• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Carving Letters...

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

thomaskennedy

Established Member
Joined
8 Mar 2004
Messages
549
Reaction score
0
Location
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Hey all,

I'm wanting to carve the letter 'E' into a jewelry box that i have planned. I've decided to practice alot before hand-to ensure it is as good as i can do.

Now, i've thought of using a router and template but i wanted a more personal touch-if you know what i mean.

But the trouble is, i don't have a clue where to start, what tools do i need how do i use them?

The 'E' will be about 40mm high, and i'm still undecided on the style of it.

Oh and one more thing, it's going to be carved into a Wenge circle, and i'm worried that it will be difficult to see, so i'm thinking of doing the front half of the circle in Wenge and glue a second circle from a contrasting timber on the back.

Any advice tips etc. would be greatly appreciated :D

Ta

Tom
 

Chris Knight

Established Member
Joined
14 Jan 2004
Messages
6,641
Reaction score
3
Location
SE London - NW Kent
Tom,

There are many ways to carve letters but the cheapest in terms of spending the least on tools is to use an appropriate knife. I won't try to describe the method because it needs a lot of words which you can read in a book "Carving Signs" by Greg Krockta and Roger Schroder ISBN 1-56523-131-7
Buying this book and a suitable knife will cost less than the three tools you would need to carve an E in a more traditional way - for which a book, or a longish essay is also needed.

For the style of lettering, the fonts you have on your computer can provide a starting point - as can a search for font styles on the web. Equally, depending on your artistic skills, you can design your own.

You can highlight the letter in a number of ways - gold paint might be the easiest. Your proposed method is not likely to produce pleasing results as letters need to be carved to different depths - as measured at various points in the letter - and this will make for some very odd effects if you thereby expose a pale laminate behind the Wenge in a seemingly "random" way.

I don't know what Wenge is like to carve but I suspect it is rather difficult .
 

mailee

Established Member
Joined
26 Jun 2005
Messages
5,502
Reaction score
1
Location
grimsby Humberside
I don't know if this of any help to you but I rout letters freehand, well sort of. First I carbon trace the letters from the computer printout and then transfer them to the wood. I score a line around each letter with a scalpal and then use a fine bit to rout around each one using fine settings on the depth scale until I reach the depth I need. I control the 1/4" router with the base plate rather than using the handles as it gives better control. Hope this helps you.
 

wizer

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2005
Messages
15,589
Reaction score
0
I think the quickest way to do it is mailee's way but make sure you practise lots! Chris's way (the proper way) will take you some time to perfect but will give you an admiral skill. It's your choice!
 

JFC

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2005
Messages
2,180
Reaction score
0
Location
London
I to have routed letters free hand and as long as you dont go to deep with a small router its quite easy . As for wenge :twisted: its a very short grained timber that splinters if you look at it , i dont know if thats good or bad for carving :? You could always pick out your letter in gold leaf , a local sign wrighter will have a spare page im sure and a whole book is only around 20 30 quid . just make sure your carving has square edges for the gold inlay ....... or is it curved .... :?
 

thomaskennedy

Established Member
Joined
8 Mar 2004
Messages
549
Reaction score
0
Location
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Hi, thanks for the replies :D

Wenge isn't compulsory, just something very dark will suit!

I'll have to have a look at that book Chris, might be a worthwhile investment :D

I might have a bash with the router, but i'm a bit worried about it snapping away.

I haven't decided on the actual shape of the carving, i'm going to do a few different styles i think.

What would happen if i burnt the outside of, say a piece of ash (or an easily carved timber), then carved the letter out :-k

Many thanks

Tom
 

JFC

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2005
Messages
2,180
Reaction score
0
Location
London
youd get black fingers every time you touched it :lol:
Not sure where you are going on the burning thing ? To have a contrast in colour ? Why not stain the wood then carve it and oil the carving .
 

Les Mahon

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2004
Messages
366
Reaction score
0
Location
Cork, Ireland
Burning provides a very inmpressive finish, but I would carve the letter first then scorch the wood very carefully up to it, then wire brush it with a brass brush. No black hands at all!

I hevn't got any photos of the finish that can be achieved, but I'll take some at the weekend and post them.

Les
 

mudman

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2004
Messages
881
Reaction score
0
Location
Trying to stay in one piece in South Wales
Tom,

I started a woodcarving course recently and when I said that I was interested in incised lettering was told that that is one of the most difficult things to start with.

However, I've just finished my first piece, a sign to go over my workshop door and although there are a lot of places where it isn't exactly perfect, I'm pretty pleased with it.

I don't think that an 'E' will be that difficult to carve, I reckon that you could do it with a No.1 straight and a small No.1 fishtail. Don't take my word for it though, I'm a complete novice and may be talking out of my rear fundament. :wink: I have Chris Pye's book and this is an excellent text on the subject that will take you through all the techniques step by step and letter by letter. Practice the methods given and I think you'll be able to do what you want.
 
Top