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Chris Knight

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I have put the Durer to one side for a while and whilst I ponder the veins in the hands problem, I thought I would try a different wood. This is a little panel of black walnut I had used for some finishing tests at some stage. The design is a copy from a photograph I made of a carving on the end of a pew in Dore Abbey.

Lime is the carver's favoutite wood for a reason - it doesn't misbehave! Walnut is pretyy easy to carve I suppose but the more distinct grain in this piece makes it harder to carve without splitting along the grain. Super sharp tools and remembering to carve from the opposite direction when the grain starts to show signs of splitting, are the keys.

This sort of panel is causing me to think of making something like a blanket chest where one could carve a number of such things.

 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Charley

Is there anyway that we can stop Chris posting these photographs showing his excellent skills? :roll:

Absolutely brilliant Chris.

Well done,
Neil
 

Adam

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Thats great Chris!

If it was me, I'd definately have a go at a blanket chest - not only does it provide a piece of furniture you'll use once it's finished, but with repeats or similar patterns all round it'll improve your speed and confidence.

If not, I'll pop a few raised panels in the post and get you to do some for me :wink: :wink: :wink: :lol:

Adam
 

Alf

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Adam":12kphc1e said:
If not, I'll pop a few raised panels in the post and get you to do some for me :wink: :wink: :wink: :lol:
No there's an idea... Lovely stuff, Chris. :D

Cheers, Alf
 

ProShop

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It's been a real cr*** day today, and got home and looking throught the posts, having a cuppa and I see Chris's latest carving and it made me smile in admiration.
Thank you Chris for cheering me up, all's well the the world now :D :)
 
A

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beautiful work chris - I am truly envious of your talent
 

Waka

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Chris

Wonderful work, how long did this one take?
 

Charley

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Great work 8) must of taking a while to do?

Hi Charley

Is there anyway that we can stop Chris posting these photographs showing his excellent skills
I'm not sure but am looking into it NOW :p
 

dedee

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Chris,

You first picked up a carving chisel when?

Lovely stuff as usual although shouln't you have screwed the panel from behind?

Andy
 

Chris Knight

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dedee":2qjo1nvv said:
shouldn't you have screwed the panel from behind?
Andy, this was just a scrap panel left over from some finishing tests - I'm not intending to do anything with it - except possibly plane the present carving off to try something else.
 

tim

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Chris,

How many carving chisels, gouges etc do you realistically need to get started with this kind of thing - I'm very taken with it and am keen to start when I can find a mo but I don't want to get a couple of carving chisels to realise that I should have bought a set.

I suppose the question I'm asking is please can you list (unless its too long) the carving tools you have and asterisk the absolute basic set you'd recommend. I'm also assuming you need a bunch of shaped slipstones etc.

Do you have a particular make pref?

Thanks

Tim
 

Pete W

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tim":1mtix6yy said:
How many carving chisels, gouges etc do you realistically need to get started with this kind of thing - I'm very taken with it and am keen to start
Chris, I'd be interested in your thoughts on this, too. Very inspirational, you are :)
 

Gill

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I'm so green with envy of the man's talent that I can't even bring myself to contribute to this thread.

Only joking, Chris ;) :).

Gill
 

Chris Knight

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Tim, Pete,

FWIW here are a few thoughts on starting.

Most carving teachers recommend NOT to buy a "set" of chisels. Their reasoning is twofold. Firstly there are around two thousand possible shapes/profiles/sizes etc that can be made and can be bought from some manufacturers and most of them will never be needed by even professional carvers during a lifetimes working. What one uses is very much dictated by what one carves and the recommendation is to buy (or make) what is needed as one needs it.

Secondly, all the cheap sets one sees (on EBay for example) are basically rubbish and a set of these is not much use.

Having said this it is recognised that people can be overwhelmed by the variety of tools out there and need some help. Chris Pye recommends the following list of starter tools.


No. Width(mm) descriptiion
02 10 Skew chisel
03 6 Flat gouge (straight)
03 13 Flat gouge (straight)
03 19 Flat gouge (straight)
06 6 Medium Gouge (straight)
06 13 Medium Gouge (straight)
06 19 Medium Gouge (straight)
09 6 Quick Gouge (Straight)
09 13 Quick Gouge (Straight
09 19 Quick Gouge (Straight
39 10 V-Tool (parting tool)

Note that the No. refers to a system of numbering called the Sheffield List and manufacturers mostly designate their tools in this way. However, a No 5 can be the the same as someone else's No 6, so caution is needed when buying unseen. The No. refers to the sweep or curvature (concavity ) of the gouge and the more curved (the "quicker" the sweep (or curvature) becomes. Straight means straight along the length of the tool. flat means nearly flat (there is a curvature or shallow sweep - definitely not a woodworking chisel.

As soon as one commences a carving, then it starts to become clear pretty quickly that one may need other tools. I have acquired around 50 tools by now and I would say that I have actually used about thirty of them and could probably have done all my carving to date with perhaps twenty tools and that includes lettering that I did that requires a different set of tools.

The best recommendation I can make is to get a couple of books. I recommend Chris Pye's two basic books
"Woodcarving Tools, Materials & Equipment Vols 1 and 2. Also get a book on basic carving with some designs in it Chris Pye has a couple as does Dick Onians, another good carver. There are a couple of older books - one by Charles Marshal Sayers - The Book of Woodcarving and another by Wheeler that are very good too.

Chris Pye covers sharpening better than most writers and sharp tools with the right form to the edge are a pre-requisite of progress. Don't rely on your sharpening knowledge from woodworking tools, it is different and not sufficient.

Carving seems to be fairly popular with Adult education centres. there are a couple near me that I tried to join but I left it too late into the term as both are now full. I shall try again for the next round of classes.

My tools come from a variety of sources and they are of different makes

Sources: New from Tilgear and Alec Tiranti (http://www.tiranti.co.uk/) and Classic Handtools (http://www.classichandtools.com/acatalo ... ion_2.html)

Used come from Ebay, friends a live auction and this website http://www.theoldtoolshop.fsnet.co.uk/c ... isels.html

Makes. As ever, it seems a couple of old makers are the best, with Herring Bros and Addis as the ones to go for.

In modern tools, Pfeil ("Swiss Made") as sold by Tilgear are very good, Henry Taylor are not bad. Auriou are good but expensive and Ashley Iles are OK too. Sorby make only a few and are said to be not very good but I have none of these and can't say personally what they are like. Stubai as sold by Alec Tiranti are said to be a bit soft - I only have one of these and it seems OK.

Prices range from about £10 per chisel to up to £15 or so. Some of the older ones by good makers command more.

I mentioned making tools earlier and it is perfectly feasible to do this for some shapes that may be hard to get. Either through modifying another carving tool or using any old bit of tool steel. I am currently making a very narrow dog-leg gouge from an old woodworking chisel.

By the way, carvers refer to all their tools as chisels. Within this classification sit the subspecies such as gouges, bent tools and so forth.
 

tim

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Chris,

Thanks so much - a massive amount of info which I need to sit down and absorb but really helpful and I'm looking forward to exploring this more.

Cheers

Tim
 

Pete W

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Yes, thanks Chris... the book recommendations sound like a good starting point :).
 

Scott

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Chris,

Your work looks fantastic. Well done!

I'd like to supplement my (Addis and Mathieson) carving tools with a few new ones but I'd like to buy good quality tools. I just wondered if you had any particular preference amongst what's available these days?

I'm hovering between Auriou and Pfeil. Do you reckon either is better than the other? Or am I off the mark?

Cheers
Scott
 

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