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Review of Schaaf Carving Tools

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  • #31
    I happen to like Gouda cheese very much. Would not want to use an inferior cutter at a table with guests.
    So. Softer steel that Pfeil. OK for somebody accustomed to repeated sharpenings all day long.
    12 tools for $57.00. Am I correct, there?

    Maybe they would be better employed carving stone like steatite and alabaster?
    I bought a "carving" tool set, 12 pcs /$12.00 that work well in stone.
    I can't put a wood carving edge on any of them.

    I appreciate the critical review. I'd pass for better tools from elsewhere.
    While the cost is substantially greater, the entire carving process might justify the tools for the end.
    Brian T

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Brian T View Post
      I happen to like Gouda cheese very much. Would not want to use an inferior cutter at a table with guests.
      So. Softer steel that Pfeil. OK for somebody accustomed to repeated sharpenings all day long.
      12 tools for $57.00. Am I correct, there?

      Maybe they would be better employed carving stone like steatite and alabaster?
      I bought a "carving" tool set, 12 pcs /$12.00 that work well in stone.
      I can't put a wood carving edge on any of them.

      I appreciate the critical review. I'd pass for better tools from elsewhere.
      While the cost is substantially greater, the entire carving process might justify the tools for the end.
      Brian,

      These tools are working fine once shaped and sharpened. If you’re looking for a tool to hold an edge I picked up a couple Oscar gouges manufactured in Ukraine. They are hardened using liquid nitrogen and hold an edge like nothing else I’ve used.

      Comment


      • #33
        I've talked to carvers who actually went to Prague to get their hands on Narex carving tools.
        The pairs of skews aren't hard to find. Narex gouges are what I'd buy next if I could get them.

        Carving in very soft woods (western red cedar and yellow cedar), I have to stop for 5 strokes on the strop every 30 minutes or less. I can feel the push getting harder, that very fine edge just going away.

        I think that practice has had a lot to do with it. Doing crooked knives every 30 minutes is easy, over my knee!
        I realize also that it's the shortest of mental breaks = to decide on the next course of action.
        Brian T

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        • #34
          We're all searching for a "holy grail," perfect carving tools. In 2001, I traveled to Switzerland where I bought my first Pfeil gouge at Hugglers shop in Brienz. Up until that time I had two small Henckels gouges and a few Millers-Falls palm tools. Wow, that new, #3-12mm full size Swiss gouge was wonderful! So, I bought some others - - quite a few others. Now I do most of my carving with Pfeil tools. But then my brother-in-law gave me a tool roll he found in a yard sale. I spent hours reworking a few old Herring Brothers and Marples gouges. A Herring Brothers fishtail is my current favorite for what I do.
          So what's my point? There are no perfect carving tools. As your skills change, your tools will change. Your sharpening method may also change.

          UpDown33.jpg

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Nebraska View Post
            Schaaf tools, my experience.

            I recently purchased the original 12 piece set for $57.00 delivered to my front door. There were three tools in this set that filled gaps in my current set.

            After sharpening, the other nine tools will be donated to our club to be loaners so others can try carving with two hands.

            First I can understand why this turned into a discussion about sharpening and changing profile angles. You will need to do both before using Schaaf tools. Out of the box these should not be used on anything harder than room temperature aged Gouda.

            I’ve been using mine for a couple months now without any problems. The appearance is attractive and a certainly similar to Pfeil Swiss Made tools.

            Having used them side by side with my Pfeils they have the look but not the edge retention. Not saying they don’t hold a edge well but they certainly head for the strop more often then the Swiss Mades in my experience.

            Based on my use of these tools I’d have no problem recommending them to anyone who is ready to step up to two handed carving. Certainly an affordable option to start building a set of carving tools. Provided you have the ability to sharpen and profile carving tools.


            They are a blatant copy of Pfeil in looks. That is certainly no accident. They are however from all reports I've read, decent steel. My only Chinese carving tools are the Master Carver which are not up to the fit and finish of Schaaf, but I'm sure their steel is as good as it's as good as Pfeil, Stubai or any of the other players. My only issue with Master Carver is with the importer, so won't ever buy anymore.

            In my opinion, I don't care if carving tools come sharp or not as none come sharp enough for me or shaped how I like. They lack the long bevel I like, the cut back sides, the relaxed heels, the inside bevel and in some cases the handles need a bit of work to make them comfortable as well.

            So if these are in your price range and you can sharpen, I think they would make a good choice. I'm so far into this that sets are utterly useless to me. I don't think they are all that useful in the first place. I'd try a Schaaf if they made individual tools and especially in Fishtail form. For now, I stick with vendors with complete lines and fishtails when possible.

            I expect Schaaf to only offer copies of the Pfeil sets. Will be happy if I'm proven wrong.


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            • #36
              Originally posted by fiddlesticks View Post

              They are a blatant copy of Pfeil in looks. That is certainly no accident. They are however from all reports I've read, decent steel. My only Chinese carving tools are the Master Carver which are not up to the fit and finish of Schaaf, but I'm sure their steel is as good as it's as good as Pfeil, Stubai or any of the other players. My only issue with Master Carver is with the importer, so won't ever buy anymore.

              In my opinion, I don't care if carving tools come sharp or not as none come sharp enough for me or shaped how I like. They lack the long bevel I like, the cut back sides, the relaxed heels, the inside bevel and in some cases the handles need a bit of work to make them comfortable as well.

              So if these are in your price range and you can sharpen, I think they would make a good choice. I'm so far into this that sets are utterly useless to me. I don't think they are all that useful in the first place. I'd try a Schaaf if they made individual tools and especially in Fishtail form. For now, I stick with vendors with complete lines and fishtails when possible.

              I expect Schaaf to only offer copies of the Pfeil sets. Will be happy if I'm proven wrong.

              They have a couple of new offerings they added a few fishtail gouges and they offer a 12 piece set hand sharpened by Dick Belcher for a $45 up charge.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Nebraska View Post

                They have a couple of new offerings they added a few fishtail gouges and they offer a 12 piece set hand sharpened by Dick Belcher for a $45 up charge.
                I did just have a peak at the fish tails. They are ok. I have those size in a fish tail, but a long pod fishtail in 3-6 isn't much more benefit to a carver than regular straight gouge. When getting into narrow width tools and you want to do a fishtail they must be short pod, or the advantage just isn't there. At least they made somewhat of an effort with the fishtails.

                Here are a couple of Henry Taylor Fishtail. Shortpod in a 3 and 4mm width. The one on the left is probably from the 1970's and is nicer than the one on the right from the 2010's. With Taylor, they put more work into the older ones. They made more sizes and shaped them nicer.

                When Schaaf starts making short pods in assorted sizes I'll give one a try.

                IMG_1794.jpeg
                Last edited by fiddlesticks; 04-27-2020, 05:58 PM.

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                • #38
                  Wait, $45 bucks for initial sharpening? Man, sign me up! How can I contact Mr. Belcher?

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                  • #39
                    If Mr Belcher can sharpen wood carving tools, so can everyone else.
                    I'm content with my freehand sharpening skills.
                    Brian T

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      My first sets of tools were Lamp Brand mallet carving tools. Back when I was an enthusiastic new carve I bought 2 sets. I do not buy sets any more. A few years later I started selling those and to slowly switch over to Pfeil. I like the handles and balance of the Pfeil tools better. Then I was at a friend’s and use a couple of his Auriou chisels. My Mallet tool set is now a mix of 14 tools Pfeil and Auriou tools, very happy with both. I do most of my carving now with palm tools and knives. Those are also a mixed group of what I have found works best for me. I advise ,with those who ask, to first choose what size and type of carving they want to learn. Then read, watch videos and if they can visit a carving club or group. See what tools they use on the projects you want to learn. For the most part you can do a lot of things with just 5 or 6 of the right tools and a good knife. Sets may or may not have the tools that will sever your needs.

                      We live in the land of the free because of the brave! Semper Fi
                      https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        I am becoming a real fan of fishtail gouges, and appreciate the comments from Fiddlesticks. The two shown from Henry Taylor appear to be different profiles - perhaps a #5 and #3. I have a #3-7mm from Herring Brothers that has fantastic edge-holding qualities. The one drawback to fishtails is they get narrower after years of sharpening. My Herring Bros. fishtail was possibly 8mm wide in the past, but who uses the full width of a gouge?

                        Here for comparison to fiddlesticks' photo is a #5F-8mm (Pfeil) and a #3F-7mm (Herring Bros.)

                        fishtails.jpg
                        Last edited by pallin; 05-30-2020, 01:07 PM.

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                        • #42
                          In my enthusiasm I decided to buy the Schaaf fishtail set - four gouges. At one source the price was about $18 per gouge, a far cry from the price I paid for one fishtail recently (over $40). Then my wife suggested checking another popular source. The price for the set brought the cost down to $12 per gouge with free shipping. I'm looking forward to receiving the package and doing a review from a fishtail enthusiast's perspective.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by pallin View Post
                            In my enthusiasm I decided to buy the Schaaf fishtail set - four gouges. At one source the price was about $18 per gouge, a far cry from the price I paid for one fishtail recently (over $40). Then my wife suggested checking another popular source. The price for the set brought the cost down to $12 per gouge with free shipping. I'm looking forward to receiving the package and doing a review from a fishtail enthusiast's perspective.
                            Phil, please share the source...that's a great price. I want some fishtails but have been dithering about buying more tools...that price assuages my feelings of guilt buying more gouges!
                            Arthur

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                            • #44
                              Arthur - The lowest price was Amazon Prime. It looks like some entrepreneurs are buying sets and re-selling on eBay to turn a profit.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Randy View Post
                                My first sets of tools were Lamp Brand mallet carving tools. Back when I was an enthusiastic new carve I bought 2 sets. I do not buy sets any more. A few years later I started selling those and to slowly switch over to Pfeil. I like the handles and balance of the Pfeil tools better. Then I was at a friend’s and use a couple of his Auriou chisels. My Mallet tool set is now a mix of 14 tools Pfeil and Auriou tools, very happy with both. I do most of my carving now with palm tools and knives. Those are also a mixed group of what I have found works best for me. I advise ,with those who ask, to first choose what size and type of carving they want to learn. Then read, watch videos and if they can visit a carving club or group. See what tools they use on the projects you want to learn. For the most part you can do a lot of things with just 5 or 6 of the right tools and a good knife. Sets may or may not have the tools that will sever your needs.
                                Randy - My story is somewhat reversed from yours. Some of my first reliefs were done with palm tools, including a 24" square "Sky & Water I" in the mid-70's. My first full sized gouge (Pfeil) was purchased in Brienz, Switzerland in 2001.

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