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  • Cheating or Common Practice

    I am carving a Christmas Angel that I saw on display by a woodcarver named Vernon Depauw. I have pretty much finished carving the first side and will begin on the second side soon. So far, I have used nothing but my chisels, but there are a few tight spots where I cannot get quite perfect with my current skills/chisels. Is it cheating or wrong to use a rotary tool to clean up these spots or a rotary bristle disc? Maybe it is just my OCD getting the best of me, but almost feel that is cheating, but I do not have a good set of riffler files or anything else to finish my carving.

    Any advice or constructive thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Tim
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  • #2
    Hi Tim, I think you can use anything to remove the Wood from your Carving and it is not Cheating. Rotary Tools are a Perfect way to get into those hard to get at Spots. I do it and don't feel Guilty . Your Goal is to make a Piece as nice as you can . Go for it and be Proud of you Effort . Merle

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    • #3
      There are tons of opinions of what is cheating in woodcarving ....but the bottom line in art is to use any method you need to get the results you want. No need to ask for political debate which can turn ugly at any point. There is always someone who will not like what you are doing, ..... I find in the art world it is zero anyone business how I did it, unless I want to teach, and then some. What counts in my book is how does it look finished? There is even a book on this subject ...called how to steal like an artist.....a major debate that goes full circle of nonsense. ...smile.
      . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di

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      • #4
        You have to decide what is important to you- if the ends justifies the means, then use whatever you need to achieve the finish you want. If the means justifies the end, then don't 'cheat' and accept the limitations imposed by the tools. At the end of the day you need to love yourself and your work.


        I call myself a whittler, and accept the definition that a whittler only uses a knife. That imposes a lot of limitations, which I embrace.

        BTW I love that angel, and will one day make a tree topper using that pattern. You've done a nice job.
        Buffalo Bif
        www.bflobif.com

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        • #5
          There are no prizes for wasting time and effort. Some people power carve everything!
          There's your secret = never give away the farm and explain how you did it.
          Make a clean and finished appearance that everybody admires.
          Brian T

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          • #6
            Nothing wrong with using whatever tools you have, or whatever gives you the result you want. By the way, that particular design sure looks an awful lot like Shawn Cipa's angel tree topper that was in Woodcarving Illustrated #37 back in 2006. A lot of people, including me, carved it, but it is still his idea!
            'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

            http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-...61450667252958
            http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

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            • #7
              You can use anything you like, knife, chisel, scrapers, burners, rotary tools... anything your imagination comes up with. Heck id I could not us rotary tools I would never have been able to carve my Kestrel.
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              ~ Dwight
              "Hello, I am the Friggin' Happiness Fairy and I just sprinkled happy dust on you, so smile damit' this crap is expensive."

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              • #8
                Hi Dwight , I still think you are a Taxidermist . Merle

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                • #9
                  Thanks Merle, sorry your still wrong. By the way I am currently working on a chipmunk... going crazy trying to figure out how to display him/her.
                  ~ Dwight
                  "Hello, I am the Friggin' Happiness Fairy and I just sprinkled happy dust on you, so smile damit' this crap is expensive."

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                  • #10
                    Woodcarver---It doesn't say chisel, knife, gouge only, a woodcarver can be thought of like a wood shaper, by any means, my $0.02
                    . . .JoeB

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the input. I just felt I was failing pr giving up to easily by switching over to a rotary tool for a few tricky spots. I will be sure to post a picture of the finished project.

                      Thanks again,

                      Tim

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                      • #12
                        The only time its cheating is if you're entering into a competition that specifically says you can't use power. Otherwise it's a hobby and you do what you want.

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                        • #13
                          Great remarks so far, and I agree with them all. Do whatever turns your crank, it's no one's business but your own.

                          Mike Pounders is correct, that's Shawn Cipa's design, and it's on my list of stuff to carve. Cipa's designs are among my favorites, working on his nativity set at the moment.
                          Arthur

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                          • #14
                            If someone criticizes your work for not being 'purely hand carved' then hand them the knife and demand that they do better or similar. Nine times out of ten they'll shut their lips. Your work, your methodology. The results are the goal not the means to get there. Nice job so far. Keep it up.

                            Tinwood

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                            • #15
                              I agree with all of the above - you use whatever tool(s) are available to you to carve the piece the way you want it to look.

                              Claude
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