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  • New carver, first of many questions

    Hello everyone, happy to be part of the forum!

    I picked up a beaver craft whittling kit. came with a detail knife, a spoon knife, and i think its called a sloyd knife? it also came with a leather strop and some green compound. I carved a couple of starter projects including "Sharonmyart"'s little person and had really great success. i've been using the leather strop but couldnt bring back the edge. so I used a lansky carbide sharpener at a 25 degree angle. the knife seems sharper but definetly isnt cutting the wood any more efficient thats for sure.

    Just recieved new knife Mora 122 today in the mail.

    is the beavecraft set that I got not very good? or did I mess up the blade by sharpening at a25 degree angle?

    is the Mora 122 I bought any better than the others?

    should I be soaking the basswood prior to carving?

    thanks everyone in advance and I appologise if I posted this in the wrong section of the forums.

  • #2
    IMG_9536.JPG
    My note didn't come in , but Welcome to the group and I am not familiar with your knife choices, but am sure they are good. You will get many responses and all great. Good luck in th ecarving . and don't worry about soaking too much. I spray occasionally , only on harder woods.. Cheers
    Chuck
    Last edited by NoDNA; 07-05-2019, 02:34 PM.
    Chuck
    Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!

    https://mewe.com/profile/5d6f213642db757a5dfb3223

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    • #3
      Welcome.
      Wood carving knives are commonly sharpened with a total included bevel angle of 12 degrees, no more than 15 degrees.
      That's very close to laying flat on the abrasives ( up to 1,500 grit then hone).
      Carvers gouges are all in the range of 20 degrees.
      25 degrees is a very fat angle to push wood open (make a thin chip).
      Maybe OK for a woodworker's skew chisel but not for carving.
      So your knife is sharp for sure but not for this kind of work.

      Seems to be true that in most cases, you will get what you pay for.
      Good quality wood carving tools run a range of prices, many good bladesmiths in the marketplace.
      Others here can suggest brand names for knives.

      I'd say Pfeil, Ashley Iles, Henry Taylor, Stubai, Narex and Aurioux would be the best gouges.
      The best Pacific Northwest adzes and crooked knives are made by Cariboo, North Bay and Kestrel.
      Plus, a lot of PacNW carvers make their own tools.

      "Sloyd" was a Scandanavian educational program in wood working. "Manual Arts" might describe it and the tools.
      There's great variation in basswood quality, some claim poor wood can be improved with an alcohol spray.
      Northern basswood, sold by Heineke, appears to be the best there is. I don't pay much attention to wood hardness.
      Brian T

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Brian T View Post
        Welcome.
        Wood carving knives are commonly sharpened with a total included bevel angle of 12 degrees, no more than 15 degrees.
        That's very close to laying flat on the abrasives ( up to 1,500 grit then hone).
        Carvers gouges are all in the range of 20 degrees.
        25 degrees is a very fat angle to push wood open (make a thin chip).
        Maybe OK for a woodworker's skew chisel but not for carving.
        So your knife is sharp for sure but not for this kind of work.

        Seems to be true that in most cases, you will get what you pay for.
        Good quality wood carving tools run a range of prices, many good bladesmiths in the marketplace.
        Others here can suggest brand names for knives.

        I'd say Pfeil, Ashley Iles, Henry Taylor, Stubai, Narex and Aurioux would be the best gouges.
        The best Pacific Northwest adzes and crooked knives are made by Cariboo, North Bay and Kestrel.
        Plus, a lot of PacNW carvers make their own tools.

        "Sloyd" was a Scandanavian educational program in wood working. "Manual Arts" might describe it and the tools.
        There's great variation in basswood quality, some claim poor wood can be improved with an alcohol spray.
        Northern basswood, sold by Heineke, appears to be the best there is. I don't pay much attention to wood hardness.
        Thanks for the Reply Brian,

        the Mora 122 I recieved seems to be better quality for sure. also thats great to know about the 15 degree angle. I have another sharpener that I can get the Beaver craft back to a 17 degree with.
        i've also noticed the wood seems to get tougher to carve as I get more and more cuts in it. I'm assuming this is because there are more edges/corners to deal with making it stronger?

        I've watched tons of Doug Linker, Sharonmyart, Gene Meser. any other youtubers to look at?

        does anyone have any suggestions for starter projects? Ill post pictures as I finish carvings.

        Thanks again Brian, And thanks NoDNA

        Comment


        • #5
          First of all, WELCOME.
          Brian's Advice is good, you'll just have to get the feeling for sharpening your knives, But you'll find the gouges and a steeper angle than the knives, and don't hesitate to strop your knife once the wood starts getting tougher.
          The basswood that I've carve hasn't needed soaking at all, true some pieces are a little tougher than others, all you have to do is pick up a piece of oak & you'll appreciate the basswood. If you do spray use a mixture of 50/50 water/alcohol.
          . . .JoeB

          Comment


          • #6
            P_ost #9 in https://forum.woodcarvingillustrated...cker-than-most is some data on the knives I own. You'll notice in the table, that only one of the knives is greater than 12° included angle, and that one is still below 15°. I'd suggest getting a stone (aluminum oxide or one of the newer diamond ones) and scrub that blade back to 12° or less. If you have access to a digital caliper or a micrometer that can measure to .001 inch or less, let me know and I'll send you the formula for figuring out the included angle.

            As to the wood, if you have Northern basswood, it's much better than Southern. Southern is normally sold in the big box stores or hobby stores. I buy all my basswood from Heinecke Wood Products as do many others here in the forums. Northern basswood has little grain, is much whiter, and less hard than Southern, which is typically more brownish colored. There are other reputable dealers in wood - get a copy of Wood Carving Illustrated at your local bookstore, and buy from one of their advertisers.

            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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            • #7
              I carve in the round, mostly western red cedar and only rarely use a little, straight-bladed knife.
              So I can't answer any more questions for the direction that you're going.
              Instead, I'm doing the rough outs with my elbow and D adzes and all the fine work with a couple dozen crooked knives.
              Brian T

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by joepaulbutler View Post
                First of all, WELCOME.
                Brian's Advice is good, you'll just have to get the feeling for sharpening your knives, But you'll find the gouges and a steeper angle than the knives, and don't hesitate to strop your knife once the wood starts getting tougher.
                The basswood that I've carve hasn't needed soaking at all, true some pieces are a little tougher than others, all you have to do is pick up a piece of oak & you'll appreciate the basswood. If you do spray use a mixture of 50/50 water/alcohol.

                some people on the videos make it looks so effortless! Good Technique and a sharp blade I guess! Got it back down to a 17 degree angle for now and its much better, looking at ordering a stone or new sharpener right now.
                thanks for the reply Joe!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Claude View Post
                  P_ost #9 in https://forum.woodcarvingillustrated...cker-than-most is some data on the knives I own. You'll notice in the table, that only one of the knives is greater than 12° included angle, and that one is still below 15°. I'd suggest getting a stone (aluminum oxide or one of the newer diamond ones) and scrub that blade back to 12° or less. If you have access to a digital caliper or a micrometer that can measure to .001 inch or less, let me know and I'll send you the formula for figuring out the included angle.

                  As to the wood, if you have Northern basswood, it's much better than Southern. Southern is normally sold in the big box stores or hobby stores. I buy all my basswood from Heinecke Wood Products as do many others here in the forums. Northern basswood has little grain, is much whiter, and less hard than Southern, which is typically more brownish colored. There are other reputable dealers in wood - get a copy of Wood Carving Illustrated at your local bookstore, and buy from one of their advertisers.

                  Claude
                  Thanks for the Reply Claude! ordered my basswood online, it came from Beavercreek. I cant tell from looking at it if its northern or southern. I'll defintly look around for the softer stuff.

                  how is Pine for carving? The bass wood is nice, but 15$ for 8 little 1x4 inch sticks is a little steep $$$

                  Doug Linker on Youtube suggested a 2x4 if pine from the store would be fine?

                  got the knife back to a 17 degree edge for now, looking at new sharpeners/stones right now

                  thanks again for the reply!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Brian T View Post
                    I carve in the round, mostly western red cedar and only rarely use a little, straight-bladed knife.
                    So I can't answer any more questions for the direction that you're going.
                    Instead, I'm doing the rough outs with my elbow and D adzes and all the fine work with a couple dozen crooked knives.
                    Thanks for the Reply! What does carve in the round mean?

                    thanks again!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      trying to post a photo of recently finished project but file needs to be under 2 megs, I'll try to get a smaller sized photo file

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Heinecke Wood Products=the place to go. in my and other's opinion
                        . . .JoeB

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          is a double sided stone 1000&6000 Grit what i'm Kind of looking for?

                          thanks for the help everyone

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            There's probably little need to go much beyond 2,000 grit (waterstone).
                            I never looked beyond the 2k/4k waterstone that I have.

                            The final step, honing on a strop with a really fine abrasive, is very important.
                            I'm honing crooked knives every 30-45 minutes or so, in a day's carving.

                            "Carving in the round" just means to work all 4 sides and the top.
                            Or maybe it's some sort of a serving dish.

                            Brian T

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Brian T View Post
                              There's probably little need to go much beyond 2,000 grit (waterstone).
                              I never looked beyond the 2k/4k waterstone that I have.

                              The final step, honing on a strop with a really fine abrasive, is very important.
                              I'm honing crooked knives every 30-45 minutes or so, in a day's carving.

                              "Carving in the round" just means to work all 4 sides and the top.
                              Or maybe it's some sort of a serving dish.
                              thanks again Brian,

                              So not much need to go finer than 2000 Grit, whats a good starter grit for the rougher side?

                              do you guys think i'd be okay with a 600/1000, or would a 1000/2000 be better?

                              thanks so much again and sorry for so many questions!

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