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WeekendMiniaturist

Carving on wood pieces for Furniture

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WeekendMiniaturist

I've been studying - always causes trouble, but I'm trying not to make EVERY possible mistake and learn from others, .. so I've been studying how people carve, reading old woodworking magazines, books, youtube, etc...

I want to carve the legs for the piano from The Scale Cabinetmaker Vol 12 no. 2 and keep going back to wanting to use a benchdog to hold the piece I am working on... but a normal life size bench dog would be so heavy for a 1/12th scale mini leg.  Jim Dorsett was using a sandwich approach, but I would really like to carve the legs.

https://dpllconline.com/product/v12-i2-the-scale-cabinetmaker-a-journal-for-miniaturists

How do you hold pieces so you can carve the details?  if feels awkward holding the piece in my hand to carve, and I am fond of my hands and don't want to stab myself with carving chisels.

 

 

 

 

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Bill Hudson

I hold my small carving stuff in my hands.  If you are worried about cutting to stabbing yourself then purchase a armor (kevlar) glove. 

I also use my elevated sawing (etc.) table where the work is closer to me. It also has a clamp on the back for holding small stuff.

If you are slipping or stabbing yourself your tools are probably not sharp enough.  You should not have to put such pressure on your carving tools. 

carving - 1 (1).jpgcarving - 1 (2).jpg 

 

 

 

 

 

 

carving - 1.jpg

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Mesouth

Bill,

Did you add the vice to your bench pin, or did it come like that? What does the interior hardware look like? 

Martha

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WeekendMiniaturist

Its good to see you...are you working on anything fun?

I also have an elevated V Block, and will definitely make this modification to mine too.   I'll go through the cherry wood tomorrow and find a piece to cut out.  I frequently stick my fingers with a needle when I'm stitching, so just anticipating, that I'm going to stab myself while carving.  Yes, miniatures are dangerous activity in my world.   I still have that memory of putting that drill bit in my finger when I was using a pin vise in February - perhaps just a little shy now.

I've got dockyard carving tools, and carving tools that Elizabeth included in our carving QA ball & claw seminar.... and gravers.

None of these tools have been used too much, this is very helpful!

13 hours ago, Bill Hudson said:

If you are slipping or stabbing yourself your tools are probably not sharp enough.  You should not have to put such pressure on your carving tools. 

 

Tamra

 

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Bill Hudson
On 3/31/2017 at 8:27 PM, Mesouth said:

Bill,

Did you add the vice to your bench pin, or did it come like that? What does the interior hardware look like? 

Martha

Martha,

This is home built out medium density fiberboard.  the clamp on the back is an add on.  I used a carriage bolt with epoxy to hold it in place. The wing nut is available at most Ace hardware stores. I had to add a piece of wood on the bottom so I could clamp it with the clamp in front as needed. I am considering adding clamps to the sides too. 

clamp - 1.jpg

clamp - 1 (2).jpg

clamp - 1 (3).jpg

clamp - 1 (1).jpg

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Mesouth

Thanks so much, Bill!  I think this will be very useful in many applications!

Martha

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agergr

Thank you so much.

I also learned a lot on how to use woodworking hand tools properly.

Apart from the methods of wood working, the experience from practice is very important.

 

 

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MeezerMama
On 3/31/2017 at 9:06 AM, WeekendMiniaturist said:

How do you hold pieces so you can carve the details?  if feels awkward holding the piece in my hand to carve, and I am fond of my hands and don't want to stab myself with carving chisels.

 

 

 

 

I can tell you Ann High's approach.  When she has small pieces to carve, she cuts a matching inset in a piece of matte board and places the small piece into the inset while she carves.   If the inset is reasonably close it will hold the piece and you can just hold onto the matte board.  I have tried this and it worked well for me.

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WeekendMiniaturist

This is a great idea!  I was trying to find a miniature bench dog that wouldn't crush my parts... and was cruising the Lee Valley catalog for just the right clamp.  (It is just an excuse to cruise the catalog!)  My husband has this very, very old bench clamp that has a ball attached to the jaws, so you can adjust the angle... so this is another option... if he will let me add it to my bench.  

I will have to try the matte board method, I just found a piece in my stash on Saturday.

Thanks -

 

 

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Bill Hudson

The problem high holding a piece in a fitted hole it that it can jump out and cause a severe cut or ruin the piece. If you do use the mat board with cut out I suggest using some double stick tape under the piece to help hold it in place. I find it best to hold the piece in my hands. I find the kevlar glove to be the best solution. There is also alligator tape that can be wrapped around fingers and thumbs to form protection.  The gloves and tape are usually available in Micro Mark. Although the tape does not go by that name there it is all the same thing. It is gauze impregnated with sticky wax so that it sticks together when wrapped. 

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WeekendMiniaturist

I have been bartering tonite to add the cool clamp to my bench (that doesn't exist yet!)  

Kevlar gloves, I really like this idea, but they might be hard to find to fit my small hands; The tape is a great alternative; I know you have posted about it... I will have to go find that post.

I got my double stick tape out last night and neither tape worked like I wanted it too; one was removable, that obviously wasn't going to work, but the other carpet tape was super, super sticky, but didn't hold my pro-sandpaper like I wanted it too (flexible and plastic backed) ...but I will try what I have; it may work perfectly on wood.

I want to create an oval mirror with round beads all around the mirror, so I am planning on doing some experimenting with Jewelers tools.

A quick search on Amazon for child size Kevlar gloves seems like a possibility...

 

 

 

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karincorbin

One method you can use is to clamp a small piece such as a table leg in the jaws of a wood handscrew clamp. Just do an image search with handscrew clamp as the key word if you don't know what they look like. Many of the table legs have flat surfaces up at the apron end and you can grip onto the leg in that area.

If you wanted to secure the handscrew clamp to a workbench top that is simple to do, you just clamp that clamp to the bench top. Or you could put screws through the wood jaws and secure it to a bench or table top that way. You can also hold them inside of the jaws of various types of larger vises. 

As the jaws of the handscrew clamps are made of wood it is possible to modify their shape to fit the piece you are clamping with it. So if you were doing production work you could then make custom jaws and then just thread them with screws when you need them and store them when not required.

You have lots of options for making custom holding fixtures using the method of creating pockets in the surfaces of mating "jaws" that can be screwed together then taken apart. You could even incorporate grips on such things to facilitate holding them by hand while you carve.

Making your own jigs and fixtures is an important skill to have. Like any skill practice helps a lot but you have to make the decision that you are going to deliberatly practice imagining how you can do something to get better at it. The more you practice figuring out how you could hold small items the quicker the solutions will come into your brain. You don't actually have to be making anything to practice this skill. Just look at something and see if your imagination can come up with a method of holding the part steady and safely while you work on it. For instance just incorporate it as a creative puzzle game it into your habit of internet browsing for miniature furniture inspirations.

 

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WeekendMiniaturist

Thank you Karin, we do have some Jorgenson wood screws in the life size woodshop, this is an excellent idea.  They are of course all for full size projects, but I get the concept.  We stopped collecting wood clamps when the Irwin clamps arrived on the scene, so we have a lot more Irwin clamps then wood clamps.  I have a small box full of Irwin clamps for miniatures too, that I was able to purchase locally.

Production would be important, if I want 8 matching dining room chairs...  but I am most interested in keeping my hands safe.  I am like the topic of jigs and fixtures.  Frequently you need holding devices to assist in the assembly and jigs and fixtures also help you get repeatable results, like assembling 4 matching wheels, or 4 matching legs...so I'm very keen on this topic!  

I do frequently think of allowing my self a "handle" or an extra piece of wood when I am working on furniture parts, so I have something to hold onto when I'm working on the details, and then I cut the handle off when I like the results and finish shaping the piece.  But when I follow the instructions in a book this is not always incorporated in the cut plans, so I find myself trying to think ahead.

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WeekendMiniaturist

If you are US based or access to US stores,  I found some nitrile coated Dupont Kevlar gloves at Big Lots today for $4.  They had 2 pair in Large.  The fingers are a little long, but I think they fit my palm appropriately and made by West Chestergear in Ohio.  

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