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  • measuring tools for layout

    just curious wat tools might everyone use for layout other than eyeballing it? Maybe a ruler, or compass, center finder, circle maker I have a lot of those things to be honest dont use thwm as much as I should so Im wondering if Im typical or do folks get detailed about measuring their work, I would assume that the better carvers certainly do but perhaps not, do we all just wing it or do some folks use a more scientific approach?

  • #2
    Rick, some people can "wing" it but I need to make measurements. Just the type of person I am and without numbers, I'm lost. I use a square, centering ruler, compass and a template.
    Bill
    Living among knives and fire.

    http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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    • #3
      There are 'points' that have 4 points on two rulers. Draftsmen used them in dimensions. Measure with one and then the drawing with the other two. Scale up or scale down. Likely find a pair (unit) in a pawn shop near a college or such.

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      • #4
        I drew a centerline on each of 50 sheets of 11x17 white copy paper.
        My drawings go on those. Variations get done in colors for comparison = I erase nothing.
        Use dividers and cutout stencils to transfer the drawing to the block or pole.
        I have a 24" compass and other drawing board things.

        The main thing is to redo the center line on the wood. If any of it gets carved off, right to the very end.
        Sometimes, if I know it won't show in the very end, I'll pound nail holes to mark key points.
        Brian T

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        • #5
          Lionslair, I not sure what you're talking about " 4 points on two rulers" Can you share some pictures. Are you talking about an engineer scale+10, 20,30,40, 50& 60 scales? I spent the last twenty years of my working career as an sr. designer for civil engineering firms; therefore, I'm a lot like Bill. I believe the more accurate that I lay something out, the better my mistakes in carving will be.
          . . .JoeB

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          • #6
            Rick,

            Thanks for bring up this topic. I think measuring is under used by most carvers. I do my carvings from photos or sketches front, back, left and right. If I’m not doing a particular person (like my current fly fisherman) I pose myself or I have purchased photos from pose.com https://www.posespace.com/posetool/default.aspx . I enlarge the photo to fit the wood I’m working with usually printing the front and one side view to a transparency.

            When I’m working I can hold the transparency sheet in front and reach behind with a pencil to mark where to remove or leave wood. I do a lot of taking dimensions from the photos to the wood using various calipers. (See photos) My favorite is the double end caliper. At some stages it feels I’m spending more time comparing dimensions and holding up transparencies than carving. On larger pieces I print the photos on graph paper and then do the math to get dimensions right.

            I also keep six pencils and an eraser stick in my tool caddy.

            I don’t want to sound like a jerk but (here I go anyway) I consider myself a better carver and I do a lot more measuring than the guys I carve with locally or at other clubs I’ve visited. Not sure of the cause and effect relationship, but it works for me.

            And don’t get me started on the importance of using a carving vise and full sized tools. Cause for a guy who’s been carving less than four years I do have some strong opinions.

            0F51F193-0888-4AF5-B22C-5A19544F52B8.jpeg7A00EC96-2AD3-4F07-9068-7CFE8B0B18C4.jpeg
            The bust is my grandson who lives overseas his mom took the photos for me.
            Last edited by Nebraska; 10-13-2019, 09:05 AM.
            Ed
            Living in a pile of chips.
            https://m.facebook.com/pg/CentralNeb...ernal&mt_nav=0

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            • #7
              joepaulbutler,

              I think Lionslair is talking about proportional dividers. Google on"proportional dividers". They're helpful. If you were measuring a large ceramic figurine and wanted to carve a smaller wood carving, you would set up the proportion based on a dimension to the figurine and adjust to the desired size.

              You could do the same by taking photos and scaling the photos down to the desired size. Then measure with a ruler and transfer the dimension. You could use a pair of regular dividers to do the same.

              Me? I take a photo and scale it to the desired size and go from there. If it's a complicated piece, I'll do several photos. I also take the side or front photo, print it, and stick glue it to a piece of cardstock/cereal box cardboard. I cut it out and use that as a template to rough out the piece. Then I just eyeball the needed marks from the template.

              ​​​​​​Here's a link to Steve Schoolar's article on portrait carving.

              http://carverscompanion.com/Ezine/Vo.../Schoolar.html

              He talks about transferring measurements from a photo. He's got a good system. I personally would use a push pin and push a hole right through the photo. And then just mark it with a pencil if needed.

              Bob L

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              • #8
                I like to carve in the 10" to 65" range of western red cedar and other woods.
                For scaling my drawings, I use the Lee Valley Pantograph #07K0601.
                I replaced the flimsy wooden frame with 1/8" x 3/4" aluminum strapping.
                Brian T

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                • #9
                  I carve smaller figures and just use a compass like divider...
                  Bill
                  Living among knives and fire.

                  http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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                  • #10
                    Bob L. Just call me JoeB, Thanks for the info, I totally understand now, & thanks for the article, got it printed off, More arrow for the quiver
                    . . .JoeB

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                    • #11
                      I use a six inch square, often pulling the ruler out of the square assembly (similar to https://www.lowes.com/pd/Swanson-Too...Square/1006287) To reduce (or increase) critical dimensions, I usually take a photo or two, then expand or contract using PhotoShop Elements. If I'm in a hurry, I'll just wing it: Original is 8 inches tall, I want the carving to be 4 inches, so every measurement on the carving is half that of the photo...

                      Claude
                      My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                      My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                      My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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                      • #12
                        Well, Claude looks like my square is very similar to yours. Handy tool.
                        Bill
                        Living among knives and fire.

                        http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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                        • #13
                          You're welcome JoeB.

                          Bob L

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                          • #14
                            I never thought about it much, but besides some templet, computer and printer here are the tools I have pretty close to my carving bench. When you learn to draft by hand it's hard to get rid of those habits.
                            . . .JoeB

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                            • #15
                              I use the same sort of set up as JoeB, those scale sheets work great to get the face correct on a carving.

                              Bob
                              Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

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