• From Charles Oelsner on Carving a Camellia Flower - Beginner Lesson #8 - Episode 1

    Thank you for your quick responses. I am impressed.

    When the edge of a petal tucks under another petal, the edge becomes so thin, pointy and fragile that a point often tears out. I have been able to repair this by defining the edge a bit deeper then smoothing it, adjusting adjacent petals accordingly. So in woodcarving we do, sometimes, get a do-over!

    By the way, is the sweep number scheme you are using for your tools the "English" (or "Henry Taylor") or that used by Pfeil. For example, I have a #3 14mm Pfeil Swiss tool with the exact sweep as my 1/2" #4 Henry Taylor! I know this is not important because 3s and 4s are so close as to be interchangeable in practice, but I am curious.


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    2012/08/18 at 3:58 pm
    • From Mary May on Carving a Camellia Flower - Beginner Lesson #8 - Episode 1

      Charles, if the petal edges become too fragile or sharp, you may be carving (or scooping) out at too much of an angle when you are lowering down the petal. It might be a good idea to make sure the angle that your are carving is about a 45 degree angle on the tiny petals, and you can go at a steeper angle on the larger petals.

      I generally refer to the Pfeil Swiss sweep or the Dastra brand. The companies do try to stay consistent, but some brands do vary slightly. The Stubai (Austrian) fishtails run very flat. So a Pfeil #3 would be a Stubai #4. This is why, even thought I list the tools used in a project, I try to not lock in to an "exact" tool needed for a particular cut. I generally am pretty flexible, as they do tend to vary. I think one of the most valuable things to learn about gouges is to learn to make them work in flexible ways.

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      2012/08/18 at 4:29 pm
  • From Charles Oelsner on Carving a Camellia Flower - Beginner Lesson #8 - Episode 1

    In Chapter 2, when you are using your v-tool to begin defining the outer edge of the flower petals, how deep are your cuts? The center of the flower and the innermost petals are so small that it is hard to make the cuts even 1/8 " deep.

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    2012/08/17 at 5:41 pm
    • From Mary May on Carving a Camellia Flower - Beginner Lesson #8 - Episode 1

      Hi Charles,
      The simple answer is this - go as deep as you can with the v-chisel, without losing definition of the petals. I went just about 1/8" deep around the center, and slightly deeper as I detailed the larger petals. It might be an idea to make several passes with this v-cut. Make the first cut 1/16" deep, then take another cut a little deeper - until you get to the desired depth.

      The vertical cuts that are made to define the edges of the petals really define that final depth. Even if you can't get deep enough with the v-chisel, make sure those vertical cuts go the full and final depth.

      The deeper you can go, the more shape to the flower. The deeper you can go, the more fragile the petals. CAREFUL!

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      2012/08/17 at 5:59 pm
  • From Charles Oelsner on Linenfold Carving - Drapery Style

    Toward the end of the video you carved three "bowls" with a slicing cut twisting the gouge TOWARD the edge. These bowls were the hardest of the carving for me. Moreover, the twisting was counter-intuitive to me, but I think I almost have it now.

    Thank you for your helpful advice. I have learned a lot.

    Chuck Oelsner

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    2012/08/13 at 4:18 pm
    • From Mary May on Linenfold Carving - Drapery Style

      Thanks Chuck,
      Terminology gets a little tricky here. It's so much easier to show. I think the word "edge" gets confusing - what edge???
      The edge I am referring to is the area of the linenfold that rounds over to appear like it is folding under. Hmmm. That probably doesn't explain it any better.

      The bottom line is, most times when you cut across the grain in this "bowl" cut, and you want to keep a crisp edge, you twist the tool AWAY from the edge to keep that edge from breaking.

      The twisting is VERY important when cutting across the grain, and it is not a massive twist - just very subtle - enough to cause it to slice rather than just push through the wood. This slicing is also important when you want to have better control over where the gouge will stop. It is a good cut to get the hang of - I use it quite often.

      Have Fun! Hope this helps.

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      2012/08/13 at 4:36 pm
  • From Bob Easton on Carving Egg & Dart Molding - "Production Mode"

    Perfect! Exactly what I was curious about.

    Maybe in future episodes you could include a few seconds of work holding information, especially for things that aren't easily held secure.


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    2012/08/06 at 4:50 pm
  • From Bob Easton on Carving Egg & Dart Molding - "Production Mode"

    How is the work piece held?

    It seems to me that having the work surface as horizontal as possible would ease the carving. Yet, that means having the back of the work set at an angle, probably 45 degrees.

    Is that what you do? ... and how?

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    2012/08/06 at 7:31 am
    • From Mary May on Carving Egg & Dart Molding - "Production Mode"

      For this particular molding I cut several pieces of wood with a 90 degree notch and placed these throughout the length of the molding. Then just placed bar-clamps at the location of these cut-out pieces (the clamps would be on the curved surface of the molding - If the clamps are metal, you may want to put some protection between the clamp and the wood such as leather, cardboard, etc to protect the wood from denting - this also holds the clamps from slipping). The longer the molding, the more of these you will need to have because it can get springy if there is too much space between these braces. Another way I have done this (especially with long lengths of egg and dart) is get a length of wood (maybe 2 ft) and do this same 90 degree notch down the length of the board. Make 2 or 3 of these boards and use these as supports for the molding.

      The only draw-back with this process is that every few feet you have a clamp to deal with. So either skip the clamped section and continue the production technique on the other side of it, or move the clamps around. When you're into production mode, it's hard to stop and re-set clamps, so I usually just skip over the clamped areas and do those areas at the end.

      This technique of clamping held the molding so the angle was comfortable to carve and supported it solidly. If the molding were just clamped with the flat edge against the bench, it would be awkward to make many of these cuts, and the clampling process would be difficult because any clamp would go on the fragile edge of the molding, and not on the curved surface.

      Hope this helps!

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      2012/08/06 at 9:43 am