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Old 01-12-2010, 12:49 AM
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Default Newbe

Hello from Maryland.

I've been working with wood for a few years; mostly flatwork, some scrowling and turning. I bought "Best of Chip Carving" book with intro by Barry McKenzie and a Flexcut chip carving knife at the WoodWorking Show in Baltimore this weekend.

I found the illustrations and examples too hard for me -- I badly butured my first try. I think my knife was sharp .

The basswood I used was an old piece that had been stored in my shop for several years. Could it be that this wood gets hard and difficult to carve with age? I have been watching the online demos and am sure that my wood doesn't cut that well.

I plan to buy a 1600 grit stone and some new basswood. Any suggestions other than PRACTICE ?

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Old 01-12-2010, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Newbe

Hi Steve, welcome to the group! Try some new ( white ) basswood, as it ages it gets very hard.
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:43 AM
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Hello and Welcome
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: Newbe

Hi, Steve. Welcome to the forum. More important than a stone is a strop for your knife. Easy to make if you want to save a few dollars. Then only real need for a stone is when you nick the edge or drop the knife on the floor and snap off the tip, as I've done a few times. Other than problems such as that, the strop is all I use on my knives to keep them sharp.

Take a look through the Wood Carving Tutorials - Woodcarving Illustrated Message Board here - there are several projects for beginners that can help you build confidence and skill.

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Old 01-12-2010, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Newbe

Thanks guys. I'll try new wood. I have a good leather strop -- I'll try using it. I'll look at the beginner projects.

Thanks again.

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Old 01-12-2010, 01:45 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:39 PM
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Welcome and good to have you.

Safe Carving and God Bless,

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Old 01-12-2010, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Newbe

Hi Steve, welcome to the forum. Flexcut knives usually come sharp enough. Like what has already been said, basswood gets hard with age. Every 10 or 15 minutes just strop the blade 10 or 12 times on each side and keep on carving.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Newbe


Practice IS the best advice.

There's lots information on sharpening in the Tools and Sharpening forum.

Basswood can get hard OR it can just be bad wood. You can try wetting it with a mixture of water and alcohol to see if that helps. Try searching using "hard basswood" for previous discussions (here's an example: basswood ) or ask again if you can't find anything.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: Newbe

Hi Steve welcome aboard
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