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  • New to relief carving

    Hi all, just bought a set of Schaaf chisels to start relief carving, currently I carve caracatures etc.. what are some easy patterns to start with to get familiarized with relief, I have purchased a few books that are on the way, Also , what type , size , wood should I start with . Any help would be appreciated and looking forward to experimenting.
    J

  • #2
    Originally posted by jimmyjam View Post
    Hi all, just bought a set of Schaaf chisels to start relief carving, currently I carve caracatures etc.. what are some easy patterns to start with to get familiarized with relief, I have purchased a few books that are on the way, Also , what type , size , wood should I start with . Any help would be appreciated and looking forward to experimenting.
    J
    JJ,

    Sorry I have no relief advise but not knowing your background just thought I’d mention those Schaaf tools will probably require a little sharpening before you get started.

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    • #3
      Jim
      I found tons of great videos on youtube with information for beginners to more advanced carvers.

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      • #4
        Check this out, I think it answers a lot of your questions: https://woodcarvingillustrated.com/b...-autumn-scene/

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        • #5
          There are about 14 pages of prodjects like sappy shared in the HOW TO section of the WCI home page, click on the dark strip at the top of this page.
          We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi
          https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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          • #6
            I would recommend viewing these 8 free lessons as a starting point. https://www.marymaycarving.com/carvingschool/beginning-carving-lessons-available-to-free-members/
            Her tools are similar to yours and her instruction is excellent.
            Having viewed many relief carving videos this would by my top pick for you.
            Good Luck!
            Last edited by johnvansyckel; 12-22-2021, 11:58 AM.
            John
            ​​​​​
            "Quality is not expensive. It is priceless!"

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            • #7
              lots of good advice here. The one thing I would mention is projection. your wood is only so thick take a good long look a the image you're going to carve. determine the high points, the ones close to you, and the low points. Then you can determine the levels in your carving. I sometimes use a depth gauge to make sure I'm kind of keep this sequence going∙∙∙Just my 2¢
              . . .JoeB

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              • #8
                Jim, check the Lora Irish site, she has several relief patterns suitable for beginners.
                Arthur

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              • #9
                "Jim, check the Lora Irish site, she has several relief patterns suitable for beginners.": As well as some good carving tips
                . . .JoeB

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                • #10
                  I'm curious to learn what you have for a sharpening set up. Wood carving edges "go away" within an hour's steady use. They need a lick and a promise, quite often. What have you decided to do for technique?
                  Brian T

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                  • #11
                    Brian, If my blade is in tough shape I'll get my slow and easy TomZ down. I got three diamond plates of different grits and one honing plate that I use to get the edge back in shape.

                    Aa daily routine, I just strop, using Flexcut - Gold Slip Strop Compound. For blades, I use the flat area on one of their "slipstrops", for my gouges I have a 12" x 2" sq block of basswood, that I've carved out the inside and outside shape of the different gouges I use.

                    Each day before I use a knife or gouge, I have a stropping routine that I do:
                    5 strokes one side flip it 5 strokes the opposite site then
                    4 strokes one side flip it 4 strokes the opposite site then
                    3 strokes one side flip it 3 strokes the opposite site then
                    2strokesone side flip it 2 strokes the opposite site then
                    1stroke one side flip it 1 stroke the opposite site then;

                    Then it the old barber stropping his razor style for 5 stokes on each side.

                    I let my carvings tools dictate how often I strop during the day.

                    for my small gouges and V's, I also got slipstrop that came with my Dockyard tools.

                    I got stones & Steel rods coming out of my ears but seldom use them.
                    . . .JoeB

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                    • #12
                      Thanks, I wondered what was going to go with the Schaaf carving set that the OP just bought.
                      I think carvers figure out that keeping up with the honing tune-ups really delays serious sharpening.
                      That's a fact = the tools set the pace of the carving day.

                      I did a carving demo today. Pulled up the 64" cedar butterfly story poles for "show-and-tell". They will take forever.
                      My visitors were fascinated by how simple I made the sharpening look.
                      Put the big 'C' Kestrel blade over my knee and touched it up with chrome green on a piece of water pipe. Fortunately, I got it right and the smoothness of the cedar chippings was obviously improved.
                      Brian T

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                      • #13
                        The bevel on the Schaaf tools definitely is too steep, needs to be reduced as well as sharpened.
                        Arthur

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                        • #14
                          Coloring books have lots of images that can be used as carving patterns. Also check out Chris Pye.

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                          • #15
                            Thank you all for the help,I'll keep you all posted on my progress
                            Enjoy the holidays !

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