Welcome to the Woodcarving Illustrated Message Board, an online wood carving forum community where you can join thousands of carvers from around the world discussing all things related to carving. To gain full access to the message board you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
  • Browse over 90,000 posts.
  • Communicate privately with other carvers from around the world.
  • Post your own photos or view from 3,500 user submitted images.
  • Gain access to exclusive wood carving promotions offered by Wood Carving Illustrated and Fox Chapel Publishing.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the Woodcarving Illustrated Message Board's Support Team.

Go Back   Woodcarving Illustrated Message Board > Wood Carving > Wood Carving for Beginners
Connect with Facebook

Tormek
Wood Carving for Beginners

Reply
Share Thread:
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-17-2007, 11:39 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Carving hardwood vs. softwood

Iím wondering what are the differences between carving hardwood vs. softwood. Are there different tools involved? I have a greater access to softwoods, especially pine (mainly for cost reasons). Iíve been looking around, but have had trouble finding a specific distinction between the carving of the two different kinds of woods.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-17-2007, 12:10 PM
AlArchie's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bessemer, MI
Posts: 6,667
Thanks: 0
Thanked 74 Times in 40 Posts
Default Re: Carving hardwood vs. softwood

The "hardwood/softwood" distinction is really somewhat misleading. Probably better to use the correct terminology; "conniferfous and deciduous".

Conniferous (gymnosperms) are what are generally termed softwoods, and deciduous (angiosperms) are the hardwoods. Conniferous gymnosperms are the cone bearing trees (pine, spruce, cedar, cypres, pinions, redwoods, etc.) and the flowering deciduous trees that annually shed their leaves are are commonly known as the hardwoods, ( maple basswood, elm, butternut, aspen, poplar, etc.)

Generally the hardwoods are actually "hard wood" when compared to the softwoods, but some hardwoods, such as basswood, butternut, aspen and a few others are softer than a lot of "softwoods".

Tools used for actual hard hardwoods, usually have a slightly steeper bevel than tools used for softer woods. So.....a tool used to carve a hardwood, such as maple or oak may be sharpened differently that a tool used to carve a "soft" hardwood such as basswood or butterut.


I don't do extensive carving in either type exclusively so keep my blades sharpened for working basswood, white pine ,sugar pine, aspen, etc. and they work pretty well in the harder woods also, but I have to strop them a bit more often then.

Now, ain'tcha glad ya asked? hehehe

Al

Last edited by AlArchie; 10-17-2007 at 07:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-17-2007, 12:55 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Carving hardwood vs. softwood

I am glad, absolutely. The solution is actually simpler than I feared it might be. Thanks for the reply.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-17-2007, 06:02 PM
Capt. Bandaid's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cypress, TX
Posts: 248
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Carving hardwood vs. softwood

Al hit the nail on the head. I have noticed that English tools are ground for carving in HARD wood, eg, oak. They have a larger angle on the tool edges than the German tools that are designed to carve SOFTER woods like Linden. I do not normally carve the hard woods so my English tools do not get much use.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-11-2007, 05:18 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Southeast VA
Posts: 52
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Carving hardwood vs. softwood

I usually keep a 15 degree bevel on my carving tools for carving bass. I'd like to carve some harder wood, such as walnut and holly. What bevel should I use?
Thanks,
John
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-11-2007, 05:45 PM
AlArchie's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bessemer, MI
Posts: 6,667
Thanks: 0
Thanked 74 Times in 40 Posts
Default Re: Carving hardwood vs. softwood

John. I wouldn't change the bevel one iota! Try the tools you have, as they are and see if they work well for you. No sense grinding steel off to get a smal change in bevel angle and then reginding again to get it back!

These angle preferences are generally for carvers who are going to work in one specific type of wood, and it is not productive to grind for each type of wood you intend to carve.

About the only thing you may have to do whwn carving harder wood is to strop a bit more often. And increasing the angle will only make it a bit harder to cut into the wood. Steeper angle more force required......simple matter of physics.

Al

Last edited by AlArchie; 11-11-2007 at 05:49 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-11-2007, 06:06 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Southeast VA
Posts: 52
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Carving hardwood vs. softwood

Well... I chipped my v-tool on a piece of walnut and that's when the carving came to a hault. I certainly do not want to regrind my tools for another wood if I don't have too, but I'm not sure there's enough steel behind the 15% bevel to hold up to walnut. I'm hearing you.... just not too sure I'm sold yet.... still scratching my head. The v-tool was factory sharpened... maybe that was the problem.
John
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-11-2007, 06:21 PM
AlArchie's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bessemer, MI
Posts: 6,667
Thanks: 0
Thanked 74 Times in 40 Posts
Default Re: Carving hardwood vs. softwood

John there are several things that could have caused that chip.

First is a defective tool. Not likely but entirely possible.

Second, you may have hit a "hard spot"; a knot, extra close grain or imbedded grit.

Third, and what I'd bet on, is that you "pried" the tool instead of cutting. Don't be put off if this is what you did, as we have all done this at one time or another...or we will.

Especially with a "V" tool, it's easy to to to make a turn with the blade and force the turn a bit faster than optimum.....result, chipped blade.

If you look at the actual V in a V tool you will find that there are two meeting bevels and a third bevel where the keel meets the other two. That gives two stress points with no chance of relieving those stresses. Any machining done on steel shafts, where two diameters meet, always includes a radius where the two meet, rather than having a sharp intersection. The radius relieves the stress point. Unfortunately, on a V tool, there can be no radius as the inside intersections are thin and even if the keel is slighly rounded, the outside intersections are still a fairly sharp angle.

Try not to force your turns with the V tool in particular.

Al
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-11-2007, 06:35 PM
Mitchell's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Morganton NC
Posts: 3,108
Thanks: 4
Thanked 37 Times in 31 Posts
Default Re: Carving hardwood vs. softwood

Link to previous discussion:

hardwood bevel
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-12-2007, 08:07 AM
Capt. Bandaid's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cypress, TX
Posts: 248
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Carving hardwood vs. softwood

My Robert Sorby micro-tools seem to be ground at about 21 Degrees. I believe these are intended for harder woods like walnut and oak. However, I agree that it is impractical to regrind you tools every time you switch to a different wood. I, too, would stay with the finer edge and take my time.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hardwood Bases Walt Matzek Carving Wood & Materials 1 02-07-2010 02:59 PM
Hardwood Carving Knives John Ponder Woodcarving Tools, Technology & Sharpening 2 11-27-2009 05:57 PM
Briar - hardwood or softwood? DManning Carving Wood & Materials 5 11-20-2009 03:59 PM
hardwood carving blocks? trevwinn Carving Wood & Materials 1 03-06-2009 10:44 AM
hardwood bevel electricbill Wood Carving for Beginners 5 01-30-2005 04:45 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:25 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2010 Fox Chapel Publishing Co., Woodcarving Illustrated

SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2