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Tool Selection

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  • Tool Selection

    Was thinking of purchasing some tools for relief carving so I went through approx. 50 of Ivan Whitlock's carving projects and tabulated the tools he used. Here's what I got.
    34 Projects
    Sweeps Used: 17
    Tools Used: 65
    Most Used Sweeps (10 or more times):
    1 - 10 times
    3 - 66 times
    5 - 37 times
    7 - 36 times
    9 - 20 times
    11 - 39 times
    41 - 30 times Most uses tools (10 or more times):
    3 - 6mm 21 times
    3 - 12 mm 16 times
    3 - 16 mm 17 times
    5 - 12 mm 14 times
    7 - 12 mm 12 times
    11 - 3 mm 21 times
    41 - 12 mm 21 times
    Used 5 to 9 times:
    3 - 14 mm 5 times
    5 - 20 mm 8 times
    5 - 25 mm 6 times

    7 - 20 mm 5 times
    7 - 25 mm 5 times
    9 - 20 mm 7 times
    11 - 6 mm 5 times
    Still confused, but approaching sanity anyway.


  • #2
    Re: Tool Selection

    I can't type either, the 34 projects should read 43.


    • #3
      Re: Tool Selection

      Mr. Whitlock is a professional carver and probably has been accumulating tools for many years. Having the exact right sweep to do a job is the difference between an amature and a professional. HOWEVER, Scandinavian flat plane carving utilizes just a knife. Depends on what you carve


      • #4
        Re: Tool Selection

        Boy Howdy! Thought I would get some insigt into exactly what to buy. Guess I'm still pretty much on my own. Have $200 plus or minus a bit budgeted. I'm sure I can find something to spend it on at KMS in Canada. Up until now my favorite carving tool has been a model 303 Buck pocket knife. Great for what I've been doing but not a relief carving tool (I don't think).


        • #5
          Re: Tool Selection

          200 bucks wont go as far as you'd think but you should be able to get a good little set of tools to start out with. You might think about starting with palm gouges first, they are a little cheaper, and I have seen lots of starter sets out there, Footprint makes a good set, and Pfeil has alot of palm tools (a little more expensive because they are a better tool). I woul say that the esential tools would be a 1, 3, V tool and Veiner the size you choose depends on the size of carving you want to do.
          I Cut It Six Times And It's Still Too Short!!!


          • #6
            Re: Tool Selection

            Thanks, that's going to be a big help (the sweeps and all) I'm definitly going to go with the high end tools; Pfiel, Stubai, etc. I have a couple of flexcut knives and they work great but I don't like the way they feel going through the wood (call me weird). I just whittle away happily with my pocket knife. It's handy - wife goes to the store, I sit on the tail gate and whittle. But, time to move up.


            • #7
              Re: Tool Selection

              I'll give you an Amen on the Flexcut, I have a few collecting dust. I also spent about a year putting down a drop cloth in the living room, getting out the ol' workmate, an goin to it. It makes the wife appreciate you getting a shop set up though.
              I Cut It Six Times And It's Still Too Short!!!


              • #8
                Re: Tool Selection

                I have found in my very limited experience that a few tools fit my needs. What I did was compile lists of recomendations and kits, and chose the middle middle of each type. I ended up with a 1/2' flat chisel, a shallow gouge, a few deeper gouges and a 60 deg V or parting tool, along with one roughout knife. I did buy a small palm set from Paxton first to make sure carving was something I wanted to invest in.

                For my level of carving, there isn't that much difference between a cut made with a 1/2' gouge and a 5/8' gouge. Now if I were highly skilled and doing work for money there would be a big difference.

                FWIW, I spent about $170.00 total for my Pfiel chisels and a Helvie knife. I want to get a detail knife, but it's not that pressing yet. So it can be done on a limited budget.


                • #9
                  Re: Tool Selection

                  Ahhh, the wonders of the internet. There's no way I could get this much (if any) info together without it. Starting to see the daylight now. The only thing I know for sure is GET GOOD TOOLS. I've messed with mechanics and woodworking as hobbies all my 60 years and that's the one constant. Cheap will get you by, but quality always pays in the end even if you have to work with fewer of them.


                  • #10
                    Re: Tool Selection

                    FatEddy, forgive me if my first posting seemed a bit flippant, I was not sure if you were looking for advice or commenting on the bewildering array of tools available. I will add my two cents worth: buy the best you can afford. The Pfeil palm sets are superb. I have acquired 16 of them and use them more than my Pfeil Intermediate set because they offer me better control. I probably own more than I can effectively use but what the heck, I enjoy buying tools as much as using them! $200 US will get you the 12 basic palm tools and maybe a carving knife to boot! I would suggest you also buy a carving glove because the Pfeil tools come RAZOR sharp and it doesn't take but a split second to carve out a sizeable chunk of living real estate.


                    • #11
                      Re: Tool Selection

                      Captain - Kinda both and no offense because one thing I've learned is that things don't always come out the way you want them to, either when you say them or type them. I've been whittling for about five years with by pocket knife but am a total novice when it comes to carving tools. You've pretty much answered what my next question was going to be: Palm, intermediate, or full sized. Looks like palm wins out. P.S. already have the glove works great for filleting fish also.


                      • #12


                        • #13


                          • #14
                            Re: Tool Selection

                            Well, here's what I did - Woodcraft and KMS were back ordered on most of the sweeps I wanted, so I ended up ordering from Stubai. A little more pricy, but I wasn't willing to wait until Oct. so I bit the bullet and busted my budget by a little. Band-aids don't get it when I cut myself it's 3x3' gause pads and a couple feet of 1/2' tape.


                            • #15
                              Re: Tool Selection

                              At least you haven't gotten to the Bedsheets and duct tape phase yet!


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