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  • Reciprocating carver

    Hey,
    Has anyone played around with a reciprocating carver? Proxxon sent us one of their little ones to check out. It's a blast!!!
    That relief carving I'm working on for my wife just might get done in time for the holidays!!

    Bob
    www.GrobetUSA.com

  • #2
    Re: Reciprocating carver

    No, I have only used a Wecheer flexshaft. I really appreciate it for doing some detail work. How delicate can you get with it? Is it used mainly for roughing out a piece?

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    • #3
      Re: Reciprocating carver

      Bob,

      I'd be interested in your opinion on it. I've seen them advertized but I have never tried one. I started power carving after an auto accident 'curbed' my edged tool carving, just don't have the strength for what I use to do. But I would be interested in what a reciprocating tool would do for me. I use to do a lot of relief carving, but have a real struggle with it now. No stamina any more to push the gouges. Still haven't finished my first one since the accident, and that's six and a half years later. Small stuff I can handle, and my ship modelling, they take little strength but lots of time. But I miss my relief work.

      I'd be interested in what kind of vibration it gives off, and how heavy it is in the hands? Might be the answer to my problem, or create new ones!

      Regards,

      Bob

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      • #4
        Re: Reciprocating carver

        It's about the size of the traditional Dremel (Before you add the flex shaft or anything.) The kit comes with three chisel heads, a gouge, flat chisel and v-tool. The chisel and gouge are both about 3/4 inch, so you can get pretty detailed. It is easy to control and really cuts cleanly and quickly.

        I think I adapt better to it than the Foredom because it still uses the chisel motion that I'm used to. I still haven't gotten the hang of the flex shaft tools yet.

        I haven't done much with it, but I'm excite to do more than I have...

        Bob
        www.GrobetUSA.com

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        • #5
          Re: Reciprocating carver

          I have the ryobi recip. carver...they don't make them anymore...it works fine....don't use it much as when I first started, I used it, hit a knot and put a couple big dings in the flexcut blade...at the time, I didn't know how to sharpen to any degree so haven't used it since : But I should get it out and try it again :P

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          • #6
            Re: Reciprocating carver

            I have a Riobi the one Dave has I really dont use it much. I have an Arbortech with all the chisels (pretty expensive) but it is really a hog when it comes to removing wood I just love it. I also have a Proxxon great but really not powerful enough for my big carvings but for small carvings it is excellent. I also have a Skil carver that they dont make anymore it was the one that took the Flexcut blades. In fact I have three of them because when they were taking it off the market I was able to purchase them for a good price. I like the Skil really well because it has multipule speeds and never needs lubrication on the reciprocator. Like Dave I have had problems with the Flexcut blades when they hit end grain they seem to chip. I especially find the V blades break when trying to go through end grain and not hard wood, Cedar! As I carve for a living the Reciprocater carvers are really good because they are so fast and cut so clean. Time is money so any advantage I can get helps. I hear that Flexcut are about to release a reciprocating carver but has a hefty price tag about $550.00 US it is supposed to be released in October they said.Checked their web site but nothing yet. Automach also make an excellent reciprocating carver but also very expensive I have used one but dont own one they are also a hog when it comes to removing wood. Hope this has helped.
            Colin

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            • #7
              Re: Reciprocating carver

              Thanks lads, that sounds like it might be just what the doctor ordered! I'll try and get a look at one at the woodworking show coming in November, maybe get to give it a try. I'd better not just jump in and buy anymore tools until I know for sure. 'She-who-must-be-obeyed' might get miffed! This has been an expensive year, and I don't want to push my luck.

              Thanks for the tips,

              Bob

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              • #8
                Re: Reciprocating carver

                I picked up a cheap Tiwannese copy of the Ryobi at a Cummins truckload sale, it came with 6 Ryobi chisels/gouges for $19.99. I've played around with it a little and I guess it works good, just not the same as using handheld tools.

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                • #9
                  Re: Reciprocating carver

                  I have the Ryobi and used to use it to rough-out big carvings. I find my full size tools, with or without a mallet, work faster and require less effort. Mike

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                  • #10
                    Re: Reciprocating carver

                    With the Proxxon (the only one I've had experience with so far), I found a few things...

                    First, the blades can use a good hone before you use them. I tried them right out of the box, and they cut OK, but after I honed them, they cut a lot better. The vibration isn't too bad, and I used it a lot to hog out the background on the relief carving I'm working on. It was cherry, and had a few small knots, but the chisel held up well.

                    My biggest complaint was that it got HOT! I held it like I would a regular chisel, and they put the air vents right where my hand was resting. I could use it for a few minutes, but then had to sit it down for a few minutes. But it was fun!

                    Bob
                    www.GrobetUSA.com

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                    • #11
                      Re: Reciprocating carver

                      I have a Arbortech that I have olnly used a few times, but I was very impressed with the power & smooth cutting. It makes short order out of roughing out pieces to a point hand tools finish up. I have the Flexcut blades for it and they are hands down better than the standard ones that come with the tool. If you are considering a reciprocating type carver, I would recommend the Flexcut blades for sure.
                      A comparison of these type of tools or carving gloves like Isawn in another thread would be of great value. Trial by error is too expensive & time consuming!
                      Thanks-
                      Barry

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