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Nicholas Woodcarving
Wood Carving for Beginners

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Old 02-21-2010, 11:26 PM
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Default Tools Advice


I'm new to the board and I was hoping I could get some advice on tools. I am nowhere near serious carving at this point. All I am doing at this point is playing around with wood, my axe and hatchet, and an old drawknife I found in the garage. Thus far I've just been fooling around learning how to use the tools and not really carving with a plan. For instance, I am fooling around with the noble fir Christmas tree from this past Christmas (see attached photo). I was thinking of making a hiking stick out of it. Anyway, I really love the idea of just whacking away at something and seeing some something come of it.

Right now all I have are just the tools mentioned above. God knows what I'll find in the dark recesses of my garage, however. I am particularly interested in shaping raw wood with an axe of hatchet. I have an old Collins axe which works ok but it's but it's difficult to keep sharp. I also have a tiny Gransfors Bruks mini hatchet, which I love. It has a great edge. I use it more for hiking/backpacking than anything else. I like the hatchet so well I was thinking about getting the Gransfors wood carving axe. Anyway, these are the only tools I have. I'm having fun but I know I'm going to have to obtain a few more things if I am to stay with this, such as a decent wood carving knife set, wood chisels, planes, etc. I would really appreciate it if someone could offer some suggestions for me. I really don't have that much money to spend right now so I want only those few tools that I would really need. My projects at this point are hiking sticks, an external backpack frame, bowls, spoons, etc.

Thank you for your time.

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:45 AM
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Default Re: Tools Advice

Hi Cliff, it looks like you have the tools for the roughing out part. In my reply to you in your other post, I mentioned Rick Ferry at Little Shavers Wood Carving Supply for added advice.

I hope that helps.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Tools Advice

Ciff, I saved and magnified your photo to check the edges on your tools. Looks like there are still "grind" or "file" marks on your draw knife and your axe looks like it has a very steep, short bevel on the edge. I don't know what angle that relates to, but I'd get my file out and widen the bevel back toward the cheek about 1/4". Then hone it smooth with a good fine honing stone.

It looks like the cheek on your axe has already been properly relieved.

On your draw knife, use that fine hone and work it along the length of the blade till all the file and grind marks are removed from the bevel. Then turn the dk over and "Flat Hone" the back to the same polish.

I even go further and strop my draw knives and carving axes, but I really think that may be a bit of over kill. I even keep my working axes honed to the same standard...again, overkill, but I'm a nut for sharp!

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Old 02-22-2010, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Tools Advice


Thanks for your very helpful advice. I'll work on both tools later today. The only stone I have is a small some that came with a Buck knife sharpener kit 35 years ago. I would imagine it would work. Tool sharpening -that's another huge thing on list to learn. I don't think most of us neophytes even know what sharp is.

Big Ed, thanks again. I'll contact Little Shavers today. I looked at their basic starter kit that comes in the wood box and it seems like it has everything I would need for right now.

Take care,
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:40 AM
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Default Re: Tools Advice

If you are interested in making your own knives, look up on how to make a straight razor knife. They are not all that hard to make and usually will only cost you a couple of bucks at most. You might even have one in that garage of yours.

Good luck,
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