Wednesday, May 30, 2012

a rough roughout

I haven’t posted in awhile with the holiday and all. I did have a small project I recently got done and it seems to be working out for me quite well. You see I don’t have a machine to do roughouts nor do I have the budget to buy roughouts every time I want to do a carving so I got inventive, of sorts. I wanted to carve some Santa carvings on a piece of 1 ½” by 1 ½” by 4” corner cut but once I got the wood in half how would I cut out the pattern. 
So this is what I have done. I took a flat piece of 2” wood and placed the pattern on that. 
From there I used my v-gouge and cut a v right down the center of the wood. I then turned the piece over and placed the outline of the carving on that took it to my scroll saw and cut away. I then took a few pieces of scrap wood and made an “L” shaped piece that I place my corner cut on. 

Then on top of that I place my silhouette with the v cut on the bottom and with a pencil in a slight angle out from the wood transfer my pattern onto the corner cut and to the scroll saw we go. Now this is not a perfect solution but it works quite well for what I am trying to accomplish.

This takes me to my next task which is trying to improve on the style of my carvings, which has been made easier by an extremely generous friend. Knowing the small assortment of tools I had to work with I was given an extremely nice supply of knives and gouges for my very own. I can't thank this person enough it has opened my eyes to what a real carving knife can do. I know many people are in the same position I am with raising a family in today's economy. So many of us getting by using X-acto knives or pocket knives. My advice is simple, buy yourself at least one good carving knife. If possible an inexpensive set of gouges. After using the knives I received I came to realize how hard I was working just to make a basic cut. The other issue, the clean cuts you can make with a proper knife that you can't with improper tools.

I use Amazon for a lot of my purchases like this. The nice thing is you can check out the reviews to get an idea of the quality. Worth checking them out and see what is available. One of the basic chisels sets I found you can look at in the carousel provided on the left of this blog.

As I have said a number of times, research it out and if possible get into a carving group. You learn so much and nothing like hands on training and many carving magazines have a list of carving groups in your area. It is worth checking into.

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