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WIP and booboos

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  • WIP and booboos

    The sheep is my second piece...booboos include (1)lobbing of ears,gouging too deep(2)starting of realistic and catching the funny bug and turning it into a cartoon square sheep. (3) Having difficulty cleaning its butt as I cant figure out what tool to use. (4)Spent 2 hours(cumulatively) sharpening micro tools and cant move it across the wood. I can use the microtools on other pieces just fine tho (5) Hard as heck piece of basswood ( how is that my booboo?) (5) Turning if from 2 x2 piece and correcting mistakes till its 1.5x1.3.

    Oldman zombie as I call him is piece will see 2 phases to him.Before pompom hat and after. (1) Messed up the eyes almost immediately. Tools must not have been sharp enough...or I BLAME THE WOOD.!! .(2) This one is dry and splintery while the sheep was hard and unpredicatable ( Sudden spots of hardness) It splintered all the way. (3) One eye is deeper then the other because of all the splinting. (4) Lost an eyebrow in trying to sand. Making him look very much more then a zombie then a kind old man. (5) Didnt budget enough space for beard. Gouge and splinter bits of his beard. (6) Still splintering as I continue to sand.
    Hoping wood putty, sanding and painting will help rescue them. But that will be a story for another day....SHould we have a new section in Forum call "BOOBOOS?!"....At least I have narrowed down my beginner mistake to....err not sharpening tools well enough and needing more tools( lol)

  • #2
    Re: WIP and booboos

    mischief, i think you are way too hard to yourself. these are your first pieces, and they are great ! the sheep is cute, and a face is a demanding project, and you did very well for the first try. the nose is nice, the facial structure too. the flow of beard is pleasing too...
    the eye can be rescued, if you want to. i cant see from the side, but i guess you still have a lot of wood left, to cut eye a little deeper again, ,,,same for the brow you lost...and the beard is easy to fix, just cut away the lower two corners which make it sparish on bottom and thus tells us you intended to make it longer. cut these corners away, and form a point about in the middle. voila, beard a little shorter but rescued, and noone will ever notice you made a booboo there ;-) ...
    the sheep tail area can be cleaned up for example with a rather flat small tool, doing first stop cuts along the "wool area" and then carve towards it with the rather flat tool,,,
    as to the number of tools, i think there you err. probably you have all you need. i do most of my carvings with just 4 or 5 tools, ... every tool has many different uses, so i would recommend instead of buying more new tools, try figuring out what each of the tools you have can do. you will be amazed, what for example a single tool, say a #2 , 5mm can do... keep carving, you are dowing very well :-)


    • #3
      Re: WIP and booboos

      Hi Mischief, Welcome to the world of Wood Carving. Especially mine. Making mistakes is a learning process. It looks like you still have enough wood left to save your piece. I keep going deeper till I find the part that I screwed up. It is usually found but if not look at the experience you got. So my advice to you is GO DEEPER and HAVE FUN DOING IT. Merle


      • #4
        Re: WIP and booboos

        Dang you are doing really really well I think. Nice pieces!



        • #5
          Re: WIP and booboos

          I agree with Doris these are great pieces for your first time. What I can see from the photos they are still workable, Its probably best to step back and take a long breather because you sound quite frustrated, Then sharpen your tools and then jump back in. I am not sure were you got the wood for booboos but I highly recommend heinecke wood you can't go wrong and you will have a much more enjoyable time carving.Cowboy



          • #6
            Re: WIP and booboos

            Ya done a fine job on all the pieces. Love that cute little sheep.


            • #7
              From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success.

              Hi Mischife,

              You are doing fine. No effort is waisted if you learn something from it. I'm sure you heard the old saying, "You need to break a lot of eggs before you make an omelet."

              Your face can be salvaged by carving it a bit deeper. But I say to you, no, don't fret any more over this piece. It is a learning experience and you should keep it to look back on to remind you of better ways to do it next time.
              Now the problem you had with the splintering wood is a common one. An old west coast Heida Indian carving trick is to soak the wood in water for a few days. Submerge it, the deeper the better, and let it soak up some moisture. Then remove it from the water and let it dry out a bit before carving. This rejuvenates the cells of the wood and helps it be more pliable. I've heard of them soaking logs for a year or more before carving a totem pole.
              Whenever soft dry wood is carved you need to have your tools as sharp as they can be. This is a good reason to learn to put an edge on your tools yourself. IMHO it's part of the craft and waiting to have your tools come back from the sharpener is a frustrating, time waisting experience. You read my tips on sharpening. All you need are a few scraps of wood, a piece of glass and some sandpaper of the right grits and some stropping wax. The rest is technique that you can learn. If I may say, persist in this and learn to do it for yourself. You wont regret it.

              The sheep. You made the rookie mistake of having the grain go in the wrong direction. The grain should have gone up and down and not front to back. That way you would have had 4 sweet sides to carve and only the top would have been challenging due to cutting across the grain.
              The detail you are attempting would be difficult for an experienced carver, considering the grain orientation. If you want to know how I would solve this particular problem, I would resort to a Dremel with a small round stone and grind the carving the way I wanted it. The stone would remove the difficult end grain and leave a smooth surface. Don't run the tool too fast or it will burn the wood. Slower speeds, gentle pressure, rapid movements will work best.
              Cross grain carving is the hardest way to carve no matter what chisel you use and should be avoided as much as possible. You must learn to make the grain work for you and not against you.
              Once again I say. Lesson learned. Keep it for posterity and move on to a new block of wood. Perhaps carve the same thing, only this time, use what you have learned and see what the difference is.

              So much of carving is like making sketches in wood. Some are good sketches and some miss the mark we were aiming for. Try and think of carving this way and remember that if you even only learn one thing while making a sketch, then it wasn't a waist of time. You can't learn anything if you never make a mistake. As with anything, the more you do, the more you will learn, the better your carvings will be. So don't get all bogged down with pieces that go wrong. I'm not saying you should never try to fix anything. Sometimes the fix is the learning experience.

              A rhyme for you.

              Every busted bubble has a glory.
              Each abysmal failure makes a point.
              Every glowing path that goes astray,
              Shows you how to find a better way.

              So every time you stumble, never grumble.
              Next time you'll bumble even less.
              For up from the ashes, up from the ashes
              grow the roses of success.

              For every big mistake you make, be grateful.
              That mistake you'll never make again.
              Every shining dream, that fades and dies,
              generates the steam for two more tries.

              There's magic in the wake of fiasco.
              It gives you that chance to second guess.
              Then up from the ashes, up from the ashes
              grow the roses of success.

              Disaster didn't stymie Louis Pasteur.
              Edison took years to see the light.
              Alexander Graham, knew failure well.
              He took a lot of knocks to ring that bell.

              So when it gets distressing, it's a blessing.
              Onward and upward you must press. Yes yes!
              'Till up from the ashes, up from the ashes
              grow the roses of success.

              Grow the roses.
              Grow the roses.
              Grow the roses of success.
              Yes, yes!
              Grow the roses.
              Those Rosie roses.
              From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success!

              Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman

              From the movie "Chitty Chitty-Bang Bang"

              Always helps me out of a hole.



              • #8
                Re: WIP and booboos

                Thank you so much!!GardenGnome. I feel much better with the mistakes identified. LOL against the grain...didnt even realise that!!Bang Bang Chitty Bang Bang helps a great deal too. =)

                Your sharpening tips were great. I love my micro v-gouge now!! Possible my sharpest tool( which clearly I am not!) asides from those from RIck. I am however having the dickens of a time sharpening the micro u gouge from 2 cherries and am trying out various technique from books. Can I use your sandpaper technique and what should I vary for a u gouge?


                • #9
                  Re: WIP and booboos

                  Sure, Mischife. You can use the sandpaper to sharpen anything.

                  Place a piece of sandpaper on a piece of glass and it is just as effective, if not more so, as a stone. Much cheaper too.

                  To sharpen a "U" gouge is easy. I'll lay out the steps as though the tool were not square or has a damaged edge and needs repair.

                  1)- Repair the square edge by holding the chisel at 90 degrees to a piece of 400 grit sandpaper placed on a piece of glass. A wood block can help to keep the tool a perfect 90 degrees while you sand the new edge. As with the"V" gouge you want to only sand the toll enough until you have a new flat surface that goes all the way across the face of the tool, from side to side.

                  2)- Clamp the chisel in a vice so that light reflects off the new flat edge in a way that you can see the reflection while you work the new edge with a sanding stick.

                  3)- Start working a new edge with a 400 grit sanding stick. Make the new surface to be about 25 to 35 degrees to the flat of the inside of the chisel. Place a stick in the flute of the tool so it protrudes past the cutting edge and this will give you the true line that you want to make your tangent from. Work the edge all the way around the "U" shape, keeping the angle of attack the same and stop when you reduce the new flat surface to 1/64". Remember to take your time and use a magnifier. You will develop a rhythm. Start slow and the rhythm will speed up as you find your grove.

                  4)- After you have established the new shape with the 400 grit, move to 600 grit and work the edge until the reflection disappears. Start on one side and slowly work your way across the blade to the other side.

                  5)- Once that is done remove the tool from the vice. It should be sharp enough to carve a channel in a block of soft wood so you can make a stropping trough. Like the "V" gouge, place a piece of sandpaper over the trough and pull the tool back over it keeping steady pressure. Only a few times, then fill the cut with stropping wax and then drag the gouge back through he trough. Make the corner of the wood block round so it will fit into the flute of the gouge, rub with stropping wax and use it to strop the inside of the tool. Proceed stropping until the edge is like a mirror when wiped clean with a soft cloth. Turn the new cutting edge under a light and see if you can see a reflection along the new cutting edge. If you see one, go back and touch it again with the 600 grit to remove what is needed and repeat stropping.

                  Put the "U" stropping block with the one for the "V" gouge stropping block.

                  Never test the sharpness of a tool with your finger, by rubbing across the edge. The tool could be so sharp you wont know you cut yourself until you see the blood. Instead, grab a scrap of wood and give it a try.