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  • New to deep Relief

    I am getting ready to try my hand at a few deep reliefs, really been wanting to try this, it will be my first time.My question is how do you experienced deep relief carvers secure the board, i am looking for something I can secure different shapes and sizes with out having to fasten it down with screws to a board, thanks for your help and advice, its greatly appreciated.
    Mark N. Akers
    My Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KarolinaKarver

  • #2
    Mark,

    We have a relief carver in our club she uses foam shelf liner.

    1CB62FF0-9F5D-4B87-BEE6-DFE9DB283024.jpg
    Last edited by Nebraska; 12-04-2022, 09:36 AM.

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    • #3
      Hi, Mark, Good seeing you going outside your Box. I made this Fixture years ago for the Purpose that you want . Hope you can see how it's made and find a use fr it. Merle IMG_0003.jpg

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      • #4
        Mark, Sounds great you're getting into deep relief. There are a lot of different ways of securing the carving. I've used the ones above and I've also used large spring clips with a thin piece of cork to protect the surface of the carving. A lot depends on how big of a carving you're doing. Another factor is whether you'll want to change the position of the carving to give you a better angle to use a tool. I used the foam shelf lining for a lot of different woodcarving. So it works rather well as long as you're not being too forceful. I've used the bench look like the one above as well as on with holes for dowels and a cam to lock in the carving. Hope you find the holy grail that woodcarvers always seem to be looking for.

        BobL

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        • #5


          I also use various methods depending on the size. I make these braces depending on how big the project is. Cheap and fast... plus easy to turn the carving as you work on it. .Also..alternative method is I get wood planks and hold them down on the table with timber braces and use this as a holding backboard. At times I also nonsliding mats for wood. If I have small work...I use the board the Merle showed. I do not like drilling holes into the table if I can help it..so use the methods above. Right now I am using timber braces with wood boards and the nonskid mats.
          Last edited by DiLeon; 12-04-2022, 11:07 AM.
          . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di

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          • #6
            It has been a while but when I have done deep relief I cut a 1/2" piece of plywood 3" larger than the hight and width of the project. Then drilled a large hole in the center of the ply wood. I set the project on the center of the plywood and using 1"x2"s I framed the project in screwing the 1x2s to the plywood. This held the work firmly in place. With the hole in the center of the plywood it is easy to pop it out of the frame when needed. After the 1x2 frame is in place that leaves a 11/2" around the project that I could use to clamp it in place. I use this jig on a number of projects that were the same and smaller sizes. May work for your project.
            Last edited by Randy; 12-04-2022, 11:26 AM.
            We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi
            https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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            • #7
              Since all my carvings are small,6x3", I'm what I call a belly carver. with a heavy glove on my left hand, I'm right-handed, and a thumb guard on my right thumb, I hold most of my carvings against a 6x12" x1/4" piece of leather I got attached to my apron. My carving bench has a small lip on it that I also use. Not very exotic, but it works for me.
              . . .JoeB

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              • #8
                I do mostly reliefs, but do not consider it one form of carving - it is several. How thick is the wood? How deep into that thickness will the carving go? Will the gouges be mallet-driven or hand pushed? By "deep relief" I am thinking of leaves and flowers where you can put your finger around the stems. Objects in the design may be undercut by 1/2" to 3/4." I have reliefs that are "pierced" - they go through the wood.
                I secure my carvings to a flat bench top with a single clamp so I can frequently change the position. I use a camming-type clamp that releases with a single lever.
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                This gallery has 1 photos.
                Last edited by pallin; 12-04-2022, 07:00 PM.

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                • #9
                  Thanks so much for the input, have a great bunch of ideas to ponder and give a try, looking foward to giving this a go. Thanks Pallin, im probably using the wrong terms on this calling it a deep relief, Im using 1" slabs and going 3/4" at the deepest, they are lighthouse scenes that I am going to attempt.
                  Mark N. Akers
                  My Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KarolinaKarver

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                  • #10
                    That is about what I try to do 3/4-2/3 into the board. I always set and look at the image I'm going to carve and pick out the different height zones I want to have that way when I start on the highest point I don't go too deep, again my 2¢ for what it is worth
                    . . .JoeB

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                    • #11
                      Mark, when carving irregular relief pieces, I've found that the best was to secure them is to drill random holes all over a base piece of plywood, placing the carving on the base, then inserting dowels in the appropriate holes adjacent to the carving. In effect, you are jamming the carving between the dowels. I secure the base to the edge of my carving bench with bar clamps. Works very well.
                      Arthur

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mark N. Akers View Post
                        Thanks so much for the input, have a great bunch of ideas to ponder and give a try, looking foward to giving this a go. Thanks Pallin, im probably using the wrong terms on this calling it a deep relief, Im using 1" slabs and going 3/4" at the deepest, they are lighthouse scenes that I am going to attempt.
                        Mark, that would be mezzo, or middle relief generally, but in my opinion, the depth would be in relation to what you're carving. Say you had a 12 x 16 x 1 inch board and you were carving the Battle of Waterloo with many small figures on it with extreme undercutting and several levels: I would call that deep relief. If you were carving say a single sunflower that took up most of the board, you wouldn't have enough depth to the board in relation to the size of the flower to do a deep relief. That's my take on the terminology.
                        Arthur

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                        • #13
                          One thing that various forms of relief carving share is the illusion of depth. As Arthur commented, if your subject is the Battle of Waterloo, getting all the elements of the scene to appear with the right perspective requires careful separation and undercutting. I actually don't describe my own reliefs as deep or shallow. The tutorial on "Levels of Relief" by Susan Irish in this site is very helpful on this concept:

                          Where many relief carvers approach a project by carving individual elements, one at a time, fully developing each before moving on to the next. I prefer to first
                          Last edited by pallin; 12-05-2022, 09:48 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Years ago I made a contraption similar to Merle's. Even though I don't do much relief carving it still comes in handy and every once and a while I use it to provide extra leverage while carving in the round.

                            Carving Board.jpg

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                            • #15
                              I made a device similar to Merle's shown above. While I don't do any relief carving, I use it from time to time for carving my lil' guys. Often I use it to display my carvings at a show. The first picture shows the 'device' along with my toolbox, and the second picture shows the 'device' on top of my toolbox, showing my lil' guys at eye level (or close to it) for the world to admire.

                              I haven't seen anyone else do this, but viewing small carvings at the height of a table top, isn't as effective as propping them up another eight or nine inches. I find people are often as interested in my setup and tool box, as they are with my carvings.

                              Small Tool Tote & Wood Carving Board.jpg IMG_0057.jpg
                              Rodster

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