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    I had a stroke 3 years ago which left me paralized down my left side. The elevator is still reaching the top and the light is still on, but the left side being on strike sort of gets a bit resstrictive, as I used to be so very active. You no building houses and such. I still do my art but I need more.
    Before I had my stroke I quite fancied doing wood carving but never got around to it, never enough time. But now I have all the time in the world. The only way I can see to do it is by power tools, as holding chisel and mallet, or chisel with a striking palm is a bit of a none starter. but what would you guys in the forum suggest, as to how I should proceed?
    I have always been pretty good with my hands and can still turn a good base ball bat on the lathe, with only the use of my right hand and belly (picture it a one handed guy on a lathe, you use what you got. Nobody said it was easy, but you get on with it and don't whing about it )
    What I need to know is:-
    1/ Are there power tools out there that would be suitable and where? (Web adresses would be good here )
    2/ How much and are they available in the UK?
    3/ What are the basic tools I am going to need?
    4/ Are their any good books out there that will help me in my quest
    If anyone can help Iwould appreciate it
    Thanks in advance Geoff Burrows

  • #2
    Indiana USA&&


    • #3
      Re: tools

      Hi Geoff, there are a number of power carvers out there, one of which is the Foredom...I'm not an expert but that might be the cadillac. Also with your restriction, you might consider a carvers vise...if you want to carve smaller items and would be cheaper to start with, the dremel is a pretty good little tool also...good carving and God Bless.


      • #4
        Re: tools

        Hi donna,
        Thanks for the encouraging posting. I traded a Scania 18 wheeler that had 450 bhp that also went around Europe every month, for a power wheelchair that does 2.5 mph and goes around the house several times a day ( gotta watch for those speed tickets).But my adapted automatic car, with voice activated talk kit on my CB sorta helps me feel Ok. But as 'Forest Gump' say's sh*t happens excuse my French. (You can take the man out of the truck but ya can't take the trucker out of the man, if you know what I mean )
        Anyway a clean joke.
        Why do gorillas have big noses?
        Cause they have big fingers LOL
        I think I'll manage OK it's just gonna take a little longer I still have my workshop with vice from BC (before clot) and an electric chain saw, that can take a little fore arm adaption for one hand use,( it beats trying to chew the excess off )
        Thanks for the encouragement anyway Donna. It sure does my ego the power of good.
        I saw a power carver on the 'Norm Abrams' show 'The New Yanky Workshop' it looked like one of those electric sheep shearer tools, but with what looked like, a large craft lino cutter blade on it.
        When he used it, he cut a deep hollow gouge out, the shape of the letter he had drawn. I think he said the bits where inter-changable to cut 'V' grooves and various other types of cuts. now one of those would be nice. One can live in hope.


        • #5
          Re: tools

          Glad to see that you still have the Dunkirk spirit. As a power carver myself, I am a bit biased, but there is no limit to what you can do with a few good tools. I know that the Foredom flex-shaft machine is available in the UK, and this is a very good all-around tool for power carving. For the finer detailing you may want to add a micro-motor tool such as the Gesswein. (Very expensive though.)
          A tilt/swivel vise is definitely a must for your situation, and with this you could always do chisel and gouge work useing palm chisels.
          Fox Chapel Books will shortly have 'Power Carving Manual III' available, and this upcoming issue is packed full of techniques, tips, and how-to articles. If you will e/mail me your address, I will make sure that you get a copy as soon as it is back from the printer. In the meanwhile, try some of the local chapters of the British Decoy Wildfowl Carvers Assn. Many of the members have power tools and may be willing to let you try them before you purchase your own.
          Good luck and Happy Carvin'


          • #6
            Re: tools

            Hi, George!

            I have post-polio, and have limited use of arms and legs, use a power chair, too. I quilt and I've taken up woodcarving.

            I do both relief carving and figure carving. I'd recommed that you start with figure carving, using a carver's vise and a dremel with some basic bits and burrs. If you have normal, or near normal strength in your hand, then you should have no problem.

            It is possible to cut away waste wood (lots) for figure carving, but I'd advise finding a friend or a friendly shopkeeper with a band saw. I find that they will generally help us wheelchair-bound folks if they possibly can. Use this maybe as a way to get to know someone who can become a great carving friend. I have.

            Email me if you'd like to talk more.


            • #7
              Re: tools

              Hi Geoff,
              Your limitations just require some creative thinking and adaptations. Was your left side your pre-stroke dominant side? Anything can be accomplished where there is the desire.
              There are many different types of carving that would interest you.
              The power carving with small hand held units certainly makes sense. There are some very nice holding devices for the wood that allow all kinds of positions with only simple releases. You anchor the base of the carving to the device. The vise is secured to the table. The one I am thinking about has a ball base in it that rotates and then is fixed in position. If this interests you , I will dig out some info and post it. It is simple to adjust. The power units can be suspended from hangars.

              I hope that you still consider small hand held tools as an option too. I do not see that your stroke eliminates them either. You can use a combination of power and hand tools. These would be ones that would not require a mallet.

              Maybe you would like relief carving. These are anchored in 'frames' of sorts on table tops that would assist you in securing the wood. How about some power carving and then wood burning? Animals and birds are perfect subject matter.

              Now let's go a totally different direction. Have you ever worked with clay? This is very forgiving and alot of fun. The tool requirements are minimal. The one I would get is Super Sculpey. If you can get it at $7 per pound, as in weight not monetary, that is a good price. If you do figures, this will improve your carving abilities. I can expand upon that if that strikes a cord with you.

              As you can see there are different ways to look at things. There are many experienced and helpful people at this site to help you. As my wife reminds me, obstacles are what you see when you are not focused on your goal. Hang in there buddy. From across the pond.


              • #8
                Re: tools - rubber mesh?

                I don't know if this will be of help to you, but it may handy to others who aren't using power tools, maybe not too, who knows?

                At any rate, I found a small table to use for carving, but it has one of those kitchen tabel finishes, formica, or plastic, or whatever the proper word is. The plywood I placed on top was always slipping around and the whole idea just wasn't working.

                While wandering through the local Walmart I saw some rubber mesh like material people put in their cupboards to keep glasses and such from sliding around. I bought four feet of it for a couple of dollars and layed it out on the table top. Put on the playwood, and may as well have been nailed down! I sometimes use it by itself for relief work (the second piece I have ever take it for what its worth) when I am only removing wood and it seems to hold very well on a square foot or bigger piece of wood.

                I don't know if it would help you hold things in place or not. Not using power tools I have no idea what it's like. Good luck though, I am sure your work can not turn out any worse than mine will! Hopefully better.


                • #9
                  Re: tools

                  Welcome to the Message Board! Hope you return often. I read all of the other posts and they pretty well cover the subject. However, one little detail was not mentioned that might be helpful. An adjustable arm rest to support your arm and wrist as you carve. It is difficult for me to hold even a light power tool 'up in space' without support. Depending on how tall the vise is, you might get away with something as simple as a stack of books. I'm sure there are many clever fellows in the UK who could design and build somthing fancier. Just a thought...good luck!


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