Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is it me, my knife, or my wood?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is it me, my knife, or my wood?

    Hello all,

    I've been interested in learning woodcarving. I have done quite a bit of woodworking before with building wooden boats and so on. I took the advice of some members here to begin by purchasing a flexcut knife (KN13) and I got some basswood from the supply store. I tried using the knife on the wood and I needed to so much force that I cannot possibly be able to control it. When I watch videos by Doug Outside or others they seem to apply very little force to make a stop cut and so on. I applied some polishing compound to my strop and tried to sharpen it and that too seemed to not be effective.

    I look forward to you responses,
    thank you.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum. My experience with Flexcut tools is that they are ready to go right out of the box. Willing to bet that you got a bad piece of basswood. Search the forum and you will see that not all basswood is the same. Nor are all suppliers. I'll let others tell you their favorite suppliers. If you can find a piece of white pine, try a few cuts to test your blade. I've had trouble with well aged basswood but old white pine seems to carve more easily. imho
    Bill K.
    Every day should be unwrapped like a precious gift.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by papasar View Post
      Welcome to the forum. My experience with Flexcut tools is that they are ready to go right out of the box. Willing to bet that you got a bad piece of basswood. Search the forum and you will see that not all basswood is the same. Nor are all suppliers. I'll let others tell you their favorite suppliers. If you can find a piece of white pine, try a few cuts to test your blade. I've had trouble with well aged basswood but old white pine seems to carve more easily. imho
      Bill K.
      Thank you Bill,
      I did some research and found other people saying that the wood they get from the supplier I went to was really hit or miss. Some people get wood that cuts like butter and some get wood that is hard as granite. I'm inclined to believe that it is the wood and not knife as you have said. I appreciate the response. Fortunately I live quite close to Canada so one would think I could easily help a hold of quality basswood or otherwise.
      Cheers

      Comment


      • #4
        Welcome to the forums!

        Generally speaking, the craft stores such as Hobby Lobby and Michaels carry Southern Basswood, which is a bit darker in color and harder than Northern Basswood. I have never bought basswood at the DIY stores such as Lowes and Home Depot, but I'll bet it's also Southern Basswood. You didn't mention where you are located, but it appears to be New Hampshire. You should be able to find decent Northern Basswood there. You could try checking for local sawmills, or a hardwood lumber store. I buy all my basswood from Heinecke Wood Products as do many others here in the forums.

        As to sharpening, or stropping, your knife...look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi-v43tzrUs You can easily make your own strop by using rubber cement to glue a piece of cereal box cardboard to a flat scrap of shelving. Rub on some compound like Allen does in the video, then strop. Personally, I don't use the "roll" - I strop my blade on one side for 10-15 strokes, then turn the blade over and do the other side for the same number of strokes. Notice, you ALWAYS pull the blade away from the cutting edge. If you push the cutting edge into the strop, you ruin the strop and dull the blade. BTW, there are lots more videos on YouTube - just search for "carving knife stropping" Here's another video from Flexcut: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7QhY8O6vSo

        Check around and see if there are any carving clubs in the area near you. If so, go visit one. They'll usually be happy to show you how to strop your knife, where to find good wood, etc.

        Claude
        Last edited by Claude; 07-05-2018, 03:37 PM.
        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

        Comment


        • #5
          I can only imagine that a lot of tough basswood is also branch wood. Branches do not have the same anatomy as main stem.
          Trees (wood) grow a little differently in cool/colder climates. Mainly, the wood cells are longer in the northern wood.
          This means that the main stem wood ought to be very uniform and a different density form stem wood which had grown much further south.

          I'm surprised that your Flexcut KN13 was a dull performer. That company is pretty good at delivering carving sharp edges.

          Anyway, those are puzzles with solutions.
          Welcome to the chip-house.
          Brian T

          Comment


          • #6
            I am not a big fan of Flexcut knives...their gouges and v-tools are great, but there are MUCH, MUCH better choices when it comes to a knife. It could be the wood is a problem as well. I have had one of the Flexcut 3 blade pocket carving knives, and after spending $89.00 on it, I gave it away.

            Doug uses an OCC Tools knife made by Mike Shipley. You would do much better by getting rid of the Flexcut, and getting one of those knives. Dallas from Old Texas Woodcarvers has them in stock and can take care of you.

            Helvie and Deepwoods Ventures knives come carving sharp and are not much more than you would spend on a Flexcut, too.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thank you for all the replies! I live in the woods so I'll go test my blade on some sticks and what not. I am going to give my knife a few more attempts before getting another one. I hope it's just that my wood is of poor quality.

              Comment


              • #8
                You can see why you got on this web site-advise, good advise, One thing, not mention was to get a good strop. I would start off with a progressive method of stroping=10 stokes per side, then 9 strokes, then 8 strokes, etc. may seem a little overkill but as your knife start getting sharp you will form a wire edge, which can cause you problems, by using the progressive method, so will slow reduce the wire into a SHARP edge. Nothing venture nothing gain. Go make some chips
                . . .JoeB

                Comment


                • #9
                  I used flexcut knives and palm tools for a long time. And my daughter is using them now. Never had an issue with their quality. Your knife is most likely good, if it has a good cutting edge. I can only speak for myself but I have never gotten a good block of wood in a craft store. Mostly harder basswood. You may want to try some wood from Heinecke wood. I have gone to Drake tools because I prefer the grips. And I feel the blades hold a better edge.
                  Randy

                  WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Try the wood from Heinecke!
                    . . .JoeB

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HappyCarver View Post
                      Thank you for all the replies! I live in the woods so I'll go test my blade on some sticks and what not. I am going to give my knife a few more attempts before getting another one. I hope it's just that my wood is of poor quality.
                      Please do, I hope you have good luck! My beef with Flexcut knives is that the bevels on the knives I had were more conducive to a good pocket knife rather than a flat bevel associated with a carving knife. It was very sharp, just not right for carving, in my experience.

                      Once you experienced a sharp, flat bevel on a OCC Tools, Helvie or Deepwoods knife, you will be able to see the difference on how it goes through the wood!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tbox61 View Post
                        I am not a big fan of Flexcut knives...their gouges and v-tools are great, but there are MUCH, MUCH better choices when it comes to a knife. It could be the wood is a problem as well. I have had one of the Flexcut 3 blade pocket carving knives, and after spending $89.00 on it, I gave it away.

                        Doug uses an OCC Tools knife made by Mike Shipley. You would do much better by getting rid of the Flexcut, and getting one of those knives. Dallas from Old Texas Woodcarvers has them in stock and can take care of you.

                        Helvie and Deepwoods Ventures knives come carving sharp and are not much more than you would spend on a Flexcut, too.
                        I've got a Flexcut Carvin' Jack and I can agree with tbox about the carving blade. I've got a general purpose wood chisel that has a sharper edge than that knive blade. The rest of the tools on the Carvin' Jack are razor sharp. I've now got a set of Flexcut carving chisels/gouges and they were carving sharp right out of the box. Now as far as buying just an individual carving knife from Flexcut I can't say whether or not it comes carving sharp. I can only attest to the knife blade on the Carvin' Jack. I've tried sharpening it but it still sucks. I'm going to have to send it off and get somebody to reshape the bevel for me since I don't have the right tools for that job nor the patience. I have a Helvie and I also have a couple of bench knives from Lee Valley that are pretty decent as well.

                        Tinwood

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          All great advice. I use a file folder attached go a piece of glass as a strop. I also have some Flexcut knives and they work fine. I have tried eastern basswood and found it unusable.

                          Welcome and Doug Outside is a great teacher.
                          Bill
                          Living among knives and fire.

                          http://www.westernwoodartist.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ciao To All.
                            Here I found the reply I needed. I have the same problem of HappyCarver. I got few pieces of basswood from a producer of religious icons, close to my house: hard to uses with a carving knife.
                            Infact, the color of my basswood is darker than Doug's wood.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tbox61 View Post
                              I am not a big fan of Flexcut knives...their gouges and v-tools are great, but there are MUCH, MUCH better choices when it comes to a knife. It could be the wood is a problem as well. I have had one of the Flexcut 3 blade pocket carving knives, and after spending $89.00 on it, I gave it away.

                              Doug uses an OCC Tools knife made by Mike Shipley. You would do much better by getting rid of the Flexcut, and getting one of those knives. Dallas from Old Texas Woodcarvers has them in stock and can take care of you.

                              Helvie and Deepwoods Ventures knives come carving sharp and are not much more than you would spend on a Flexcut, too.
                              Couldn't agree more. I have a couple different Flexcut knives and they're as sharp as my others. I really like the handles but, OCC and Helvie are much superior for wood carving.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X