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  • wood for carving

    Hi. Laura here.
    Been reading and learning lots from others' about wood for pyro', but it's carving I'm trying to get into.
    I'm really new to wood, and was hoping someone could give me some advice on the types of wood that suit a carving beginner like me.
    Gonna need loads of practice before I buy specific blanks.
    Being a narrowboater, ideally I'd love to use the interesting pieces I see along the way (fallen limbs etc,) but if pallets, old decking/fence posts etc are suitable, I'll find some.
    Please help!!!!
    Laura
    Laura

  • #2
    Well, limewood or basswood is what the professionals use. But you can carve or whittle pretty much anything! I've used Arborius Skipii (AKA "Skipwood" - ie old chunks of random wood found in a skip!) with more or less success. Just remember that loose-grained pine-y stuff will tend to splinter off in long speary bits if youre not careful...
    Cheers,
    Scorch

    Scorch's Pyrography : www.scorchpyro.co.uk
    Crafts on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanniso...7606138937826/

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    • #3
      Thats great. I'll be looking out for all sorts then.
      Gonna visit a couple of craft fairs over the wkend. Hoping to see some carvings, and maybe pick up a few ideas.
      Really appreciate all advice. Thanks very much.
      Laura
      Laura

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      • #4
        What are you trying to carve and what tools are you using?

        I carve spoons and things with knives which is perfect for using small diameter wood from canal sides but the advice would be the same for carving sculptures with chisels.

        To start use softer woods, lime is good but not common on canalsides willow, poplar and alder are all excellent beginners woods.

        Don't use the whole round of the wood or it will split as it dries. Choose a piece at least twice as big as the thing you want to make and split it in half down through the central growth rings, then cut away the few central growth rings from the flat surface before you start to make anything.
        http://www.robin-wood.co.uk

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        • #5
          Great advice for wood carving

          Hi Robin,
          I'm really greatful for the advice. I'm starting out carving my boat as practice. Learning as I go, and from the many mistake I'm making.
          I've managed to get a (quite good I think) selection of tools together: Chisels, small knives, plane, spoke shaver, saws, all the things I can think of that might be useful.
          Haven't been able to find 'wood knives' proper, but managing for the time being with the stuff I've got.
          I'm always looking out for tools & wood. Spend quite a bit of time searching the net as well.
          Must try and use some restraint or I'll never get my project finished!
          (Been up since 5am & still in PJs cos cant leave the forum alone.)
          Anyway, the advice you've given is bound to be invaluable. I'd never have thought about removing those parts, and I'd have been so disheartened if my work started to split. So again, many, many thanks.
          All the best,
          Laura
          Laura

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          • #6
            I'd love to have a go at carving. Good luck with your efforts and don't forget to show us photographs of what you get up to!

            Si.
            Wood Tattoos
            Decorative Pyrography for all Occasions - Author of "Woodburning with Style" (2010) and "Learn to Burn" (2013)
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            • #7
              novice carver

              Hi there, and thanks for the interest.
              I'm not expecting to produce anything worthy of posting just yet, but watch this space - As soon as I carve anything that resembles it's model, I'll be plastering pics all over the forum!!!!!
              All the best,
              Laura
              Laura

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              • #8
                best designed woodcarving knife is "frosts 106 narrow blade sloyd" less than £10 and superb. Though nothing to stop good carving with a swiss army knife and good technique.
                http://www.robin-wood.co.uk

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                • #9
                  My Grandad taught me to whittle with a worn-out-and-resharpened kitchen knife, a broken penknife and leftover bits of builder's deal planks and window-casings! We made windmills that worked, totem poles, animals, and all sorts. Nan was really pleased about the shavings everywhere...

                  I whittle (badly) even now, and use a Stanley knife, a small craft knife and a scalpel.

                  Mind you, that knife you mention looks very nice...
                  Last edited by Scorch; 10-04-2009, 03:13 PM.
                  Cheers,
                  Scorch

                  Scorch's Pyrography : www.scorchpyro.co.uk
                  Crafts on Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanniso...7606138937826/

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