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  • Wood carving and Whittling books

    I'm a director of the local library friends of the library. We are having our second annual book sale. November and April. Our funds go and fund the Summer programs and special needs of the public library. There is a Library Trust board that buys shelving and books. City took over the building and light/power/heat bills. The library was Provided by a Trust from a Wood Barron of the region. Enough of that - a place you might find books as they are low in price. Check your library for information.

    Now for my find - we, ourselves donate several hundred and buy maybe 50 or more a year. This time I came home with "Wood Carving and Whittling" [ no date! ] Popular Science Publishing Co. Inc. (pre zip days! ) I'm suspecting in the 30-40's. by the Editorial Staff of the Popular Science Monthly.... Anyway it has some real nice information and has a list of wood. Looks mostly furniture and wall/door/fireplace etc. carving. They call basswood 'spongy and "inferior for carving".... has a number of standard and idea chip and other relief carving. The back third of the book is wittling and seems reasonable but shows a lot of Jack knives for the sharp edges. In the front is a chart of sweeps. Interesting.
    Last edited by Claude; 05-07-2018, 08:08 PM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    I was given that book in 1947 as a young carver. The publish date is 1935, but I believe much of the content had been published earlier in Popular Science. I still have my copy.

    Phil

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    • #3
      Now, I've got to pull out my copy and check the date.

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      • #4
        The book has some interesting projects especially in the Whittling section: an old sea captain in the flat plane style, folding knives carved from a single piece of wood, and the 24 piece puzzle that holds the current record on this site for project duration (65 years).

        knives1.jpgpuzzle8.jpg

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        • #5
          Being new into carving, I thought I would go out to my local library and check out a few books. Our library is large and has two floors and is very popular, but, to my surprise, they didn't have one single book on any type of carving. Dismayed, I drove a few miles away to the local Barnes & Noble and, again to my surprise, not a single book on any type of woodcarving on the shelves.

          I remember them being in the library when I was younger and I remember seeing them in that bookstore years ago. The librarian told me that she hadn't had anyone ask about any type of woodcarving books in more than fifteen years and the bookstore told me that the carving books just sat and collected dust, so they no longer carry them in the store.

          It's a twenty minute drive, in opposite directions, to either Woodcraft or Rockler, so I know I can get them there. I'm just surprised that I have to go to a specialty shop to get books that used to be readily available around here. The weird thing is, is that there were even books on bookbinding in the library. You can't tell me that bookbinding is more poplar than woodcarving. My city even has a local woodcarvers group that meets twice a week about fifty yards from the library. I just don't get it.
          Last edited by Fiddlestix McWhisters; 08-15-2018, 08:43 PM.
          Sincerely and Respectfully,
          Fiddlestix H. McWhiskers

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          • #6
            Fiddlestix: Welcome. Books describing carving methods are few and far between.
            Books of patterns and projects are more common and they assume you have the basics. From where?
            Find some carving lessons for the style that you like. Visit a carving club for a few sessions.
            Picking a style will give you a direction that you don't have to stick to if you decide later that something else is what you really want.

            I don't even own the tools to do half the carving styles that you see here in WCI.
            No doubt that each has a useful sequence of what to do first and what to leave until later.
            Maybe you see things in the wood to be carved? Some of us do.

            There are more than 50 good opinions about wood.
            There are more than 50 good opinions about finishing.
            There are more than 50 good opinions about sharpening.

            Brian T

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            • #7
              Carving books are kind of odd...our Baton Rouge library has several, but when they moved into a brand new building a year or so ago they had a sale of lots of books (ones that had no borrowings I suppose) and I picked up several like new ones (mostly WCI published) for two bits apiece...granted, they weren't ones I would have normally bought, but at that price I bought them "just in case." I buy exclusively online under usual circumstances, as that's the only place to find them nowadays.
              Arthur

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              • #8
                There's a new & used book shop in the village. She buys from estate sales.
                I keep an eye out for old First Nations art & carving books. I own some real treasures.
                I've now got excellent illustrations of all 4 of the basic carving styles in the Pacific Northwest.

                I guess they are all for examples.
                Brian T

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                • #9
                  I've found the online videos are more instructive than carving books. However, the books are great for historical research.
                  Bill
                  Living among knives and fire.

                  http://www.texaswoodartist.com

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                  • #10
                    Is that Tangerman's book? I have gotten a lot of ideas from it. Photos are really grainy in my edition, but I still blow them up looking for neat doodads. For example, this photo was intended to show the bicycle, but right below that bicycle was this neat sliding interlocking two cages around one ball which I tackled. Here is a shot of my first stab at it. (I learned some things I would do differently when I get around to making a second stab).
                    Tangerman.jpgIMG_0342.JPG
                    Attached Files
                    HonketyHank toot toot

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fiddlestix McWhisters View Post
                      Being new into carving, I thought I would go out to my local library and check out a few books. Our library is large and has two floors and is very popular, but, to my surprise, they didn't have one single book on any type of carving. Dismayed, I drove a few miles away to the local Barnes & Noble and, again to my surprise, not a single book on any type of woodcarving on the shelves.

                      I remember them being in the library when I was younger and I remember seeing them in that bookstore years ago. The librarian told me that she hadn't had anyone ask about any type of woodcarving books in more than fifteen years and the bookstore told me that the carving books just sat and collected dust, so they no longer carry them in the store.

                      It's a twenty minute drive, in opposite directions, to either Woodcraft or Rockler, so I know I can get them there. I'm just surprised that I have to go to a specialty shop to get books that used to be readily available around here. The weird thing is, is that there were even books on bookbinding in the library. You can't tell me that bookbinding is more poplar than woodcarving. My city even has a local woodcarvers group that meets twice a week about fifty yards from the library. I just don't get it.
                      Thought I might say a few words on library issues. I'm a director of Friends of Library - we pay for all summer play in the county for library taking young people programs and fun. The FoL take donations from the surrounding area as donations and then have two sales a year. Some go nicely but most are $1 or $3 if this years book (fiction). So when Barbara and I pass, or before, our 7000+ books will be given to the FOL for the sales. In those are the golden craft books.

                      My pet peeve with the 'modern' Library is they delete from their shelves books over 20 years old. Might be the Golden Book of all time, it is sold through FOL or trashed. Re-writing History and everything else with the modern Mental "I know best, not those fools before me" - so many good books are sold or trashed. I have high level Math and Physics books that will be in the trash once it doesn't sell once, the library won't want any of it. To bad, they will starve young minds and teach a line of thought that doesn't jive with what we learned. Martin

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lionslair View Post
                        My pet peeve with the 'modern' Library is they delete from their shelves books over 20 years old. Might be the Golden Book of all time, it is sold through FOL or trashed. Re-writing History and everything else with the modern Mental "I know best, not those fools before me" - so many good books are sold or trashed. I have high level Math and Physics books that will be in the trash once it doesn't sell once, the library won't want any of it. To bad, they will starve young minds and teach a line of thought that doesn't jive with what we learned. Martin
                        I don't mean to knock this off topic, but I, too, have this pet peeve. I collect antiquarian books on many subjects and I always try to get the earliest printing I can find to preserve proof of original writings and their intent. As I have noticed that online dictionaries are changing definitions of some words, I collect old dictionaries to show future generations what the classical definitions of words have been and when they changed. I collect children's stories and old sermon books from the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries to have record of the original stories and what doctrines have been held.

                        Want to see what I mean? Here's a popular example: Look at the online definitions of the word "literally" in today's Merriam/Webster dictionary. It can be used as both actually and figuratively. Look at Webster's definition in the 1828 printing and it expressly states that it is "not figuratively" ( I have a hard copy and it's the same). They have addressed this issue, but I am not satisfied with their justification.

                        Bringing the subject back around to the working of wood, I have found examples of modern machinists creating stories, out of whole cloth, about the inefficiency of hand tools, and their techniques, to justify their opinions of the superiority of hand tools to the exclusion of hand tools. Having original hard copies of pre-industrial woodworking techniques is useful in teaching about the simplicities, intricacies, economic efficiency and breathtaking skill of the men of years past.

                        I have spoken to younger craftsmen who are familiar with the works of the shakers and the like, and they simply say that those builders only knew how to make simple furniture and that it took them a very long time to create them due to their crude tools and techniques. Many of these young builders have never been exposed to craftsmen like the 18th century master David Roentgen. When I show them an example like his Berlin secretary cabinet or his roll top desk, they look at it in awe and confusion like many look at Stonehenge. Without old records of those old techniques, the youth are left to make up legends.

                        This is why I cherish old, physically printed books. You can change digital documents and revise and reprint books, but you can't change physical copies of old books. If you have a book written in 1850, you have physical proof of what was written at that time.

                        I hope this little ramble made sense. It's 3:00 am and I am a bit punchy. Nighty night.
                        Last edited by Fiddlestix McWhisters; 08-17-2018, 05:09 AM.
                        Sincerely and Respectfully,
                        Fiddlestix H. McWhiskers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fiddlestix McWhisters View Post
                          Being new into carving, I thought I would go out to my local library and check out a few books. Our library is large and has two floors and is very popular, but, to my surprise, they didn't have one single book on any type of carving. Dismayed, I drove a few miles away to the local Barnes & Noble and, again to my surprise, not a single book on any type of woodcarving on the shelves.

                          I remember them being in the library when I was younger and I remember seeing them in that bookstore years ago. I am currently studying woodcarving in college and have run into a problem with a lack of information. I had a question i need someone to write a term paper for me and https://papersowl.com/write-my-term-paper helped me because it was impossible to find the necessary information in the library, and I had a limited deadline to submit my paperwork to the professor. The librarian told me that she hadn't had anyone ask about any type of woodcarving books in more than fifteen years and the bookstore told me that the carving books just sat and collected dust, so they no longer carry them in the store.

                          It's a twenty minute drive, in opposite directions, to either Woodcraft or Rockler, so I know I can get them there. I'm just surprised that I have to go to a specialty shop to get books that used to be readily available around here. The weird thing is, is that there were even books on bookbinding in the library. You can't tell me that bookbinding is more poplar than woodcarving. My city even has a local woodcarvers group that meets twice a week about fifty yards from the library. I just don't get it.
                          Modern students often have other hobbies and choose other sciences to study. Therefore, for sure, libraries adjust and change the range of books.
                          Last edited by CavinVX; 08-03-2022, 03:56 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Remember that carving, like painting, was a trade. Meant to provide decoration and theological embellishment to churches around the world. Public literacy is relatively recent as were cheap books printed on wood pulp papers.

                            abeBooks.com claims to have 6,000,000 titles to pick from. Honestly, pennies on the dollar for instruction manuals and text books. I've bought some astounding deals, triple the books for the same budget!
                            I don't believe, unless the place is really old, that a library is a good place to go hunting.
                            Instead, chat up a few used book dealers if you can find them. The word gets around, they talk to each other. Our local village used book shop is on the look-out for First Nations art and wood carving books for me. She keeps a list of what she can get, I can tell her what I have and what I want.

                            I've been watching it happen = more and more First Nations wood carving stuff is coming up in YouTube videos. Whole connected series of them. Three, five, fifteen videos in a connected series give you an in depth look at carving tools and techniques. Even if that was not the presenter's intention (normal.)
                            Carving silver (bracelets, earrings, cuffs, pendants, etc) or gold with stone and shell inlay is still done with the door shut.
                            Brian T

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