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  • Relief Carving Tools

    This might be better in the Beginner section, but here goes. For those of you who carve reliefs anywhere from 8x10' to 24x24', or so. What tools do you prefer to use?

    Do you use the 'bent' or 'spoon' gouges a lot? Do you normally outline using the shape of the gouges? Do you use a knife very often? I am trying to get back into doing a few reliefs and can hardly remember the tools that came in the handiest. It seems I remember using one of my old pocket knives a lot. :-[

    Also, any especially good books you can recommend?

    PS: I am NOT a beginner. I just sound like a beginner... :-/

  • #2
    Re: Relief Carving Tools

    I mainly use straight shaft tools. I will use back bent gouges once in awhile. For outlines I use a V tool, but I do use a detail knife for finer areas. For books I recomend anyhing by Chris Pye. Nora Hall has some great videos that I highly recomend. As a matter of fact I will be carving along side Nora Hall this summer. She moved to Michigan so I can take a few weekend trips to study with her. I am really looking forward to it.

    Take Care
    Dale

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    • #3
      Re: Relief Carving Tools

      Where did Nora Hall move to in Michigan? That would be a fantastic weekend trip.

      For info on relief carving visit Bill Judt's site at http://wwwoodcarver.com/AssortedWebPages/myhome.html
      I Cut It Six Times And It's Still Too Short!!!

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      • #4
        Re: Relief Carving Tools

        She moved to Troy Michigan. Visit her web site to get her phone number and you can set up a time. She charges by the hour so you can have a session that would fit within your budget and time allowance. I plan on taking one day sessions. I can leave Milwaukee Friday nights and spend the day carving on Saturday and come home that night.

        www.norahall.com

        Dale

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        • #5
          Re: Relief Carving Tools

          What a jewel of a site. His step-by-step of the Prodigal Son is marvelous! Thanks very much for that reference.

          However, I did not see answers to my questions.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Relief Carving Tools

            You're going to use more gouges than knives. You won't need many bent or spoon bent gouges, but you'll want several wide gouges, meaning 1/2' to 1' wide. You'll use #3's and #5's tuned with the bevel away from the wood. You'll need veiners and parting tools for detail, and a couple of bent versions of those will be useful. Most of my reliefs are deep, pierced decorative carvings such as acanthus, and I only use a knife for outlining and some detail work. You'll want a couple of #9's to remove waste or background. My workhorse is a #5 x 5/8'. Ditto on Chris Pye's books and his suggestions on tools. Add Frederick Wilbur, Dick Onians and Rick Butz to the list of good carvers and authors, especially for relief carving.

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            • #7
              Re: Relief Carving Tools

              I use my set of pfeil palm chisels for relief. Sometimes I set down with the chisel, sometimes I use a chip carving knife. For grounding the background, I found that a dremmel tool rigged as a router with a 1/8' or 1/4' router bit is faster than using a chisel and gives a more uniform depth and a flatter background. A depth gage is helpful, too.

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              • #8
                Re: Relief Carving Tools

                Contact Rick at www.littleshavers.com I just bought some tools from him and they are good and not to pricey, and they come ready to use, as in sharp! He is real good to work with and wont stear you wrong.

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                • #9
                  Re: Relief Carving Tools

                  Short bent ,ie, spoon gouges remove wood in a hole with a lot of effort for the size hole that you dig ,especially in removing backgrounds. May I suggest that you consider several long bent gouges for getting down or background removal. 3/8 to 1/2 inch #5 would be a good starter, a # 3 long bent,1/2 to 3/4(max) inch for cleaning up the background , could be also considered,then see what works next.When you hone,the long bent chisels will be done on HARD leather> to prevent rounding the edge.However,the edge on a short bent tool can be rounded, making it easier to raise the angle of the tool and dig into those tight places. Use a soft leather strop here.. Now should you want termites to do the work, the secret is to get a tatoo device,fill it with sugar water,and inject into all the areas you want removed.Place under a bag of mulch and within a week,presto,a carving, hope I've been of some help nad

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                  • #10
                    Re: Relief Carving Tools

                    I've had trouble with the termite thing in the past, but I will give it another try.

                    I like the idea of the Dremel router.

                    I have seen 'punches' before that can be used for texturing a background, but I can't seem to find them anywhere. I think they come in varying sizes, usually in a packet. One then taps them with a hammer or mallet to get the desired texture. Does anyone know where I can find those 'punches?'

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                    • #11
                      Re: Relief Carving Tools

                      I make my own, take a bolt and a three cornered file and have at it. Doesn't take long and you can make them exactly the size and pattern you want.

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                      • #12
                        www.leevalley.com This will get you to their online catalog.the punches are under 'carvning/handcarving/Lee Velley Texturing Punches


                        Al

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                        • #13
                          Re: Relief Carving Tools

                          Thanks Al. I ordered it online. I couldn't find those things anywhere.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Relief Carving Tools

                            wooden leg,you are buying a set of punches ? I have a set I bought from Ashley Illes. Any interest in doing a comparison? if so, will send out.I paid about 30 bucks,there are 4 punches. App 1/2 inch square,same round,a triangle, and a half by quarter. Bought the things to do a restoration project, used nails welded together instead .They seem to be in the same use range as a side chisel for my carving ,have one ,haven't used it yet. So,if you want to compare the English to other,send snail mail address to [email protected], thanks, cordially nad you will now note,another milestone in computer use 'snail mail' that 12 year old is earning his $50/hr..........

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