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  • Tools

    I have been power carving for a short time and would like to try out chisels and gouges and knives, but I dont know what to get. I want to do some round carving and relief carving. Any help is greatly appreciated. You guys are super in your advice and it has helped me so far in getting started on carving that I have done so far. Again, thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Tools

    You will getseveral different opinions from everyone. Personally, it depends on how much you will want to spend and if you will like carving with knives or gouges. My first knife was a Case whililer pocket knife. My next was a Broker carving knife, then a whiltling Jack, Helveies(several), then I bought an Oar(Mylast). Gouges are from differnt brand names like Flexcut and an old set given me from a friend. One should buy a high quaility gouges and lean to sharpen them.
    Hope this helps.
    Safety first then enjoy.

    Kenny S
    Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks


    • #3
      Re: Tools


      I would always recommend that you buy the best quality tools your budget will allow. Poor tools can be hard to keep sharp and lead to a lot of frustration for a beginner.

      A good 'starter set' for beginners is a bench knife with a 1 1/2' or 1 3/4' blade. Good quality, basic knives sell for around $10 and can be bought at most carving suppliers. You will also need a 1/8' 45-degree V tool, a 1/4' #9 gouge, and a 3/8' #6 gouge. Be sure to check to see if the supplier offers the tools already sharpened . Many will either sell their tools 'ready to carve' or will sharpen them for you for only a nominal fee. With these basic tools you can get started carving for between $50 and $150 depending on the brand of tools you buy.

      You will also need to buy and learn to use tools for honing and stropping your tools to keep them sharp. There are nearly as many ways to sharpen as there are carvers and I would recommend finding someone to teach you and tell you what you need to keep your tools sharp.

      As you progress and learn you may want to buy more tools for different carving styles or to do different jobs. I would suggest that you not buy sets unless you are sure that they contain a number of tools you need. Often sets contain tools you will rarely use or that are duplicates of tools you already own and buying and not using these increases the price you pay for the ones you do use, eliminating the 'savings' you get from the set. Again, buy the best tools your budget will allow. Saving a few dollars only to find that the tools are not giving you the results you want is very disappointing.


      • #4
        Re: Tools

        Daryl - I've made most of the mistakes you can make when buying tools. Pretty much agree with everything said above. Buy quality - but, remember, price does not necessarily equal quality. Avoid the ebay stuff unless you know exactly what your dealing with, there is more junk that good stuff on there. However, if you know what your looking for and are patient you can save a little money, not much, but some. On knives - I own a bunch of them and am still buying more, (always looking for the perfect one). About the best for toughness and ability to hold an edge for the price is the 'Murphy,' I'd recommend the 1 1/2' for starters. That's all the brand name recommendations I'm going to make. The two best pieces of advice I can give are:
        1. Learn to sharpen: Get somebody to show you or buy a book, but learn.
        2. Before you buy anything, contact Rick at littleshavers (206) 767-7421 for advice on tools. He is a carver who runs a small mail order company, but will not sell you something you don't need. He's sent me elsewhere more than once.

        Good luck.


        Life is good!


        • #5
          Re: Tools

          Hey guys, thanks for the advice! Now, at least I know where to start!! I also know I am going to have a million questions and where to go for the answers. Thanks loads! I really enjoy the little carving I can do, now I just need to find time to practice,practice, practice. Work seems to get in the way!!!!


          • #6
            Re: Tools

            One of the ways I have found out what tools to get is to take some classes or seminars that are offered around the country. All instructors have their favorite tools but you soon learn what you need. I have about three times as many as I need but all of them seemed important at the time. Soon you will be helping others start and they come in handy for other beginners. I don't loan out my favorite tools.
            Jim McKinney


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