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Carving Implements


Gwyl Blaser
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We all have our own style of shaping different parts of our ships, and I thought about what we use to do just that.

 

I am interested to see what types of carving implements everyone uses to carve portions of their projects.  gouges, knives, power tools etc.  

 

Gwyl

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I use anything I find will do the job. I have a small dremel type machine but I also use a coping saw and a gentleman´s saw. I use various sanding implements and make quite a few from regular toothbrushes. The cheap ones can be filed down at the tip (after the bristles have been removed) to any shape required really. Stick on whatever grade of paper is needed and then sand away. Some of the very cheap ones can be heated and bent to fit awkward places. I also use straight files and rifler files along with a small bullnose plane and various chisels. When I lived back in England I had the use of a friends small forge and could make my own chisels. I also use a craft knife with different shaped blades and surgical scalpels. I also make sanding tools from small diameter dowel. I wrap a quarter of an inch of sandpaper round the tip and stick it in my dremel. This is great for smoothing off the bulwarks on a rounded counter stern. 

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The "True Sander" is a handy device for getting squarish (rectangular) things squared away.  However, an inverse version of the "True Sander" can be equally handy and made to fit whatever stock dimension requires attention.   This simple tool consists of a small block of wood (1 cm square by 3-4 cm long) cut from square stock and a strip of sand paper to wrap around it.  Place the sand paper wrapped block on a flat surface (hold it in place with one hand or lock it in place with a clamp) and then lay the work piece on the flat surface and slide it past the stationary sanding block.  Some back and forth action will yield a flat sanded surface at a right angle to the sliding surface of the work piece. 

 

Example:  You've roughed out a stem for your model and want to finish the leading edge at a right angle to the body of the stem part.  Mark the finish line on the roughed out part, set up the sanding block, and go to work sliding the working surface of the part past the block.

 

Pros:  simple, cheap, highly adaptable, minimal storage area needed when not in use, no whirling disk or buzzing belt to grab your part and fling it across the room or into your face, finger contact with the sanding surface will not result in loss of skin and flesh down to the bone, can be used successfully by the light of the moon or a single candle

 

Cons:  slow, no satisfying electric motor whirr

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After seeing some videos and photos of people using chisels I've started using them.  I bought a sheap set and I'm sure it could be a lot better if I spent the money but so far I've enjoyed the chisel work.  I like the hard lines I'm able to achieve.  I think I've started using them more than my dremel.  Partly because of the fun of making something really hand made and partly because the darn battery never stays charged.  

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Daniel,  I have been carving wood for about 30 years, and the feel of the chisel, and the sound of the wood fibers being cut are a real treat to me.  I'm glad to hear that you are enjoying the carving process as well. You are correct that it does create the crisp hard lines that sometimes really can make your ship stand out.

 

Gwyl

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