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My first ever work

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  • My first ever work

    This little piece of wood that seems carved with a Granade is my first ever job, I'm full of shame but ill continue to torture another piece of wood: jpg

    I match many difficulties but one over all, in the video the knife entered in the wood like butter, if you see mine is like hit by an axe then i have 3 though:
    - my technique is bad, and this for sure
    - quality of knife, is a really cheaper knife without a brand
    - sharpness

    How a quality knife impact on the job?
    i sharped it with a piece of leather and green rub, do you use anything more?

    Thanks a lot and sorry for this....Thing

  • #2
    Carlo - you are here among friends and fellow craftsmen. there is nothing to be ashamed of - ever.
    each time you do a carving, put it on the shelf. then every month, add to your collection. and in a short time, you will see a vast improvement in your skills. . . . it just takes time. (there is a style of carving called "flat-plane" - that is what you have there).
    A long time ago, I was in Naples with the US Navy and I was walking the back streets and saw these two old men working on stone with hammers. I stopped to visit with them and they were glad to show me their work. they were carving stone burial marker headstones. I was amazed at their craftsmanship and skills. They let me carve a little bit on a scrap stone and I loved it. especially sharing skills with another country. even though I now have many stone carving tools, I still can not get the hang of it LOL - I am destined to be a wood carver only - not in rocks.
    take your time - you'll get there.
    John Smith
    Retired Craftsman
    Last edited by John Smith; 11-15-2021, 12:52 PM.
    Retired Dimensional Graphics Artist (a/k/a Sign Carver)


    • #3
      Thanks John, yes ill continue on the same subject for a month finding the way to be better, and viewing what will be the improovement. thanks, Carlo


      • #4
        You are not alone , we've all been there. You will find the lessons you learned with this project you will carry forward to the next project, and lessons learned on that one you will carry forward also . Just keep at it and I look forward to your posts in the months ahead.


        • #5
          Carlo83 - Let your woodcarving become a feeling between you and the piece of wood. Do not try to copy what you see in a video. The video cannot give you the feel of the tool in the wood - how the feeling changes with grain direction, cutting angle, etc. Carving is more than visual feedback.

          You do not have permission to view this gallery.
          This gallery has 1 photos.


          • #6
            Carlo - can we please see your knives ?
            Retired Dimensional Graphics Artist (a/k/a Sign Carver)


            • #7
              Carlo...what are you carving in the picture? Don't be embarrassed by your attempts, this is the place to get help...we've all been where you are now. I suggest whenever you post a picture of a carving that you specifically ask for comments and criticisms or you will probably just get "atta boy" responses which are nice but not helpful. Keep going!


              • #8
                Sure John, is really cheap, maybe could be this part of the problem, i just re-sharped with the leather and the green rub for 15 minute but without any result : jpg

                If you have any advice for a good knife il be happy to buy it.
                Thanks a lot Carlo.


                • #9

                  Most of the time if your blade isn’t getting sharp it is because you are not getting the blade angled properly to the strop. Lots of great YouTube videos on how to do this.

                  Next it would appear that you are frequently trying to carve against the grain. So the wood is lifting and splitting instead of cutting.

                  I would suggest you try carving a round peg for a starter project watch as you carve if the wood lifts or splinters flip the wood around and carve in the other direction.

                  And while many people use a curved blade similar to the one you have chosen I think a blade without a curve is more popular with most wood carvers. There are many manufacturers who make this type of blade. Do a topic search here because we have had lots of conversations about the knives we prefer.

                  02F57214-9C6D-4528-B7C3-B5F4EFF2A16B.jpg Good Luck and keep practicing.
                  Super Mod Louisiana
                  Last edited by Claude; 11-16-2021, 08:29 PM. Reason: Corrected "bevel" to "curve"


                  • #10
                    Hi Carlo
                    cheap doesn't matter if it cuts ok. One of my most valued knives is made from a carbon hacksaw blade One of the old type that if you bent it, it would snap like a carrot.

                    As the guys say getting the knife sharp is the key to success. if you have a magnifying glass use it to take a look at the cutting edge rocking the knife slightly as you do so. As the light catches on the edge of the blade you should be able to see if the edge is rounded or has the same honing marks as the rest of the blade If the side of the knife is nicely polished but the actual cutting edge isn't then you need to hone the blade down on a coarser stone until you start to feel improvement in the cutting edge. Then polish on the same angle as you honed it on.

                    This will bring your knife to life.

                    Don't worry about torturing wood . We have all done it at some point and still do on occasion when a job goes bad. It is a renewable resource so not a biggie if some goes bad from time to time. It is all a part of learning to get the "FEEL" as Pallin said.

                    What may help is using photos . Print them then use graphite paper under it to transfer the pattern to the wood. Then you can rough out the shape in general and once that is done you can work on detail.

                    If you don't have graphite paper just get a sheet of paper out of the computer printer und rub an HB pencil over a section of it big enough for the job working in all directions until it looks shiny black. Now you have graphite paper.

                    A blunt scriber or a reasonably thick sewing needle cut and rounded of and stuck in a piece of dowel with a bit of pressure on it as you trace the shape of the picture onto the wood, will give you the pattern to rough out to. You may find you have to re-trace some of the pattern from time to time as you take off some of the wood.

                    You may find the tutorial section of the forum helpful as this goes into a lot of detail of different types of carving.

                    Ed is dead right about cutting against the grain. Some woods allow you to do that and some just DON"T. I am working with flowering cheery at the moment and that doesn't like against the grain at all. If the grain starts to lift as you cut just cut back the other way.

                    If you HAVE to cut against the grain use a slicing motion rather than a pushing motion and be sure your knife is as sharp as you can get it. Also take lots of small shallow cuts rather than trying to cut out thick chunks. You will have a lot more control that way and prevent bits breaking out.

                    Hope this helps.


                    Hope this is of some help


                    • #11
                      Thanks a lot for the precious advices, yes especially about the grains, I'm using basswood because read around that it is good for begginer, but yes I dont thinked about the grain infact some time pushing its broken crack in a 1 cm line bracking some carved area that needed for other fox's parts. Thanks


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Carlo83 View Post
                        Sure John, is really cheap, maybe could be this part of the problem, i just re-sharped with the leather and the green rub for 15 minute but without any result : [ATTACH]n1207995[/ATTACH]

                        If you have any advice for a good knife il be happy to buy it.
                        Thanks a lot Carlo.
                        Can anybody tell what kind of knife this is? It does not look like a carving one. Looks like a fish gutting one due to the bevel??? . I am not making fun of you, I got horror stories of knives and tools that I bought because I just did not know what was good and what was bad. When you begin you are learning a major and it is awesome you post and say what is next? and ask questions tons of them. Most people think things have to be easy, quit when they feel frustration. , scream, curse, and never quit you doing good in getting the shape down.... Also, you will get tons of different answers on here...pick the one that will fit you best and try it, if it does not work...try someone else's suggestion. Sometimes I have tried different things to find out what the best fit is for me.
                        . Explore! Dream! Discover!” aloha Di


                        • #13
                          I cannot add any more advise Carlo it is all good advise, Just don't give up keep trying


                          • #14
                            Carlo - great start!
                            In the video he is ALWAYS cutting toward his stopcuts by cutting down into the grain to his stopcut. He uses a series of stopcuts removing small amounts of wood to obtain the desired depth. View the video here Go to 12:15 where he explains where the point is that he will use to cut down into the grain so the wood does not splinter. You will learn to automatically reverse direction when you feel you are cutting in the wrong direction. Smooth like butter is working with the grain.
                            Tip - not all basswood is the same. Most carvers use 'Northern' basswood and it does cut much easier than the 'southern'
                            basswood found in local craft stores.

                            I have used the 'Beginner Kit' sold by Chipping away and found it to a great way to begin. They supply a professionally sharpened 'Murphy' knife that I have used for years and quality northern basswood cutouts. Instructions are included and videos are available. Be sure to use your glove and thumb guard
                            "Quality is not expensive. It is priceless!"


                            • #15
                              This is the type of knife that I would use on a small figure like you show: Kerb 1 This is a detail carving knife and Pfiel is a highly respected brand. Available throughout Europe. Note: The cutting edge is the straight side; the curved edge of the blade is the back of the blade.

                              Another good brand is Two Cherries (Kirschen) tool # 63 (it is called a chip carving knife, but I would call it a detail carving knife.

                              There are other carving knives out there, but these two are high-quality. Also, the bevel on the blade goes all the way from the cutting edge to the blade back, unlike your photo which has a "shoulder".

                              A wood that is probably easy to find in Europe is Lime ((Tilia x europaea)). Also, it is a little bit harder than basswood, but holds detail well.

                              Super Mod Louisiana
                              Last edited by Claude; 11-16-2021, 08:59 PM.
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