whittleling (is that how you spell it)

skanman14July 18, 2008

I have a decent sized hunk of wood (not sure what kind), and im just itching to turn it into something, now ive never really carved anyhting before, but im good with tools, good with my hands and im fairly creative, does anyone have any recomendations for the tools i need to get, or general advice? keep in mind ive never done this before

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Take that piece of wood and remove everything that doesn't look like a duck. :-)

Seriously, the best book on the subject, IMO, is "Swedish Carving Techniques," by Wille Sundqvist. So sadly, it's out of print. Even sadder is that I didn't sweep up all 8 copies on the clearance table when I had the chance. If you can find it at your library get it, if you can find it for sale, get out your wallet with one hand while you hold it with the other. Using just a carving (sloyd) knife, he shows more ways to cut wood than you can imagine. I will never tire or making wooden spoons, but I was tired of making hound dogs and boots before I ever started. Wille's spoons are nothing short of engineering marvels.

A distant second choice is Rick Butz's "How to Carve Wood."

Tools: buy good ones and learn to sharpen them. One of the magazines did a review a few years ago. Swiss-Made (Pfeil) seem to be ubiquitous, but the author much preferred the German-made brands.

Here is a link that might be useful: Should have bought these at $4 each

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 7:31PM
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oh wow, im not sure im trying to spend 145, i mean, my college books cost less than that! but hey i appreciate the imput, if I cant find willy then i'll see what rick has to say

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 10:01AM
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$145.00, Wow; that would just about cover the cost of one 2" Sourby #2 Gouge Chisel, LOL.

About 20 years ago I was sitting in my local coffee shop when a close friend came in and asked if I was interested in buying a set of 12 wood carving chisels. At the time I didn't know the first thing about whittling or woodcarving and didn't have a clue what the tools were worth. He told me he could let me have the complete set for $30. At the time I thought that was a bit more than I really wanted to pay but he was a good friend and I knew he would never part with any of his tools unless he really needed the money, so I agreed to buy them.

A couple weeks later he gave me a copy of the Garett Wade tool catalog and I found out the set he had sold me for $30 originally cost $179.

Since then I have managed to collect knives and chisels of all sorts and sizes and in prices ranging from $10 for a set of 10 or 12 to $300 for one chisel, not to mention the hundred or so dollars that I have spent on sharpening stones & slips. (Slips are small sharpening stones that have special shapes for sharpening concave or V-gouge chisels.)

If I have learned nothing else from my experience, I have learned that any knife can be used for carving or whittling assuming that you sharpened it sufficiently, however the better the grade of steel the better the knife will hold the edge once you have it sharpened.

Now while were on the subject of sharpening. Whittling and woodcarving require precision cuts, therefore the key to success is how sharp the knife is. Now we are not talking sharp by the typical household or workshop standards, we are talking sharper than you ever imagined an ordinary knife can be. We are talking surgical knife sharp at the minimum. (send me an email and i will send you some illustrations on how to sharpen knives).

If you would like a fantastic catalog of fine wood working tools and supplies go to the Garrett Wade site and request their catalog. Not only does it list a full line of tools and supplies, it also has neat little hints and kinks all through the catalog.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 12:30AM
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indespensible from the both of yous, 'preciate, ill post some pictures when the skanman removes everything from the wood that doesnt look like a duck :...unless i butcher it too much in whhich case id rather hid my embarassment

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 1:48PM
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