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Letter carving tool advice

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Freddyjersey2016

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I want to try letter carving, I recently purchased the Chris Pye 'Lettercarving in Wood' book, which seems very good; I already have a good selection of wood carving chisels & gouges, and a selection of joiners beveledge chisels.

My question is - is there any reason why I cannot use my existing single bevel beveledge wood chisels for cutting the straight components of letters -- Chris's suggested set of carving chisels for the straight components of letters consists of 7 chisels from 15mm to 45mm (for 50mm lettering) -- this is a hobby, not a business, so buying 7 woodcarving chisels of those sizes would be quite pricy!

Any thoughts?
 

MikeG.

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Of course you can, no problem at all. I've carved quite a lot of lettering over the years, and I don't own any carving chisels. You can even do the curved stuff with straight chisels.
 

Argus

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Indeed you can and I do use bevel edged chisels, but it depends on the font type, size and to some extent, the wood you are using.

Chris Pye suggests, for straight components of the usual Roman-serif-type fonts to strike a line above the root of the cut with a double edged No 1 carvers’ chisel then to work down each side, forming the desired shape. I usually do this with a single bevel chisel by choice because I can utilise the straight back to form the final cut instead of correcting the chisel-attack angle to include that of the bottom bevel as you would with a carvers' chisel.....

Curved sections do benefit from gouges but again, I have found chip carving knives good here too, especially for small stuff.
But I stress that it’s a personal choice depending on your technique and of course, your selection of tools available.
 

johnnyb

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what I would say is the book is very comprehensive but cant easily convey the movements chris uses for curved lettering. his DVDs show his chisel movements when carving. it's not obvious( till u try) when carving curved incised letters, the inside bit needs a slightly less curved gouge than one that can do the root or the outside bit.
 
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