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  • V tool shape

    I'm just starting into carving. I have several tools, 2 knives & spoon tool. I also have a set of Footprint gauges that my wife picked up several years ago. One of these is a V tool and after looking at some videos & books I think it maybe the wrong shape. I have attached a couple of photos showing the tip. Any advice would be appreciated.
    Dave
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  • #2
    It is not clear if your photo was straight in relation to the V-tool of if it is a long bent version. In the photos below, the curved V-tool is a Marples long bent. The other is a Pfeil #12-10mm. In both tools the bevels are formed 90 degrees to the axis of the tool. The bevel angles should be 20 to 25 degrees. The interior "V" of the tool should be smooth. The thickness of the V-tool "wings" should be exactly equal.

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    • #3
      Attached is a photo of the whole tool. The length of the tool less the handle is 2 3/4". Across the V is approx 9/32" (7mm). The internal angle I would estimate as 100 degrees.
      From what you said I should grind back the end to be 90 degrees then grind the bevel on both sides.
      The V portion is slightly bent from the rest at about 5 degrees & there seems to be a slight curve near the end.
      Thank you for the input.
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      • #4
        It looks to me like it was intended to have a long bend. Be careful with the grinding. A 7mm wide tool will heat up quickly, With the Marples V-tool in my photo, I used only hand work on a sharpening stone. Also bear in mind, carvers often shape tools to their personal preferences. I think we had a discussion in the past about whether the "wings" should lead or follow. Make it usable, then decide what works best for you.

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        • #5
          Lead or follow. I didn't understand the need for that. Was carving the ribs of a fish fin, running up to the fish body. Of course, I have to lift the gouge to bite into the wood. But then when I got to the wall of the fish body, the wing tips made cuts in the body before the bottom of the bevel finished the cut.

          The tool that you show really looks like the wings have been ground back so they can't hit any vertical stop cut at the finish of the groove.

          I think you can see the geometry in the picture for the fins. Birch firewood, glue-up.
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          Brian T

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          • #6
            [QUOTE=Brian T;n1192611]Lead or follow. I didn't understand the need for that. Was carving the ribs of a fish fin, running up to the fish body. Of course, I have to lift the gouge to bite into the wood.

            The tool that you show really looks like the wings have been ground back so they can't hit any vertical stop cut at the finish of the groove.


            I read an article a few years back by a professional carver. He described reshaping tools to speed the process when doing a job requiring 50 or 100 copies of the same decoration. This was done so often that gouges only lasted a couple years.


            Ed
            https://www.etsy.com/shop/HiddenInWood
            Local club
            https://www.facebook.com/CentralNebraskaWoodCarvers

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            • #7
              [QUOTE=Nebraska;n1192669]
              Originally posted by Brian T View Post
              Lead or follow. I didn't understand the need for that. Was carving the ribs of a fish fin, running up to the fish body. Of course, I have to lift the gouge to bite into the wood.

              The tool that you show really looks like the wings have been ground back so they can't hit any vertical stop cut at the finish of the groove.


              I read an article a few years back by a professional carver. He described reshaping tools to speed the process when doing a job requiring 50 or 100 copies of the same decoration. This was done so often that gouges only lasted a couple years.

              The problem I found is when trying to cut a small groove when whittling I had to hold the handle so high it didn't feel right.
              Dave

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              • #8
                The bevels ought to be 20 degrees, each side. The same as for the usual range of larger gouges.

                From what you say ^^^, it smells like a badly ground edge to some very steep angle,
                more than 30 degrees. I might be wrong but 30+ degree edges do that.

                There's a little tool for measuring the tip angles on drill bits.
                Works wonderfully well for measuring bevel angles on all sorts of wood carving tools.

                Draw a 20 degree angle on a file card. Stand that up beside a fine abrasive. Blacken the bevels with a felt marker. Match the card angle and drag the tool across the abrasive. Couple of inches will be enough. Have a look with a magnifier and a bright light. You will know exactly where the steel is coming off.
                Brian T

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                • #9
                  [QUOTE=Daven;n1192686]
                  Originally posted by Nebraska View Post

                  The problem I found is when trying to cut a small groove when whittling I had to hold the handle so high it didn't feel right.
                  Dave
                  Yes, your tool appears to be a jacked up mess. You need to square it up then resharpen. Lacking someone local who can show you. I’d grab an assortment of sandpaper and get to it. Sometimes life is the best teacher.
                  Ed
                  https://www.etsy.com/shop/HiddenInWood
                  Local club
                  https://www.facebook.com/CentralNebraskaWoodCarvers

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                  • #10
                    You need to get the basics done without wasting time. I'd begin with a 120 grit carborundum axe stone to joint (= square off) the tip. Then grind the rough shape with that stone and some oil. The oil is NOT a lubricant. It is to carry the swarf away so the stone keeps cutting as you predict.
                    Try after that with 600 grit silicon carbide (black) sand paper. Up to 1500 then hone.
                    That's how I have had to repair $50+ gouges that hit sand grains.

                    To revise a farrier's crooked hoof knife for wood carving, I begin with an Oregon chainsaw file.
                    The file never lasts more than 2 knives and it is ruined.

                    Just remember that you only have to do it once and it's a piece of un-useable steel, as it is.
                    Brian T

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