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Whittling.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Is there any outdoorsmen/hobbyists on this forum into wood carving? Share your advice, pics of your work, tools (ll) etc.

I just got into this hobby, very relaxing. I'm using a Buck 112 that I found on the street (and was hopefully not used in a murder). It holds a nice sharp edge and I like the wood handle, but it's a little big for detailing, anyone have any recommendations for quality small blades?

My first project is a wood chain, hopefully will turn out like this:


But so far looks a bit shit. I'm using a pine wood derby car model, the store didn't have any basswood, lol. I will upload pics when I find my camera.
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Bam. I think this one is a dud, gonna start a new one. The links are too thin. And this pine is a bitch.

post #3 of 13
For your first time doing this, that's not bad at all. I think a lot of beginners tend to benefit a lot from sandpaper in terms of smoothing, FWIW.

I'm not really hands-on with this stuff, but from what I've read re: carving, basswood or linden is the usual carving lumber. Most other woods are too-coarse-grained or too hard.

FWIW, I think aromatic cedar is kind of soft and reasonably easy to deal with, but I'm not a carver.

If you can get to a woodcraft they have a number of carving tools - look for a chip carver if you want detail and intricacy.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply Thom, Part of what drew me to whittling is how inexpensive it is, though I suppose I can make it pricey by buying top of the line tools for every situation. laugh.gif Nobody else?
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Pun View Post

Thanks for the reply Thom, Part of what drew me to whittling is how inexpensive it is, though I suppose I can make it pricey by buying top of the line tools for every situation. laugh.gif Nobody else?

Oh, it's still inexpensive, relatively speaking.

I may be wrong, but it always seemed to me that older tools were generally made of better steel - perhaps you can snag an old Wostenholm pocket knife for a reasonable amount. They made great razors, back in the day.
post #6 of 13
I've wanted to get into it. Where do you source the wood?
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I bought some quality wood from Michael's, a craft store chain. Most craft stores and hobby stores will be a good source. I'd avoid the big home improvement places, unless you wanna saw down massive pieces.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Pics of my new project, a ball trapped in a cage. Now it looks like an egg in a cage, but I have the basic idea down. laugh.gif








Thoughts for the future:
Wear a finger guard!
Get a gouge, I used the knife pictured and 100 grit sandpaper only for this project, and it was hell.
post #9 of 13
Oh, it's whittling, not whistling... FWIW, I think you have done a great job there! My uncle is a carpenter and he makes desks and tables and beds. What you do is new and relaxing, and mostly for fun I suppose. Keep it on!
post #10 of 13
When I was a kid I would make spears and stakes, then paint them.
post #11 of 13
That's not bad, BP. A few thoughts, and you may know some of this already:

One - how sharp is your knife? your endgrain cuts look a bit ragged, your knife should be able to make clean slices of endgrain. You may need to re-hone as you go, if it seems you're having to muscle the knife through.
Two - when I chop mortises I usually stay just inside the waste line until I hit full depth - then I make the defining chops and (hopefully) get clean edges. It looks like you're inside on some areas and outside on others.
Three - pay attention to the grain - wood tends to tear out along the grain lines so you want to plan your cuts carefully to avoid tear-out.

Good luck and take your time.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips, Thom. I definitely could re-hone the blade. Do you have a specific sharpener you swear by? Do you use a whetstone?
post #13 of 13
I use a King brand (I think it's IceBear now) 1000/6000 Japanese waterstone: they cut quickly but dish like mad when you have a curved blade I use it for cooking knives, razors, and carpentry tools. After that, I'll use a leather strop pasted with either green chrome or Flexcut gold (for razors and chisels/plane blades)

That said, there are many roads to Rome. Oilstones, DMT diamond stones, sandpaper - all of that will get you a good edge with the proper technique.

One sharpness test I use is to shave a part of my arm: that's plenty sharp enough to slice end-grain and should hold an edge for a while.
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