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Woodcarving V tool

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Steliz

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I don't know if there are any woodcarvers on here but I would like some advice from someone with more experience than me. I bought a used set of woodcarving tools which included a V tool. It has an unusual sharpened profile and I've not been able to find another similar profile anywhere on the internet. I've looked at new tools and tools being used in videos and they all have the wings at a perpendicular angle to the shaft whereas mine has the tips of the wings angled forward. This makes it quite difficult to use as a V tool but instead it is quite good as a double sided skew. Before I grind it back to the seemingly correct profile I thought I would ask for opinions on here about it.

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mrpercysnodgrass

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It looks as though somebody has shaped it for a particular job. I have half a dozen carving chisels with odd shapes some of which I can't even remember why I shaped them like that!
 

AndyT

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The cutter inside a thread box (for cutting external screw threads on wood) is sharpened at a similar angle. So I'd guess that the tool was used to carve on a convex surface, rather than a flat one.
 

johnnyb

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that profile is really good for just carving lines as it acts like a skew.​
it's normal to make them flat at the front. yours shows a typical sharpening fault a beak at the front. when sharpening treat the sides as a skew but the actual vee as a tiny gouge which is what it is. a vee tool is undoubtedly the most difficult tool to sharpen.​
 

AndyT

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I've just checked in Chris Pye's very thorough book "Woodcarving Tools, Materials and Equipment". In the section about the V tool he says to first grind the end square with the tool perpendicular to the wheel, and then to 'set the keel angle by presenting the tool across the wheel' and suggests an average angle of about 20 degrees. So definitely not with the end perpendicular to the shaft. I'd guess that yours is a bit nearer 30?
 

marcros

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I have to admit that I had a v tool and sent it to Ashley Iles to be reground and sharpened. I had a go before but I couldn't get the thing to cut properly. If was easy to maintain once it was correct.
 

Steliz

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Thanks for the replies. So, I think I'll square off the end removing about a third of the profile and then re-profile back from there. I don't think I'll be able to achieve 20 degs without removing the whole profile but I'll try it with the new shallower keel angle and see how it is. If it seems I need to tilt it up too much to get the right cut then I'll have to do it again.
 

johnnyb

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there is no right or wrong with carving for example a Carver may want it angled the other way to get into corners. but the beak at the vee is wrong as it will be weak. I suggest making the angle less severe and sharpening and honing from there. remember it's the hardest tool to sharpen almost being three tools(2 skews and a tiny gouge) also the angle of engagement(starting to cut) has nothing to do with the rake at the front. that's determined by the effective angle of the cutting bevel particularly at the tiny gouge part.
 

Cabinetman

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I taught myself to carve letters with one just the same as that, maybe not quite such an angle but certainly not at right angles to the body of the chisel.
I was amazed how easy it was really. Half a dozen practice letters and I risked
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it, quite pleased with the result.
 
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