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  #1  
Old 06-17-2010, 12:45 PM
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Default what to expect from a recip. carver

Hello all,
I havn't been on much and I hope all is well with everyone.
I discoverd I have asthma and want to stay away from the fine dust made by the flexible shaft tools. I also want to stay away from the 2-300 dollar filtering system etc.
I am looking at the recip carver from Mastercarver and would like to know how the recip. carver performs compared to using hand carving tools. I have arthritis in both thumbs.
Can the recip carver do details such as making wood spirits and carved walking sticks. I want to carve larger pieces of driftwood for stand up designs, smaller pieces for free from dolphins , sharks etc and do Celtic type designs and design work on mouldings for book cases. I also want to try may hand at relief carving panels with flowers, dolphins and such.
I was thinking of getting the recip carver for rough out and whatever else it can do and some Flex cut interchangables tools for details...is that a good idea?
I will not be carving birds, caricatures or santa clauses and such...
I guess I am asking what are the limits of the recip carver as compared to hand tools, which I will be limited in using..
thanks a lot and excuse me if this is too long.
Frank in NJ
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2010, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: what to expect from a recip. carver

I haven't used a reciprocating carver. If you can grip a mallet handle with your hand, then I'd think a mallet and gouges would be good for you. You don't have to whack the gouge really hard with a heavy mallet; a light mallet and easy taps on the gouge will work. All you need to do is just take thinner shavings of wood with the gouge. The mallet also gives you much better control over the gouge than using just your hands, as on a palm tool. I have the Flexcut SK108 set and use the gouges with my mallet all the time.

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Old 06-17-2010, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: what to expect from a recip. carver

Thanks Claude but using a mallet and hand tools is not good for me. I have arthritis in both thumbs, my left thumb joint needs repair as it is worn down..sometimes I have to use only the four fingers on my left hand, I am left handed, because of the pain after a few minutes of pressure, gripping etc. I know my limitations and pain tolerance and using hand tools is one of them. Using a mallet is out for a few reasons.
Thanks for your post...fast indeed
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: what to expect from a recip. carver

Sorry your thumb is that bad. For what it's worth, my mother had two knuckles replaced in each finger of her hand and after healing was able to go back to her knitting and crocheting again.

I just Googled Rockler and Woodcraft and their closest stores to you are Houston... You might try the yellow pages for NOLA and see if any hardware/building supply stores sell one of the reciprocating carvers. If so, you could try it out before buying...

Claude
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Old 06-17-2010, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: what to expect from a recip. carver

Hi Claude,
I am in NJ and Houston is a wee bit too far. As far as trying out tools...not in NJ...I went to Lowe's yesterday to buy a corded drill and tried to get it off the wall. It is chained...all of them...all power tools. The sales guy said it is because people steal them.And this is the "nice" suburbs. I wanted to try a fly rod last year and the guy walked me to the parking lot and watched me as I whipped it around.
I was looking at the Mastercarver recipro chisels.
thanks again.
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Old 06-17-2010, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: what to expect from a recip. carver

Oops - sorry, Frank - confused you with someone else. There's a Woodcraft in Wilmington, and a Rockler independent reseller in Union, NJ. Woodcraft is usually very nice about letting you try something in the store. My local in Springfield, VA even has blocks of wood near the gouges and planes...

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Old 06-17-2010, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: what to expect from a recip. carver

thanks Claude, but I am looking at the Mastercarver because I won't be using it daily and it seems to be a good price. I will post this on the tools section becuase maybe I posted it on the wrong forum.
thanks for your help
Frank
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: what to expect from a recip. carver

Hi Frank,

I use a Wecheer reciprocating carver with a flexshaft on a Dremel motor. My thumbs are extremely weak, virtually no strength at all. I use my fingers and palm to grip my tools. I use it to rough out my work on my sticks but still use my knives for the detail work. The reciprocating carver is too aggressive fo detail. I got mine from TreelineUSA. Send me a pm if you want more detail or help or post your questions here.
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: what to expect from a recip. carver

I will add my two cents later I have much experience with them and I want to help you I am tired.
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Old 06-18-2010, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: what to expect from a recip. carver

I've been contemplating using a reciprocating chisel--either one dedicated to carving, like an Arbortech, or using an air hammer fitted with modified chisels/gouges--similar to what ElwoodTroll did:
air tools

I'd love to put my 4" Makita grinder to work on some of the logs I've accumulated, but I believe it's the one that can't be used with the carving wheels.

I look forward to what DonSexton--and anyone else--has to offer.

Bob L
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