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Wood Carving for Beginners

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  #1  
Old 01-31-2010, 10:16 PM
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Smile little shavers tool sets are back

I have noticed that a lot of the new members of this site have been looking a little shavers beginner sets but they have been out of them. I seen that he has them now for sale. I thought that I would pay it on to you all.

Last edited by shane_1; 01-31-2010 at 10:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2010, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: little shavers tool sets

One of the main things I would like to start carving is oak leaf patterns on a few of my older gun stocks. Will the Little Shavers Beginers Sets allow me to do a decent job; or do I need other knives to get started? I realize as time goes by I will be adding to this beginners set; but is this enough to get me started pretty good? I realize that quality tools cost more, perhaps much more, but I have to go with what my budjet allows to start with.

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  #3  
Old 03-09-2010, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: little shavers tool sets

Best way to find out, in my opinion is to ask Rick at Little Shavers - he'll give you an honest opinion.

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  #4  
Old 03-10-2010, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: little shavers tool sets

I asked Rick if I could carve an oak leaf pattern as you suggested; his reply was:
"I wouldnt recommend any carving set for carving gun stocks. All the stock carvers I know use power micro motors." Just starting in this hobby I dont think it wise to spend a lot of money on power micro motors; plus I cannot afford to.
What did they use prior to power micro motors? I remember seeing dozens of world class carved gun stocks in the 1950s when I worked at Pachmayers Guns in L.A.; I know the guys in the back that did the carving were using hand tools; I just dont know what kind.

I have no doubts that the "power micro motors" that Rick referred to would be better and faster. But he did not answer my question; can I use the Little Shaver beginners kit to carve an oak leaf pattern in gun stocks??
As a rank beginner I sure could use some advice here; I have some old gunstocks I can practice on; is there some reason why I can't use the Little Shavers beginners kit? As time goes on and my skills improve I naturally would get better carving knives/tools; but I would still prefer to do it by hand if possible.

I would appreciate any suggestions.

Ken
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: little shavers tool sets

first of all-- i have never carved a gun stock -- but do know that many are walnut and as it ages it gets ,much harder. also i would imagine that the folks you saw carving gun stocks-- didnt start out doing it-- the patterns i have seen are so small, intricate and detailed--i think it would be frustrating to do as a beginner project-- that being said-- i dont know what your drive and determination are-- nor do i know how much artistic talent you may have. i have a friend who can carve all day and put his chips in a small match box- i dotn have that kind of patience.

-- it is not my intent to discourage you--only to comment on it as i see and hope that you will consider all options-- i have done some very small carvings-- and the worst thing for me was keeping the tools sharp-- so you must know how to do that also.

carving an oak leaf pattern can be done with hand tools, no doubt--id suggest doing a few first in basswood and move down to smaller ones until i was at the size i wanted to put on a gun stock-- or even do one in the appropriate size on basswood
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2010, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: little shavers tool sets

" But he did not answer my question; can I use the Little Shaver beginners kit to carve an oak leaf pattern in gun stocks?? "

I think he did answer you. He said "I wouldnt recommend any carving set for carving gun stocks. All the stock carvers I know use power micro motors."

Having said that, you could use a WWII bayonet to carve a gun stock, if it was sharp. Yes, you could! It is not the appropriate tool, however, and most people wouldn't have the ability to carve detail with it; I know I couldn't. So, yes, you could use Rick's beginners set to carve a gunstock, but they're not the right tool for the job. You'd get frustrated quickly, as they're not small enough to make the proper cuts where needed. They're also difficult to control in those hard woods: if you insist on carving with gouges, then you'll need a set of gouges made to be used with a mallet, because the mallet will give you the control to make a specific cut to a specific depth. You shoulder/elbow/wrist muscles with a palm tool are just not controllable enough.

If carving a gunstock is really your passion, then what you need to do is do some research, find several people who do carve gunstocks, and see 1) how good is their work and 2) what tools do they use? Most people on this forum do not carve gunstocks; there may be a few, and if so, I hope they speak up and help you out. One place to start your research is to go to a gun store and ask the owner if he/she knows someone who does gunstock carving. Then, contact the carver. Do this several times, and get several opinions for the tools you need.

I have carved several things from walnut, maple and cherry. These are hard woods that might also be used for gunstocks. My carvings did not have anywhere near the detail needed for a gunstock. I used Flexcut gouges because that is what I had. I believe the Swiss Made gouges would have been better for carving these hard woods, but I didn't have the $$ handy to buy them. So, again, you can use most any tool for most any job, but the proper tool makes the work easier and a lot more fun.

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  #7  
Old 03-10-2010, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: little shavers tool sets

A dissenting view here. I have seen incredibly detailed gunstock work done by hand, using palm tools. I think, given practice and patience, you could do it using Flexcut gouges or the tool set from Little Shavers. You will certainly need the ability to keep your tools very sharp. The higher quality tools (Heny Taylor, Swiss Made, etc.) will keep their edges better, meaning less time spent sharpening, but the inexpensive tools mentioned are of sufficient quality to do the job. If you take the time.

You might consider picking up just one or two inexpensive gouges and V-tools and try them out on your practice gun stocks. See if they cut nicely. Learn to sharpen your tools and keep them sharp. If, after giving that a try, and after researching the tools you think you'll need, you can decide if you want to spend the money required to fully outfit yourself.

If you go down this route, let the person you order the tools from know that you intend to use them to carve hard woods, and ask him to sharpen them appropriately. He'll put a different bevel on the tool to give the edge more support.

When I first started carving, people told me, "Put down those hard woods and go with basswood. Otherwise you'll be frustrated and you'll give it up." I think that's terrible advice, best ignored. I will caution you that carving hard wood is more difficult and it will require lots of patience. But I won't tell you not to do it. Work your way into it slowly. It can be very rewarding, and you'll discover the beauty of woods that basswood-only carvers will never experience.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: little shavers tool sets

If you have access to some inexpensive stocks I would suggest ordering the kit and letting Rick know that you will be carving harder woods with it and would like a steeper bevel. As you said, carvers have carved hard woods and gun stocks for centuries without having expensive micro motor tools.

If I had listened to every "buy this not that" suggestion I have read or heard I would not be carving due to also having a VERY limited budget for tools and supplies. Over the years I have bought the best I could afford and learned how to make them do what I need them to do.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: little shavers tool sets

A lot of the gun stocks are low grade walnut and a higher grade of birch. In case of the birch, then stained. None the less, Hard wood to carve in but doable. I would agree with Rick, these days power Carvers are used but have seen some that have been carved by hand and in this case a plain old "Old Timer" pocket knife.
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2010, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: little shavers tool sets

Tandy leather co. has some great oak leaf patterns.
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