Wood Carving Tool Care
The process of working with wood carving tools requires you to be aware of the wood carving tool care process so that you can get your tool to last as long as possible. Every tool has its own unique process for sharpening and if you follow these steps to the hilt, you will be able to ensure that even after a number of months, your tools still produce quality work thanks to their quality finish. Your wood carving tool care process can be the difference that shows off in the projects that you work on.
Sharpening Chisels the Right Way
The process of sharpening chisels is all about holding it in your hand in a way that the index finger comes over the top of the blade. The other hand's fingers need to be placed over that index finger to gain more control over the tool. This kind of grip allows you to move the tool back and forth as well as sideways, all along the sharpening stone. The tool needs to be held at the stone at an angle of 10 degrees.
The idea is to keep working from the coarse edge to a fine edge and both sides of the chisel, if need be, can be done this way. A straight number 1 chisel will require both sides to be done in the same way as they have two sharp edges. In the case of skew chisels, you can hold the chisel to the stone in the same angle as that of the skew, before swiping it back and forth. To complete the wood carving tool care process for chisels, you simply need to strop it with leather that has metal polish on it.
The Way to Sharpen Gouges
The wood carving tool care process for gouges requires you to make sweeping movements that help you bring out the tool's 25 degree angle needed to work with wood. The outside bevel is perfect when sharpened to 10-degrees, which works for almost all gouges. To carry out the sharpening process, you can begin with the outside bevel by holding the flute of your gouge by placing your finger inside it. The handle needs to run under your wrist such that your entire arm & chisel are placed over the stone at a particular angle. You can use the other hand to put extra pressure on the tool.
The gouge needs to be slid from one side to the other while applying a rotational-motion to it. At the end of each sweep, you need to reach the corner of the blade while checking the blade ensure that you are removing the metal evenly with each go. If you need more work in certain areas than others, you will need to adjust accordingly. The best way to work with gouges is to split the entire process into three sections wherein you work on the two sides and then on the middle section, while making sure that the bevel is completely straight.
By rounding out the heel or the meeting point between the shank and bevel, you also ensure that your flow is better when carving. Also, another important wood carving tool care tip is to remove a bit of metal from the side of your gouges to make it easier to carve delicate pieces. Once again, to finish off the process, all you need is a bit of metal polish and some leather for some stropping at the end.
Maintaining V-Shaped Parting Tools
The V-shaped tool, also called veiners, is the hardest to sharpen or care for. If the wood carving tool care process for them isn't carried out smoothly, then it becomes very difficult to use them properly without damaging your work. You need to pay a lot of attention to the process as each bevel needs to be sharpened properly and evenly. The process is just like a chisel, holding it at an angle of 10-degrees, moving it from one side to the next.
The outer edges of the V-tool as well as the base should not be sharpened or hooked. The keel of the V-tool needs to be sharpened to around 10-degrees while its edge needs a U-shape to sit perfectly. Wood carving tool care for V-shaped tools require you to own a V-shaped slip stone that has the same angle as your tools or slightly lesser. Never hone the bevel from the inside and put in a lot more stropping effort than normal, and your V-tool is all set to go!
The practice of maintaining carving tools is quite a slow and meticulous process that requires a lot of patience. You need the right tools for wood carving tool care and along with it, the right kind of technique to work on them. If you can combine the two with the right amount of patience and practice, then mastering your tools' care-process will be as simple as wood carving is for you. You will save money on new tools, make your existing ones last longer & better and enjoy the whole hobby a whole lot more.