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Narex Carving Tools Reviews?

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  • #46
    I've learned that I can sharpen an edge to 1500 grit then hone for a good, lasting edge to carve western red cedar or dried birch, which is a lot harder.
    3M fine automotive wet&dry finishing sand papers go up to 4,000(?) grit. Lee Valley or your local automotive parts store.
    I have a stack of office file folders, from 80 grit to 2,000.

    I still like to use waterstones for the gouges.

    In the original "Scary Sharp" concept, the sand papers had to be glued to a hard flat surface.
    I let gravity do the job, a dab of masking tape at each end is excellent. Hard & flat = off cut slabs of stone counter top material.

    On the mandrels for my crooked knives, I don't bother with anything = wrap the paper around the rod and go to it.
    Moving the abrasive, it took a long time to become consistent with the angle.


    • #47
      For the scary sharp stuff, I'm in agreement on the fixing of sandpapers. I have a clip board I clip the sheet at one end and then use the blue painters tape at the other. I have a couple of the fancy sheets with the psa back. No thanks. If I want to stick it down more permanently than the blue tape, then I use 3m Super 77, much easier to apply and remove than the PSA stuff.

      I have some waterstones but never really liked them for carving tools. Too muddy and messy. But I do have a couple of natural waterstones (not Japanese) that were reasonably priced and do a good job. They are splash and go, no soaking necessary. They mostly keep my fillet knife in shape.

      For me the ultimate is a mixture of diamond, sandpaper and ceramic. It's the quickest, lowest maintenance method I've found. Sandpaper has spoiled me for wanting longer stones though. to be honest, 8 inch stones are plenty long, heck I've got 4 3/4 inch bench stone that I get a long with just fine, but after using 11 1/2 in long sand paper I wish my bench stones were longer. Totally a first world problem and not one I'm in a big hurry to solve, but it will be a consideration if I ever get another stone or run across the right bargain.


      • #48
        "I have a clip board I clip the sheet at one end and then use the blue painters tape at the other."

        Excellent idea!!

        Bob L


        • #49
          +1 for the clip board. With pull-strokes only, I use tape at the top end.

          The full-size Stubai carving adze is a 7/75 gouge with the bevel on the inside with a sweep in the shank as well.
          The best mandrel for tune ups is a tennis ball. OK for the Kestrel Baby Sitka elbow adze blade as well.


          • #50
            I'm laughing about the clipboard because I arrived at that choice by accident. I had thought maybe I'll get a granite tile, maybe I'll get this or that and then I'm clipping some sheets of sandpaper to the clipboard, not to use as a backing for the sandpaper, but just to hold the sand paper until I need it, at which time I'll put it on something flat. Then it hits me, "dummy, the clipboard is smooth and flat, why not use the clipboard and it has a built in paper holder at one end" Dang near the perfect scary sharp accessory.

            Maybe I'll put out a video on that. I could show how you can't use a normal run of the mill clipboard, you need to lap it to make certain it's flat. I'd make it time consuming effort to flatten and maintain the clipboard and then I'd sell my own pre-flattened clipboards. LOL

            I sharpen side to side, so unless I really get my angle wrong, I don't tear the sandpaper, but yeah, for pull strokes you could just use the clip.

            Actually one thing about the clip boards if you can find the older ones with the heavy duty clip, they probably hold better than some of the new ones.


            • #51
              I figured that modern laminate flooring is flat enough. Time to kill one day travelling so found a "big city" stone countertop business.
              Hundreds of off cuts in piles on pallets. "take what you like but don't mess up the piles." So I did. Stone for carving, too.

              Thanks for the tip about new/old clip boards. For othr reasons was about to go shopping for one. Maybe won't bother but take a look.

              But back to the Narex steel: I was using a lot of skew-cut v grooves in form line carvings.
              Bought a pair of Narex from Lee Valley, partly because of low price. Excellent steel, revised to 20 degrees with work but not impossible.
              Such good steel that I ordered a second pair a week later. Jointed one and made a 1/12 stop chisel, no immediate plan for the other one.
              Based on that success, I saw that they made carving gouges and would really like to buy a few "on spec" to try.
              Last edited by Robson Valley; 06-20-2017, 04:59 PM. Reason: Got off the Narex steel.