formed to fit within the spaces of your fingers to give a stronger grip during use.

Ergonomic handles are not for everyone, they are not a one size fits all shape.If you have an average or large sized hand they work nicely, but often those with small hands will find the finger shapes along the bottom edge of the handle are too widely spaced for comfort.

Most wood carvers will have a variety of tool handles in their carving kit, ready for use for each of the different types of carving needed to complete a project. There are several excellent beginner/intermediate tool sets on the market that can get you started.

No matter which handle style you chose you can increase your gripping power by adding one or two wraps of flexible self-adhesive bandage around your tool handle. It is easy to apply, easy to remove, and if you have arthritis it can make carving much more comfortable for your fingers and joints.

 

wood carving setail bench knife

If you would like to comment on this issue of the Weekend Whittler Wood Carving Newsletter, please email our studio.
[email protected]
Copyright, Lora S. Irish, Art Designs Studio, 2014, All International Rights Reserved
Chip Carving Basics E-Project by Lora IrishFor more great e-Projects & e-Books visit
ArtDesignsStudio.com

Chip Carving e-Project by Lora Irish

37 page, PDF file format, e-project and the
full cp015 Chip Carving Pattern package
with 100 ready -to-print chip carving patterns.

Supplies needed for chip carving
Creating basswood chip carving practice boards
Knife sharpening
Transferring a chip pattern to your board
Styles of chips – triangles, square, straight-wall,
curve-edge, free form, and accent chips

Work a set of chip progressions

 

Weekend Whittler #001

Weekend Whittler #001

Weekend Whittler Wood Carving Newsletter, 2014, Issue #001

Working with Green Wood

Just to add a note of fun to your weekend, Lora Irish will be posting a quick tip of wood carving, chip carving, whitlling, and even pyrography here on our blog every Friday.  So, please bookmark our blog and visit often.

Late winter is the time for trimming your fruit trees and cleaning the saplings along your fence line. Those wonderful cuttings are perfect for walking sticks and canes. Because of the season the branches and trunks have a lower sap content than you find during the growth months.

With this winter’s storms there is a large supply of downed tree branches waiting to be harvested by the weekend wood carver. It is easy to strip the bark from a green wood stick.

Begin by trimming any small branches from the main stick as close as possible. With a bench knife make several small cuts in the bark at one end of the branch. The knife blade can be teased under the nicked area and then used to pull thin strips of bark off the walking stick branch.

If you are not going to carve your stick directly after harvest paint the ends with any latex paint to seal the wood. Hang the sticks using bailing twine in a cool dark space and allow to dry until next year.

Green wood can be carved if you keep the exposed end grain liberally soaked with a mixture of linseed oil and turpentine – a half and half mix that is thin enough to soak deeply into the fibers. After each carving session, soak the end grain with oil and loosely cover the stick with a plastic bags to control the moisture content.

When the carving is complete keep it in a loose plastic bag and store the carving in an area where the stick will be out of direct sunlight and that has a consistent temperature, to avoid dramatic changes that will cause rapid drying. Allow your carving to dry completely before adding any finishing products – approximately one year for each inch of wood.

Even with these precautions checks, and splitting can occur. This is just a natural part of green wood carving and can add drama to your carving as it emphasizes the delicate, living nature of the wood. If the checking is sever you can use butterfly splints or a hardwood dowel to secure the two sides of the split.

With any green wood or winter storm harvested wood, please be aware that your branches can bring unexpected visitors into the house. Insect eggs can hatch if the wood is stored in a warm area.

wood carving with Lora Irish

Please join us next Friday, 28th when we take a quick look at
Carving Tool Handle Styles.

 

If you would like to comment on this issue of the Weekend Whittler Wood Carving Newsletter, please email our studio.
[email protected]
Copyright, Lora S. Irish, Art Designs Studio, 2014, All International Rights Reserved
Relief Carving Mayan High Priest

Mayan Relief Wood Carving PDF e-Project

33 pages with Step-by-Step Instructions, and Pattern

Follow along with the highly-detailed, well-photographed, step-by-step instruction. This project contains information about the different styles of relief carving, a quick look at the different carving tools and supplies needed, clear tips on working with your pattern, creating layers, as well as complete carving, shaping, and finishing (painting and instruction.This Mayan High Priest is worked in a low relief style of carving.

More great e-Projects & e-Books visit ArtDesignsStudio.com