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hello again and things i learnedm

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  • hello again and things i learnedm

    as some of you might remember awhile ago i decided to hang up my knife and go back to scroll sawing which i did, however i didn't completely put any the knife and since have learned a lot bout carving i didn't realize before. I am going to present some observations and hope i don't violate anyone sensibilities but if some of these things help someone great.
    I carved for probably 20 years never being as successful as i wanted it want until iu stepped away from the craft and looked back in did i see some things i did wrong. I struggled with a lot of stuff which i will try and list and explain what I might have done better.
    First I never wanted to use a rough out I always figured that was somehow cheating so I spent hours and hours (before bandsaw) chopping off waste and when I finally got to the subject I was tired of the piece and it made it immensely harder to do a good finish job. Like dave sable says the last 10 percent requires 90 % percent of the effort. Since I quit carving I have tried a couple of rough outs in violation fo my own principles and its much more rewarding and the end result is much better. So iff your a beginner, or struggling try a rough out you might be glad you did
    Second sharpening. I have probably 20 stone from cheap hardware stuff to japanese water stone, I have every widget and doo dad on the market and always struggled to get a really fine edge. I mean I can put a edge on a gouge to die for, a knife its a three day tourney. Here is what I learned save your money buy a tormek. In the long run you will save money and not have 20 stones and sandpaper lying around. I can put a really great edge on a knife in three minutes with the tormek even if i freehand it.
    third knives and such I have ended up with a couple brands I like and believe me I have had and still do, probably 30 to 50 of them. My requirements for a knife isn't everyone else.s but my advice is to know first off what you want in your knife and how it applies to how you carve. I like long thin blades and in the past have spent hours cutting a thick blade down to what I wanted. Some folks like them long and some short I like them long> I won't recommend one over the other but again like the tormek thing don't fiddle around too much with making knives buying cheap stuff adapting this to that and fiddle fiddle. There is about 30 knives that re going int he garbage as I speak and I will stick with the two I have learned to like. Likewise gouges. IN Europe everything is the gouge, great for them if you can afford all that i have learned again the hard way get one gouge and work it at every conceiveable angle you can learn to work that tool and get everything you van out of it before you plunk down money on another gouge. I carved a lot of bowls in my carving days and I spent money on deep gouge this and bent gouge that and blah blah, I have made a couple bowls since I "quit" carving and went right to the die grinder and turned it out in a afternoon. No gouge needed. Not the purist idea of carving to be fair but there are 10 bowls gouges gathering rust in the garage that I might use again so IM not going to toss them but essentially they were a waste of money.
    Lastly I stuck a gouge thru my index finger a few years ago and severed a tendon, after four surgeries it is still severed I don't care how good you are if you carved the mona lisa or whatever donte believe the hype nor the advertising get a chain mail glove and wear it like you love it.
    Hope I didn't offend anyone or bore you and I got to run my wife wants me to take the pizza out of the oven. Peace to all of you you were all good guys ( well most were) and I hope your carving is rewarding and safe.

  • #2
    Hey Rick, good to see you haven't given up carving! Stepping back and taking another look at it seems to have worked for you. Thank you for sharing your observations. All these things you point out are so very true. I hope you will show us some of your work. Glad you got the sharpening down, I still struggle with that.

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    • #3
      Nice to hear from you again Rick, and it's interesting to read your reflections on your experiences with carving. We all need to take time to examine our approach to various activities in our lives - what works and what doesn't.

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      • #4
        Glad to see you back, Rick! Like the saying goes, "different strokes for different folks." We all need to figure out what works for us and what doesn't, and one size doesn't fit all...good that you've found your groove!
        Arthur

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        • #5
          Socrates would be proud. Welcome back.

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          • #6
            make then chips fly
            . . .JoeB

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            • #7
              This is why I love this forum, tons of different kinds of advice. I have also my long list of failures and retries. What worked for one person did not work for me, try the next person method...somewhere along with the long lessons of time, I found methods that I loved and some I hated. I spent too much money on power tools that were worthless in the long run, but guess that is part of the lessons. I learn tons in the beginning from rough out carvings and agree it is easy to learn what to do and not do. Somehow ...some way we all find a path of our own. Which is magic at times.
              . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di

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              • #8
                dileon you are magic my dear take care

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                • #9
                  Glad you're back, Rick!

                  "until I stepped away from the craft and looked back in did I see some things I did wrong." Very astute observation! One bit of advice I got from the forums was to take a photo of the carving in progress and really LOOK at it. The camera doesn't lie. Makes it easy to see where more wood needs to come off. I also heard that if one doesn't have a camera handy, putting a mirror on the carving bench is almost as good. The reflected image also makes it easier to see what you should do more of...

                  Chainsaws, die grinders and other rotary power tools are legitimate carving tools. As we all get older, it becomes more difficult to hold knives and gouges; power tools allow us to continue to carve when we otherwise would need to take up a new hobby...
                  My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/
                  My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/
                  My Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/claudeswoodcarving/
                  My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

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                  • #10
                    I just say amen to everything you wrote, Claude. This entire carving journey is a constant learning experience. Thanks for the words of advice.

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