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Monday, April 3, 2017

Types Of Wood Carving Tools and Tips..

       We often write about wood carving and we already covered wood carving tool sets, sharpening of the tools, books for beginners etc. Now we decided to make a small guide to all of you that want to learn the basics and more about the types of wood carving tools. Professional wood carvers use a huge array of tools and it’s hard for a beginner to understand which tools are used for what. In this article we will cover the most basic things about wood carving tools, from general shapes and sizes to specific tools. 

Parts of wood carving tools 

Every wood carving tool consists of the main parts, the handle and the blade. The straight or curved shape of the edge starting from the cutting edge of the blade is referred to as the sweep. The point the blade can be either beveled on both sides, if it is a straight sweep and beveled on one side only if the sweep is curved. If the bevel is on the inside of the curve the gouge is said to be incannel and if the bevel is on the outside of the curve the gouge is outcannel. The blade starts to taper near the handle at the shoulder reaching its narrowest point at the neck.

The blade flares out from the neck towards the handle to form the bolster. A rod always extends out from the bolster into the handle (not always the case with cheap carving tools). The tang gives extra support to the blade within the handle. The handles of carving chisels are usually made from wood. Straight grained and slow growing hardwoods such as ash, beech and hornbeam are best for handles. This is because the wood is dense and strong and the straight grain is less likely to split due to inherent knots and faults.  In the place next to the bolster where the tang enters the handle a brass or steel ferrule usually supports the handle. 

Basic shapes of wood carving tools 

There are huge number of various wood carving tools and they all have specific names. In order to understand the part of the article about sizes, first we’ll cover the basic shapes of wood carving tools. Chisels have a flat blade and they can be single or double beveled. Skew chisels have a flat or straight cutting edge also but these shaped on a slant or skew. Gouges have a curved cutting edge which is called a sweep. Veiner is a gouge with maximum curvature of the sweep. V-tools or parting tools have blade in “V” shape in various degrees of the corner. There are many more shapes of wood carving tools but those are the basic shapes. 

Sizes of wood carving tools 

There are three main sizes of wood carving tools; palm size, mid size and full size. Palm sized wood carving tools are used for smaller carvings – especially those carvings that you hold in one hand and the palm tool in the other. Mid size and full size tools are used for medium to larger size carvings. They made to be pushed using one or both hands or may be struck with a mallet. Wood carving tools are numbered by the size and curvature of the blade. The curvature of the blade or the “sweep” is defined by numbers from #1 to #11. For instance, #1 sweep is a straight chisel and #11 is almost a semi-circle gouge. The other number is the size or the length of the blade and it is mostly stated in millimeters, although some US manufacturers still state the length in inches. For instance, a #4 8 mm gouge has a #4 curvature and it is 8 mm wide at the blade. You may find that the level of curvature may vary between various manufacturers of wood carving tools. When it comes to non basic shapes of tool like v-chisels, spoon bents or back bents the sizes vary too great between different brands.

Wood carving chisels

As we said earlier, wood carving chisel is, specifically, a flat bladed carving tool. Wood carving chisels differ to ordinary woodworking chisels in that they are beveled on both sides of the blade instead of having a bevel and a flat back. The standard chisels have a cutting edge that is square to the sides and it varies only in the length of the blade. Chisels can also come with a skewed edge, which is particularly useful when cleaning out tight corners where there is little clearance.

Wood carving gouges

Wood carving gouge is the most commonly used type of carving tool. Gouges come in various degrees of blade curvature and they can produce all kinds of concave and convex shapes and surfaces. As we said earlier, this curvature is called the sweep and it is denoted by a number. Higher numbered gouges are particularly good at cutting channels and deeper details. There are lot of variations of wood carving gouges and each variation is used for specific carving tasks. We’ll cover the most commonly used gouge variations. The long bent gouge has blades that are curved along the entire length. This shape of the gouge allows you to hollow out and make deeper cuts than with a straight gouge. Long bent gouge is available with a range of sweeps and it is extremely useful in relief carving. Spoon bent gouge is the short version of the long bent gouge. Spoon bent gouges get their name from having a blade that is mainly straight along its length and only curves at the end just like a spoon. Spoon bent gouges are used for hollowing and deep cutting however because of the unusual blade shape, these gouges excel at cutting in hard to reach areas. With the fishtail gouges the blade starts off thin at the handle, flaring out towards the end to reach its widest point at the cutting edge. The unusual shape of the blade gives clearance in hard to access areas where full width blades would have difficulty fitting. The fishtail form can be found in chisels also.

Carving knives, V-tools and Veiners

Carving knives are important tool in any wood carver’s collection. They can be used for lot of tasks like whittling, chip carving, letter carving and detailing as well as for general carving work. Wood carving knives, like chisels and gouges, come in many different blade shapes, each one designed for a specific purpose. The process of picking the suitable carving knife is the same as choosing the suitable chisels and gouges. Think what the knife will be used for and then select a blade shape that will best suit your needs. We already mentioned that V-tools get their name from the V profile of their blade. They produce a V shaped cut with a crisp angled bottom and they are used for detailing and adding decoration. V-tools are sometimes also called V parting tools. They are available in a variety of different angles with the most common being 30 and 45 degrees. As we said earlier, the veiner features a tight U shaped profile with maximum curvature of #11. Veiner is used for adding fine details such as veins and stem on leaves as well as cutting deeper grooves.

Conclusion :

In this article we covered the most commonly used wood carving tools but there is still some highly specialized tools we didn’t cover here. We hope that you enjoyed reading about wood carving tools and if you want to learn something about sharpening, we will make our next post “ How to sharpen wood carving tools.”

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jimmy Dawson - Santa in The Philippines

       Clearly the most wonderful part of Christmas is Santa. We wait for him in our beds to hear reindeer on the roof.. We leave him milk and cookies.. 

We lay in wait to catch him with his sack of toys, that he had made in his workshop.  We fell asleep and awaken to find that he had already come and gone..  

Only traces of crumbs and an empty glass  were the telltale signs that Santa had been there; except for the presents piled under the tree. Busting with excitement we ran for Mom and Dad who were listening all of the time and giggling in the bed just waiting for us to bust in. 

Ahh the wonderful excitement and of it all..

We did not know then that the names of Santa's elves are: Alabaster Snowball, Bushy Evergreen, Pepper Minstix, Shinny Upatree, Sugarplum Mary and Wunorse Openslae. Actually, these six elves have the most important jobs for Santa.

"Alabaster Snowball" is in charge of the list that informs Santa whether children have been behaving. "Bushy Evergreen" invented the toy-making machine that Santa uses, and Bushy is in charge of all the toys.

"Pepper Minstix" ensures that Santa's workshop stays hidden, and "Shinny Upatree" co-founded the secret village where the workshop is hidden. "Sugarplum Mary" is the assistant to Mrs. Claus, and she helps create treats and sweets. "Wunorse Openslae" designed Santa's sleigh, and he looks after the reindeer. We knew the names of the reindeer, that’s for sure. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, and Blixem, and of course Rudolph.....

We wondered, how did Santa carry all of the toys so far? And now as grown up kids we think, how can he make it all the way to the Philippines? The houses don’t even have Chimneys here! What does Santa do?

Then one day, just out of the blue, when my friends and I were wondering about his long trip here and thinking how far was the Philippines from the North Pole we came upon the answer ! As if shot out of a gun we knew , in an instant, and all made perfect sense.

Now..... most people do not know it but Santa actually has more than one workshop.. Don’t tell anybody.. I think it is a secret.. 

AND.... to get this work done he is very clever and likely under the direction of Pepper Minstix and Shinny Upatree Santa has changed things up a bit to keep his workshop hidden.. But guess what.! I found his workshop in the Philippines and I have pictures.. Yes .. I have the proof..
Shop Of Santa Jimmy
But please don’t tell because I will likely get coal in my stocking for being bad…

OK … Santa in the Philippines is "Jimmy Dawson".. YES… Sounds crazy but its true ! Hey.. Jimmy says he is from Texas in the United States.. HAHA He can’t fool us anymore. His workshop is in "Quezon City" and there's more… 

Mrs Claus..errrrrr…. excuse me… Eve Sobremisana Dawson ….wink wink…. helps him all the time. Just like in the North Pole.. And his helpers are sis in law Honey, niece Gayle, and Jay Ar, and David Bentley…You see? Just like Alabaster Snowball, Bushy Evergreen, Pepper Minstix, and Shinny Upatree…. 

 Ohhh , pepper Minstix would be so mad at me. You see it is his job to keep the workshop a secret… So anyway ... Santa Jimmy and all of his helpers Honey, Gayle, Jay and Bently are really here and they have loaded up their workshop with toys and I can prove it…Just a secret quick count and I got 400 handmade wooden toys plus.. Each one touched with the magic of Christmas by Santa himself..

My letter to Santa:

Dear Santa Jimmy, 
 Even though we have discovered your secret we love all that you do and your elves too… Thank you for making the Philippines a winter wonderland for good little boys and girls even if they live in houses with no chimneys..

Up Up and Awayyyyyy....
Merry Christmas To all and to All a Good Night

Foot note –

Jimmy Dawson with family and friend David Bently have built around 400 wooden toys in his shop.. He looks forward to giving them to children for Christmas…These folks are the cream of the crop.. God Bless you all….

Gilman Jones

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

How to Repair Rotted Wood

Photo 1-2: Apply wood hardener and filler

Remove rotted wood with a 5-in-1 or other sharp tool. Then coat the area with wood hardener as shown. Mix polyester wood filler and press it into the recess with a putty knife.

If you've done any auto body repair, you've probably worked with two-part polyester filler. Minwax High Performance Wood Filler is one brand formulated for wood repair, but a gallon container of Bondo or some other brand of two-part auto body polyester will also work and may be less expensive for larger fixes.

The process for repairing wood is much the same whether you're using polyester filler or epoxy. Instead of epoxy consolidant, you'll use High Performance Wood Hardener to solidify and strengthen the wood fibers (Photo 1). Polyester begins hardening faster than Abatron WoodEpox. Depending on the temperature, you'll have about 10 to 15 minutes to work before the filler starts to harden.

Also, unlike WoodEpox, polyester tends to sag when you're doing vertical repairs. One trick is to build a form and line it with plastic sheeting. Press the form against the filler and attach it with screws. Then pull it off after the filler hardens. Or you can wait until the sagging filler reaches the hardness of soap and carve it off with a putty knife or chisel or shape it with a Surform plane or rasp (Photo 2). Most medium to large repairs will require at least two layers of filler. Complete the repair by sanding and priming the filled area and then painting.

Required Tools for this Project

NOTE: Have the necessary tools for this  project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
Putty knife
Sanding block
Utility knife
Wood chisel

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
Wood hardener (consolidant)
Polyester filler
Sandpaper, 100 grit

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A sturdy sawhorse that’s great even if you have limited space

Classic Sawhorse

I’ve found a sturdy sawhorse that’s great even if you have limited space. When I’m done working with them I just stack them on top of each other and store them out of the way. Here’s all it takes to build one horse:

One 42-in.-long 2×6 for the top board
Four 28-in.-long 1×8 boards for the legs
Four 9-7/8-in.-long 1×8 boards for the gussets
Thirty-six 2-in.wood screws.

Notch the top board so the legs angle outward and toward the ends. Legs A and B are mirror images of each other and have compound 14-degree angle cuts at both ends. The four gussets are identical.

To assemble, predrill screw holes in the legs and gussets. Loosely screw the legs in the notches and screw and glue the gussets to the edges of the legs. Because the legs are not screwed tight, it’s easy to line up the gussets. Tighten the screws that hold the legs to the top board and you’re done.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Complete plans for a wooden block shape sorter toy. Is great project, great wooden toy, and great learning tool-

       The shape sorter toy is great wooden toy that will help your child to develop visual perception, hand-eye coordination and learn to distinct various geometrical shapes, counting and colors trough play. As one of the most attractive learning baby toys, it encourages children to observe, evaluate and compare various objects while inserting them into the openings on the toy.

So, if you have a children or grandchildren and you want to make them happy, you should definitely make this interesting educational toy. It is not difficult to make it and  it will be past from generation to generation in your family for sure.