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WeekendMiniaturist

Flexcut Carving tools

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WeekendMiniaturist

https://www.flexcut.com/home/product/fr310-beginners-palm-set

My husband bought a beginners set a while ago and today was the first time that I tried to use these tools.  The tool fits in my hand nicely.  

Admittedly, I was working on cleaning up a pocket cut that I didn't make deep enough, and it was basswood, but I thought I had great control.  

 

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Bill Hudson

Many years ago I bought a set of Flexcut carving knives (not the gouges). When new they cut beautifully.  When I tried sharpening them after a while I found the spring steel they are made from was way too hard to sharpen. I eventually pulled the blades from the handles and re-tempered them to a lower hardness.  They lasted me for several years after that. The real problem with the gouges for me is that the handles are too small for my large hands. 

Bill

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WeekendMiniaturist

I would guess that my hands are definitely smaller, and I finding the perfect handle for my gravers was the reason I turned them on a lathe myself.    I was wondering what would happen when I needed to sharpen them.  My set came with profile for maintenance, which should help me keep them sharp, and hopefully I don't alter the profiles.

https://www.flexcut.com/home/product/pw12-flexcut-slipstrop

pw12fig2a

I am glad to learn about an alternative though for sharpening. 

I hope to work on a life size carving in cherry, ie a fan for a highbox, and then if this is satisfactory, I will probably purchase the microset of flexcut carving tools, or I need to sharpen and replace the handles on my dockyard tools.

 

 

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karincorbin

My favorite carving tools for making miniatures are made in England by Ashley Iles. They are palm grip block cutters so very easy to control. They come in a wide variety of shapes.  The Ashley Iles are available in shallow as well as deep profiles. Plus of course all the other types of carving gouge shapes.  You can get them in the USA from a company in Brooklyn New York.  https://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/dept/TXQP

Dockyard cutters are not great steel, the handles are too small around and the radius gouges are all a full half circle in shape. You really want to have gouges that like the full size sets come in a variety of radius from shallow to deep because you use that radius plunged into the wood to outline details of the carving. If you want to learn more about that just do an internet search on Peter Follansbee. He specializes in early styles of carved furniture. He has a blog, he has a youtube channel and he also has books and videos. Well worth the time to see how the full size pieces he makes are done because those lessons do translate to miniature carving if you have a great set of Ashley Iles block cutters which have those same types of gouge profiles but in miniature sizes.

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WeekendMiniaturist

From karincorbin,

<Dockyard cutters are not great steel, the handles are too small around and the radius gouges are all a full half circle in shape.>

I guess I don't understand, what a full half circle in shape means.    Besides the handles, if the tool's shape fits the size of the item you want to carve, why wouldn't I try to use my dockyard tools?  I'm of the opinion, if a tool is sharp and it cuts and is the right size for what I'm carving, I would use it, irregardless of the brand.

I just bought a set of 12 pfiels carving chisels at in person auction for a wonderful price, but many of these,  probably 9 of 12 chisels,  are too large for 1/12th scale miniatures... we have a lot of carving chisels, jut no Ashley Iles to my knowledge.

While the brand recommendation and experience is welcomed, so many of the tools look too large for 1/12th scale miniatures; so I'm not comfortable purchasing the bird set.  Did you purchase all 1/16th sizes?  And which specific profiles do you like?

Do miniaturists who carve prefer curved or flat chisels?

Thanks -

 

 

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Bill Hudson

My old Case knife was my favorite for many years. It is kind of worse for wear because my father used it when working in the shingle mill to pick out cedar slivers from his leg and arms. ;)

knife - 1.jpeg

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WeekendMiniaturist

It is good to see another option and tools with a family connection are even more valuable.  A part of my head and hands know when the tool fits your hand, you know that you can control it; it is the right tool for you.

Tamra

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Bill Hudson
5 hours ago, WeekendMiniaturist said:

It is good to see another option and tools with a family connection are even more valuable.  A part of my head and hands know when the tool fits your hand, you know that you can control it; it is the right tool for you.

Tamra

I don't quite see it that way Tamra.  It would be nice to have all custom fitted tools or hav  very good quality tools  but that is out of my pocket book. I have learned to work with any tool that does the job I need it to do. I adapt to the tool or make my own tool. Notice the altered blade on my Case knife It acts like a #11 blade but much stronger. Great for fine detail like horse eyes or ears.  My first tools as a young boy were my pocket knife, and a boy's carpenter kit I got for my 10th birthday.  It had a coping saw, small hand  saw, an egg beater hand drill and a little hammer and a square. I used to tear apart apple and orange crates for the wood.  I would save the nails and re used them or flatten the points and file them to a spear point for drills. 

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WeekendMiniaturist

It seems that your experiences with metal serve you well, while I could change the profile of a blade with our bench grinder and could sharpen it with the various sharpening tools that I have acquired the sharpening and re-hardening of tools remains a puzzle for me and hopefully a future good experience.  The perfect handle for control will likely be a lifetime endeavor for my journey.  I really wish for a class on sharpening and creating tool bit profiles, and properties of steel as there are so many alloys and without knowing the specific alloy, how do you know what temperature to bring to?  The slow cooling seems easier with a kiln....

I am pretty sure that *our* Pfiel set of 12 came from woodcraft as the measurements are consistent with their set and the previous owner had many items still in the shipping cardboard from Woodcraft - We paid $35.00 for the set; I don't know why we got them so inexpensively.    I attended the auction as they advertised a set of micro Sorby lathe chisels, but neither of us ever found them at the auction.  I need a project so I can try using some of these carving tools!  

I have always wanted to make some barley twist legs, perhaps I can use some of the V Gouges for mini Barley twist legs, but I feel like I need an indexer first to stop my spindle from turning on my lathe... I will have to do some *thinking*...

 

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Bill Hudson

1340123968_books-1.jpeg.6be8ba646b4b06f6256f159d3b193ee0.jpeg

I rarely use bench grinders or any other type of grinder to sharpen or re purpose my knife blades. Knife blades are not made of hardened steel and can be shaped with a  good file. I stay away from stainless steel blades. Good old carbon steel blades are best fort me.

A couple of good books on sharpening and care of wood carving tools.   Woodcarving Tools, Materials  & Equipment  Volumes 1 & 2 by Chris Pye. First volume goes deeply into care and sharpening of wood carving tools  (gouges etc.). Volume 2 is a variety of related chapters from modifying carving tools including hardening etc. Clamps and holding devises and making speciality tools and of Wood selection.  Very informative books. 

Edited by Bill Hudson
add photo

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WeekendMiniaturist

Thanks for the book recommendation; I think I have volume 1?  I got stuck in the metallurgy chapters and haven't finished reading.  When we got to the atomic level, I tuned out and felt my eyes glazing over in confusion.    My lathe chisels (my used Micro  Sorby pen turning set) really do need sharpening, but I'm scared - and the reason I haven't done much turning this year, as I'm tearing wood when I use these tools.  Yep, I definitely need a sharpening mentor, and this past summer I was considering joining the local American Wood Turners group and going to the meetings to get help and then decided to put a hold on those plans and eliminate all non-essential travel....

I will try to find the book at resume study! 

I appreciate the encouragement!

 

 

 

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