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Beginner powercarving tips

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  • Beginner powercarving tips

    Hello everyone,

    I've recently taken up power carving as a hobby and was hoping you guys have some tricks and tips for a beginner. Had a look through the beginner section on the forum, but that seemed to only be for hand carving.

    I got a Dremel knock off with 30 or so bits and burs that work well for removing small/medium chunks of wood just to see if it was something I liked. Planing to upgrade to a more serious machine later.

    I've only been doing relief carving so far but want to start making smaller 3D figurines of animals. While there are lot's of relief carving turorials I can't seem to find any on 3D carving so I was hoping some of you have any tips?

    Maybe some different ways to make certain cuts or exercises to practice and develop skills?

  • #2
    I to am having a go at my first attempt at carving and have started researching different methods. I found this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaqtYsktUBU which shows a blow by blow creation of a small bird which answered a lot of questions for me. It would appear there are heaps of tutorial power carving tutorial video clips even down to the best way to hold the tool to give you greatest control. Hope this helps . cheers.

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    • #3
      Respirator, Dust Collector.
      Ed
      Living in a pile of chips.
      https://m.facebook.com/pg/CentralNeb...ernal&mt_nav=0

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      • #4
        A lot of tips in the "Power Carving" forum.

        You will also need to consider safety equipment.... leather glove if holding the wood/carving, a leather thumb-guard for the rotary tool holding hand, and a leather apron if you like to hold your carvings close to your body .... dust collector and dust mask .... eye/face protection ..... carvers vice when using the reciprocating tools .... good lighting.
        ....Dave
        Old carvers never die... they just whittle away.
        www.shellknobwoodcarvers.weebly.com

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        • #5
          This may be helpful ,http://woodcarvingillustrated.com/bl...-carving-bits/

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          • #6
            Thanks Randy, that should be super helpfull!

            I might try making something like that, Glenn. Thanks!

            As for protection I got protective glasses, a 3M face mask and my work station is outdoors so don't think I need a dust collector? Might look into a leather glove though
            Last edited by Chrisma; 05-09-2020, 08:20 AM.

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            • #7
              If you go to eBay and search for Power Carving Book, you will find several on there with projects and how to do them by power carving. I have one of the older Power Carving Manuals that has provided a wealth of info on bits, burrs, tools, etc. I see there is one of the PC Manuals for $7 on their now. In my opinion, well worth the money for a reference guide.

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              • #8
                That's a great tip, thanks Sammy. So used to all information being available on the internett that I didn't consider looking for actual books!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Randy View Post
                  That's an extensive list.

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                  • #10
                    For my experience, I am so unqualified to give advice. I've only carved 1/64th'ish scale automobiles. And I only started doing that in November of 2019. But ! I think every effort has been a success. My learning curve has been steep. But for those getting ready to plug in for the first time these are some things I'd done that I wish I'd known not to do.

                    1. Didn't find this forum until 6 months after I started carving cars.

                    2. Select a wood. My first 9 cars were made from White Pine. Basswood is now my wood of choice for this project and probably most carvings of this nature. I can see using different woods. And using knots and grain and waves in a composition. But when you want something smooth? My vote from my little bubble is, Basswood.

                    3. The closer the block is to a true cube the less hassle you'll have making right and left; top and bottom size out.

                    4. If you are replicating a model, such as these are. And using existing plastic wheels, such as I am. The wheel availability and their size is what is used for the overall size of the car.

                    5. Start out with a simple streamline design. Work your way up to high crowns and compound / compound curves.

                    6. I apply printouts of the sides of the car to the block with rubber cement, making sure they are laid on accurately. Then no matter how my brain says "This don't look right..." Don't believe it. 100% of the time the diagrams have been right !

                    7. Working from the side I have the most visual information, I carve that profile first. Then, since most cars are pretty symmetrical; I have a side to use as a model to match the side I may not have good information about. I've found info on the rear decks and back ends of the cars to be the most sketchy. The NARDI Twin Torpedo is an exception to symmetry

                    8. Since all of the cars in this project are going to be painted in opaque colors.... ( Mostly white actually.) I want a smooth as glass finish. After the car has its basic shape I smear a coat of MILLIPUT on it. (If you don't know about MILLIPUT ? You need to.) Use a wet brush to smooth it out. Wait 24 hours This seals the wood. Then I sand this and repeat if necessary. I use rattle can of white universal bonding primer if the finish color is white. After decals are applied. I slather the whole body down with clear floor gloss.

                    9. Every once in awhile.... Paint some other color besides white !
                    Last edited by Clearhooter; 06-22-2020, 11:59 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Basswood tends to fuzz up with rotary power carving. The preferred wood for many power carvers who want lots of detail, such as for realistic duck decoys or birds, is Tupelo. It's a bit harder to find than basswood, but supposedly does not get the fuzzies like basswood. I say supposedly, as I've never used it, and I don't carve realistic birds or ducks... There are a lot of reports about it. Here's a site that shows a lot of these... https://www.worldofdecoys.com

                      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
                        Originally posted by Claude View Post
                        Basswood tends to fuzz up with rotary power carving. The preferred wood for many power carvers who want lots of detail, such as for realistic duck decoys or birds, is Tupelo. It's a bit harder to find than basswood, but supposedly does not get the fuzzies like basswood. I say supposedly, as I've never used it, and I don't carve realistic birds or ducks... There are a lot of reports about it. Here's a site that shows a lot of these... https://www.worldofdecoys.com

                        Claude
                        I've had some "fuzzies" with my short experience with Basswood. But the MILLIPUT so far takes care of them.
                        Last edited by Clearhooter; 06-22-2020, 12:00 PM.

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