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  • My latest project

    Hello,

    I was debating showing my latest project I'm working on just because I feel I am not too sure what I'm doing. Maybe it's just that I have only done one very simple relief carving before and lack the experience in relief carving. Then I had read the thread that Lynn started about Critique and thought it would be a good idea to show it. Maybe someone will offer some honest opinions that will help guide me on this. I welcome all good and bad opinions. I feel that is the only way to learn. Anyway, Ron, I hope I can explain this so you can understand it. The wood is a 1 1/4" x 15" x 13" basswood panel. The pattern is from one of Bill Judt's books. He calls it "Come Unto Me", with Jesus hugging a child and two children are behind Him. Around the pattern I have a circle. Around the top of the circle I have the words "Come Unto Me". On the bottom of the circle I have the words, "Sacred Heart School". In the lower right corner of the panel I have the logo of my son's school wich is a cross sticking out of a heart. In March is our son's school's annual fund raising auction. If this turns out I plan on donating it to the auction. (If not I'll just donate another carving I guess).

    I have never carved lettering before. This is truly a learning experience for me. Already, I feel I probably should have tried incised lettering instead of raised. A couple reasons, it is very time consuming and also I think my letters are too small. The capital letters are only 1" in height. O well, I'm just going to keep plugging away at them and see what happens. I may have to change some things as I progress. I have a lot of work left, but you get the idea. I'm already thinking of how to finish this piece so if you have any ideas please let me know. Should I paint, leave natural, etc., ect.. I welcome all comments good or bad.

    By the way, right before I started this I had purchased some new full size Pfeil tools (9 of them from Woodcraft, not from a set but individually picked) and I just cannot believe how nice they are. I think I finally realize now how sharp a tool should be.

    Chipper67

  • #2
    Re: My latest project

    Chipper,
    I would encourage all carvers to share their work, we carvers are sometimes our worst critics and wonder if we can measure up. It isn't about measuring up its about the enjoyment this hobby brings. Keep on sharing!!!

    I am not a relief carving but enjoy seeing people's work. As for this being one of your first relief carvings it looks like you are off to a great start!!!
    When I cut myself, I bleed sawdust!
    Please view my carving website and blog site: http://3crosseswoodcarving.com
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    • #3
      Re: My latest project

      I will agree with Tony! Love the subject and appears to me you are spot on so far. Not being a relief carver myself, I would be hard press to say what is needed. However, I know what I like and in viewing this, I like it. Maybe suggest to taper the forehead back to the hair line just a little and more rounder facearound the cheeks. Looks like you probalbly will go deeper so rounding the shoulders and the oustide part of the hair.

      Great start Chipper. I LIKE IT.

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      • #4
        Re: My latest project

        Thats going to be a good one! I would suggest when laying out something like that to take the center point and make radius lines to each letter, your letters seem to lean and thats distracting from your carving....its easy to do when concentrating on carving the letters to forget they need to point to the deadcenter mark on your carvingIce Cream
        "Lif iz lik a box "o" choc lets, ya nevr kno whut yull git!"

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        • #5
          Re: My latest project

          The others are right,, this is a really nice piece for your first.I do believe though your thoughts about incised lettering is easier to do . With raised lettering ,, cleaning out the base of the cuts is mind numbing, let alone trying to get to them in the first place. One thing that might help is keeping the letters as low as possible.Tall letters= deep valleys to try to get into to clean 'em up.( use some power to clean them if you have it) Other than that at this point I would have to agree with Hi Ho..keep all the letters and their imaginary 'sides' all radiating from a center point.. in this case the top of the letters would be ever so slightly narrower than the bottoms and the sides would naturally taper towards the center ( top of the letter for those along the bottom half,,, the reverse for those on top of the circle)

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          • #6
            Re: My latest project

            Chipper .

            Wow nice project. and Looking good.

            Now I will tell you what I see . The Pattern is well designed and layed out. But it will have a few areas since you have not done raised lettering which will give you a bit of a fit.

            The background work you have done so far looks good, most raised lettering that looks bad is because the background work is done poorly.

            The area between the top of the letters and the circle is where you will have a bit of trouble. it is a small area to work in and as such the lettering will be more likely to break out if you over press the wood. Also the grain direction will be changing and one mistake will cause it to pop out freely .

            You know I am not big on using electric Dremels but if you start having problems from pressure on the wood , Dremel makes a base for support so you can turn it into a mini router that will allow you to set and hold depth. I am assuming you will not have this problem , but it is nice to know the second way to clean up the background.

            Now that said I think your comming along great. The next areas that will cause you problems because of the size , will be the enclosed letters. You might want to play with your gouge a bit to get use to making it cut circles. I think two issuse back Chris Pye showed how to make a chisel follow it's own line of cut. This is a real handy practice on enclosed letters , to allow the making of stop cuts, then a simple slicing cut will clear the waste wood.

            Your doing great keep us in the loop and if we can I am sure we will offer the help we can.

            Garry

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            • #7
              Re: My latest project

              Thanks everyone for your input. I really appreciate that. It's given me some things to think about that I hadn't thought of before.

              Chipper67

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              • #8
                Re: My latest project

                First of all I like the project and feel the school will love it. When I did the plaque for the guide school the lettering was the hardest. The best I can tell you is don't hurry and keep your knife and gouges sharp. They sound like they are on the outside around a radius. I can't tell how far along you are with them but I tried to remove the center small and all breakable areas first. I like Ash's idea about the dremel with base but doubt it would work there is probably not enough area or flat surface left. Like I said just take your time it will turn out just great. Keep us posted. Hope this helps some.
                Ron

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                • #9
                  Re: My latest project

                  One thing I do ,if I need to use a router on a piece that is various levels I make an oversize base for it. I have large routers,and they will work as well, but for very small or detailed routing I've been using the very small "trim routers" . Since they are small based ( same problem trying to use a dremel at this point) I use 1/4 " ply ,or high density fiberboard to make an oversize base that will float over all the unevenness of the piece allowing me to reach areas that a small base would just fall into.Use the existing base to transfer the screw hole locations on the ply,,cut out an area where the bit goes and countersink the screw holes and then just attatch the router..I even made a holder and a base for my NSK to do fluting on a miniature column this way.The same could be done for the Dremel. One other type of base I make for my routers are curved ones. I at times have to do routing on larger columns as well as curved surfaces. By making a curved base I can use the router to clearance stock for carvings raised on a column or convex/concave surface and the router remains steady.

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                  • #10
                    Re: My latest project

                    Thats a good tip Mark.
                    The one reason I like the dremel is simply the cutter is a pretty small bit and the fan base is open with about 2and 1/2 inch base flare with a set depth guage. It allows for you to set the depth to the other background and then lock it so you can work in slowly along a fine edge. Then the Rpm are high enough that the wood gets very little pressure after you get use to the handling of the cutter.

                    I have always had a bit of a problem using the larger router for fine detail work as I usally over press, but it is a skill I have not had a lot of practice with.

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