reasonable carving tools

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woodbrains

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Hello,

I'm not a particularly good woodcarver, but did the occasional bit when pressed, if the client wanted some in the furniture I made. Consequently I have probably more carving tools than I should!! I really should set some time aside to get better.....

Anyway, a couple of the kids in school wanted to make some carved initials on a plaque for their bedroom doors, so in came the carving tools and we started a club. It seems to have caught on like wildfire, and every day another kid or two turn up asking to do what so and so is doing and every day I have to stretch the number of tools between them. It has come to the point now where I simply haven't anywhere near enough tools and the kids are getting a bit frustrated. I don't want them to get fed up and quit, because getting kids to be keen on anything is difficult enough. So I need more tools at a reasonable price, since I will be buying them myself. I have Robert Sorby, which I absolutely love and some Ashley Iles which are nice too and whilst it would be great to get more of these brands, I don't want to spend that sort of money, especially since Id probably be doubling up on the most used sweeps. Really, I have enough for myself.

Can anyone recommend a fair set of (straight) gouges that are not total toffee. Since they would be mine, I'd like them to be reasonably respectable, if I ever do get some carving practice myself. I can't really do boot sales for the next 6 months on the off-chance I'll get what I need and the usual auction sites are too expensive. I don't mind used if i don't have to do a massive restoration job. I guess I need recommendations for new. Anyone with experience with low cost options that might suit?

Mike.
 
O.M.G.
youre giving sharp items to kids?
Whats your insurance policy like?

dont panic on the "sharp bit", glad someone can teach any youngster something.
But very serious about the insurance. You make sure you are fully covered by the school.

Oh, and make sure you count the sharp bits back in at the end of each session before any kid leaves the room.
 
I seem to recollect Ramelson in the States are good quality and a fair price, might still be a good price having them sent over. Do you need full size gouges and chisels for the kids? Pfeil I think do a smaller size, should be cheaper, perhaps other makers do smaller size too. I don't mean the palm tools, just smaller size. Don't Ashley Iles do the tools minus the handles, cheaper, if turn or know a turner could make handles. Could approach Pfeil etc direct say tools are for use in an educational setting, might be willing to give discount or if feeling really generous give you some for free.
Good luck.
 
Nothing wrong with dirt cheap Faithful gouges. They cut fine. Not the hardest or prettiest but easier to sharpen and sharpening practice is the key to carving.
A few items in the sets are redundant - no point in buying cheapo straight "carving" chisels you've probably got better ones already, but the various gouge shapes and sizes are worth having and you can bin the straight ones.
 
Jacob":1vkyfrxs said:
Nothing wrong with dirt cheap Faithful gouges. They cut fine. Not the hardest or prettiest but easier to sharpen and sharpening practice is the key to carving.
A few items in the sets are redundant - no point in buying cheapo straight "carving" chisels you've probably got better ones already, but the various gouge shapes and sizes are worth having and you can bin the straight ones.

Hello,

For the job in hand, they look OK. For £3 odd a go, I would not have thought the would be any good, without a recommendation, so thanks, I'll give them a try. You don't happen to know what sort of sweep they are, do you? I guess they only come in one sort, does it vary with width?

Incidentally, the school I work at is mixed, but has a much higher proportion of boys to girls. Almost 90 percent of the kids doing the woodwork club are girls! We are doing the woodcarving, make little lidded boxes that look like treasure chests, articulated toy automata, and sweet dispenser toy and other assorted things. The girls come religiously and in any spare time they have. The boys largely have no patience, give up if they can't do something at the first attempt and are generally not as keen in the first place. What is happening to the world? I changed schools from an all girl's grammar to a mixed, in the hope there would be loads of enthusiastic lads!

Mike.
 
woodbrains":1royngf2 said:
..........You don't happen to know what sort of sweep they are, do you? I guess they only come in one sort, does it vary with width?
Dunno. My feeling is that a beginner carver just needs to get going with anything they can get their hands on - knives, standard chisels etc plus a gouge or two. The main problem facing them is sharpening, then achieving something in the way of a successful bit of carving, only then might you start wondering about sweeps and other details, as you find the limitations of what you have.
I've only dabbled myself - a few carved bowls and other things. For the bowls the Faithfull spoon shape was really useful for fine finishing inside. It probably has a proper technical name *.
.The boys largely have no patience, give up if they can't do something at the first attempt and are generally not as keen in the first place....
I've no experience of teaching (except my own brood) but was having a go with 9 yr old grandson "carving a boat" :roll: . Didn't get there but he was getting obsessed with the detail of how you use a gouge - getting a clean cut, lifting out a clean shaving, without driving it in and hacking like an axe. Maybe you have to concentrate on technique, without the promise of a finished item? Instead of the promise of a boat etc you are giving them 'the power' to do things!

PS it's called a 'front bent spoon gouge'! Just with hand pressure, not hit with mallet.

11WCC-5-10.jpg
 
Hello,

I only wondered about the sweep, because we are only lowering the background around the letters, so don't need anything radical. We don't need to dig deep holes, shallower sweeps are better than deep ones. Something around 3~6 on the Sheffield list. Obviously I'm not expecting or need exact profiles, but that sort of thing.

As far as teaching a craft, telling the kids that they are only learning and practicing skills, which they can then use to make whatever they like, is not going to cut it. Ultimately we know that is what is happening, but they will only engage if there is a finished product to aim for. When I was a lad, my dad just got me to cut joints over and over, until I got some success. I remember spending most of one Saturday cutting mitres with a tenon saw and bevel gauge. I was about 9 and was told to come and show my dad when I got a joint with no gaps, that would show a true square when assembled. I did the task over and over until I got the result. I can't imagine kids these days doing the same! The computer age has expectation of instant results and easy entertainment and as a consequence, very few kids have any resilience. Girls seem to have a lot more tenacity, and most importantly listen and follow instructions better than the boys. In real lesson time (not a club) I have actually had boys completely disengaged with woodwork (I know, how can they not engage with woodwork?) After asking them would it not be better to do another subject that would suit them more, I have been told that other subjects would be even less interesting. 'So' I ask, 'we are making a wooden climbing monkey toy, with saws and chisels and drills, what else do you imagine we could do, another project would still require the same skills'. 'It doesn't entertain me' was the reply from the cheeky little pipper. It worries me a lot, though, there are very few lads interested and the projects I have introduced have been much more exciting than previous times.

Mike.
 
woodbrains":ewtjhcnw said:
'It doesn't entertain me' was the reply .

I didn't realise you were in the entertainment industry! Engage perhaps, but entertain........... :shock:
 
bourbon":23qydc5e said:
sadly it's the attitude of kids nowadays
Yep. Utter R soles. Mind you - we were the same (60 fkin years ago!). Plus ça change.
I blame the teachers and the parents.
 
Jacob":k60zurvn said:
bourbon":k60zurvn said:
sadly it's the attitude of kids nowadays
Yep. Utter R soles. Mind you - we were the same (60 fkin years ago!). Plus ça change.
I blame the teachers and the parents.

Hello,

I Notice you edited in parents today. Thank the lord you did, because the teachers are working themselves into the ground, but the kids attitude is deplorable, which can only be modified by parental guidance....it obviously isn't happening.

I'm not officially a teacher, but by a strange quirk, I am actually teaching two year 9 classes All boys. It is exam week this week and I just got their scripts...OMG pathetic is not a strong enough word. I literally went through the exam questions with them, one week ago, I practically gave them the answers and most of the scripts are empty. I have just seen some of the kids and asked why they found it so difficult.....We weren't listening Sir.

Cheeses!

Mike.
 
woodbrains":2a578lxn said:
...

I Notice you edited in parents today. Thank the lord you did, because the teachers are working themselves into the ground, .....
I know I know!
Teachers get a rough ride in todays climate. Vote Labour.
 
Pfeil also do a range of smaller gouges, chisels, these aren't the small palm type tools, the smaller gouges are not the same size as the full size carving tools proper and not the same price. Carving tools cost on average £25 a pop, I've just ordered some I need..... £600, got quite a few already, expensive yes, but last a life time. Also ordered another airtight box for the new ones.
G&S Timber do a special promotion, spend so much on Pfeil tools will give Lime carving blanks.
 

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