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  • How do I fix the following things?

    Hi,

    A bit of background before I get into it:
    I'm a newbie to the wood carving world, and Im not sure I've got to the tools I need to create beautiful patterns on the top of boxes.
    So, in the meantime and to get familiar with carving, I've bought a flexcut relief carving kit, and give it a go.

    I've watched many videos on beginners technique and people demonstrating carving, I've also read a few forums and sites, and had a crack at a first attempt.

    Whilst I have many things I'm struggling with, one in particular is the tool to carve small square recesses?
    I've used a tiny tiny little curved gouge but all that happens is the sides go to a point where it's all flaky and split.
    What or how would I get a clean square recess?
    I've attached images to show my first attempt.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or tips and tricks.

  • #2
    You need to use a carving knife to cut straight down into the wood around your perimeter then clean it out. The cut straight down is called a stop cut, be sure to keep all stop cuts the same depth or you will see the stop cut line at the bottom if you go to far, takes a bit of practice. One method is to put a bit of tape on your knife blade to indicate when to stop. I hope this makes sense to you... I am not good at explaining things.
    ~ 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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    • #3
      A small 90° V tool might help on this. If you can't find a 90°, you could always use a 70° V tool to clean up the corners by just "cleaning" one side, then rotating the tool a little bit and cleaning the adjacent side...

      Claude
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      • #4
        Hi Dwight,

        Thanks for that info, I'll definitely use it
        I did cut vertically to try and make a clean edge but my chisel was slightly curved and too wide for the hole. My own fault for making a small design for my first time!
        I will try again with a carving knife.
        The other issue, how do I clean it out? I mean, clean square with flat lines. As opposed to a curve down the walls to a non flat "flaky" bottom?


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        • #5
          The proper tool might be a carver's stop chisel. What makes it unique is that most of them are beveled on both sides.
          It should be just a little short of spanning the whole edge of a square so that you can sneak up on the corners.

          What have you got set up for sharpening your edges?
          They need to be better than razor blades.
          Brian T

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Claude View Post
            A small 90° V tool might help on this. If you can't find a 90°, you could always use a 70° V tool to clean up the corners by just "cleaning" one side, then rotating the tool a little bit and cleaning the adjacent side...

            Claude

            I will get on to that so that those side can be clean and straight. What flattens out the bottom, or is that not something I can actually do? Lol

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Robson Valley View Post
              The proper tool might be a carver's stop chisel. What makes it unique is that most of them are beveled on both sides.
              It should be just a little short of spanning the whole edge of a square so that you can sneak up on the corners.

              What have you got set up for sharpening your edges?
              They need to be better than razor blades.
              Hi, thanks for the help.I'll look for a stop chisel.
              As for sharpening, I've got a flexcut erm, kit thig that was good for the hand tool kit I bought.
              I've used it to re-sharpen the kit. It's not great, or I'm not doing it right.

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              • #8
                The first number in the designation tells you the shape. A square end is a #1. The second number is the width in the international standard metric system.
                Suppose your square holes are 1/2" per side. That's about 12mm. So, you need to look for a 1/10 or a 1/8 which does not quite span a whole edge.
                Total included bevel angle should be 20 degrees. 10 degrees each side.
                Brian T

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                • #9
                  since you've some Flexcut, you might want to look at #1 & #2 blades from FC. widths would be your preference
                  . . .JoeB

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                  • #10
                    You can make the sides straight and square using a knife, v-tool, or gouge that is flat. A curved gouge won't work. Cleaning out the bottom and making it flat might be difficult to impossible, depending on how small the recess is and the tools you have available! I really can't tell how large the carving is, but maybe one of these methods will work for you.
                    A bent skew might work if it is the proper size to fit in the hole. I had some cheap tools from the hobby store that bent easily and were finally useful for this purpose. You might also have some success smoothing it down a bit with dremel tool and a bit that is flat on the end. Another option might be to use a piece of metal that is flat on the end and tap it a bit with a hammer. Since wood compresses some,, this might be a way to get it level. And finally, another option might be to just texture the bottom with a nail, a punch, or a texturing tool. If you clean up the scraggly bits, adding a texture would give the appearance that the bottoms are flat by disguising the differences.
                    'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

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                    • #11
                      Following mpounders thread, you could use something like this for the bottoms. They are quite expensive to buy, £7.50 each, but they do come with different designs; trees, flowers etc.
                      You could always make one yourself with a file.

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                      • #12
                        Most carver's find a use for a stop chisel. Good thing to have. I have a Pfeil 1/8 and wanted one just a little bigger.
                        I jointed a Narex skew and did the grinding to make a 1/12. Did not cook it!
                        Brian T

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                        • #13
                          I'd suggest a small chisel, a # 1 gouge that is, and good deep stop cuts, followed by a curved gouge to clean out the bottoms. Plenty of practice to perfect your skills.

                          Bob
                          Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

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                          • #14
                            Thank you for all the help and advice. I think I'm going to go to the local wood carving shop and pick up a couple of small gouges, v-tool, and stop chisel. I think I'm probably setting myself up to fail by making such small recesses. I'm going to keep it big until I develop my skills. If that fails, I'll pull out my deemed, but I'm really want to keep it unplugged.
                            I also really like the carvers punch, I'm going to bank that one for when I feel arty.

                            Thanks for the help

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                            • #15
                              Now that you've had all this discussion on how to clean up the squares, it looks to me like you should first finish the design. The carving is a Celtic design in which the lines go over and under at each crossing. You should first establish that over & under shaping before you trim up the corners and edges of the squares.

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