Green wood carving books?

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Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:40 pm

I read quite a lot but I didn't really want to have to read a lot for this past-time. However, I find myself wanting some kind of reference (actually this forum and bushcraft UK have fulfilled that role better than any book ever could so far). It sounds like Wille Sundqvist's book on Swedish Carving Techniques is the bible for this but is unfortunately out of print (shame on Taunton Press?) and not even available as an eBook (e.g. for kindle). :(

It's back :) Image http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1627 ... D7KIOCJ3LD

Wille's son Jogge has a DVD, which is a great way to learn: Carving Swedish Woodenware: With Jogge Sundqvist (DVD) Now £7 - a bargain! :).

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But, as I said, really looking for a reference. Something that will tell me a bit about the woods (e.g. which one, when to cut them, what size stock, which parts to use/discard). I keep coming across this book: "The Encyclopedia of Green Woodworking [Paperback]" by Raymond Tabor (Author)

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... and figured some of you guys must have it and wondered what you think of it?

Also, I'm already a fan of Robin & Nicola Wood from the forums & his excellent website. Would I be right in saying the wooden bowl book is primarily about the history of bowls, particularly hand-turned bowls, rather than carved?
Spoon Carving
Wooden Bowls

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Anybody read this book: "Carving in Wood [Hardcover]" by David Green (Author)
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My bookshelf is full, so I'm not looking to build a library - just one, maybe two good books. Or I guess DVDs or other "new media". Actually Robin's videos on spoon carving and Ben Orfords on sharpening hook knives are excellent [see their respective websites / youtube].
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:55 pm

This book looks interesting but extraordinarily expensive for some reason: "Living Wood: From Buying a Woodland to Making a Chair" [Paperback] - Mike Abbott (Author), Tamsin Abbott (Illustrator)
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I like the illustrated style, line drawings, reminds me of the various illustrated books by/for the Scouts back in the 1970s, sadly now out of print. They were excellent, inexpensive, easy to access, packed with interesting ideas, projects, techniques and advice. Ahead of their time.

UPDATE:
Good news: this book was due to be re-issued in updated form (April 2013)!!! And it is supposed to retain many of the original illustrations :)
Bad news: the cover illustration, which I love, is replaced by photos. :( Are we not admirers of handcrafts. Nice cover though & interesting to see the photo that the line drawing was presumably based on (spot the differences).

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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby bulldawg_65 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:57 am

I found the following titles to be very helpful:

Carving and Whittling: The Swedish Style http://www.amazon.com/Carving-Whittling-Swedish-Gert-Ljungberg/dp/188737440X especially as it shows you there is more than one way to skin a cat. That and the illustrations are very clear.

That and just about anything written by Drew Langsner or Roy Underhill. One other title I feel worth mentioning is:

Green Woodworking Pattern Book: Over 300 Traditional Craft Designs http://www.amazon.com/Green-Woodworking-Pattern-Book-Traditional/dp/0713489146/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=I91MJ1G9Z8QBH&colid=2OTS0A78CDPJU
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:45 pm

Thanks Phil. Looks like both are now quite valuable collectors items. I notice the latter is by Ray Tabor, who also wrote the Greenwood Encyclopedia that I mentioned above. I wonder if this might be the successor to your book - or perhaps complementary?
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby bulldawg_65 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:00 pm

I'm not sure as I have yet to read the encyclopedia. It's on my "to buy" list though! :)
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby gavin » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:51 pm

I have 2 copies of Ray Tabor'sThe Encyclopedia of Green Woodworking and I only need one. PM if you are interested in the extra one. It will cost you postage plus £10.
Edit : now sold - sorry!
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby gavin » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:15 pm

ToneWood wrote: Something that will tell me a bit about the woods (e.g. which one, when to cut them, what size stock, which parts to use/discard). I keep coming across this book: "The Encyclopedia of Green Woodworking [Paperback]" by Raymond Tabor (Author)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1899233075/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=various02-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=1899233075

... and figured some of you guys must have it and wondered what you think of it?


Excellent book, gets good reviews on Amazon too.
But beware: I have two, and seek to sell one so I am not a credible witness here as I have a vested interest.
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:57 pm

Why have you got 2 Gavin?

I bought the Jogge Sundqvist DVD. It's from Taunton Press, the same publisher that printed his father's book (now rare and sort after). It is just about perfect for what I need now. He starts off making a dough bowl. A very nice dough bowl at that. Perfect. So I am already completely satisfied with the DVD. Then he makes two spoons, one using a large (fret?) saw, then one using an axe, bonus! Finally he introduces detail carving - always wondered how they did that (carefully) - the icing on the cake.

It was filmed in the USA, in N. Carolina with the folk that have the Woodcraft website with all the Hans Karlsson tools. V. cool barn workshop in a beautiful location. Although filmed back in 1990 it didn't strike me as dated (but 1990 seems like yesterday to me). It was pre-Health & Safety era, and it was America. Jogge demonstrated numerous techniques to keep yourself safe from the sharp tools involved but he worked in Birkenstock-style sandals* and no safety glasses - but then I guess there were no power tools.

The only thing I think they could have added is carving a kuksa. But that would be probably be "gilding the lily" - just a bit too much. Perhaps that could be volume 2, along with shrink boxes, details on tool sharpening (esp. cup adze, gouge, axe) and making a draw horse/bowl horse/bowl-mate/...

*I've gone health & safety: My feet have taken a battering, so these days, when working with chainsaw or big pieces of wood, I wear chainsaw safety boots or steel toe-capped boots (+ the other kit for chainsawing). When carving, I've learnt (the hard way) to wear protective gloves - usually cheap but thick, lined leather/pigskin welders gauntlets (more coverage than gloves). A sharp sloyd knife can cut through pig skin though.
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby bulldawg_65 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:54 am

Yeah, Jogge's DVD is pretty good, but when he gets to spoons he doesn't explain that it is often best to rough out the spoon and let it dry as well before trying to finish it. Caused me several weeks of frustration because I kept on trying to finish each spoon in one sitting. Otherwise it's fantastic and I watch it often trying to catch techniques that I might have missed during the first 100 viewings! :wink:
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:50 pm

:DYes, I know what you mean. I certainly plan to watch it again soon. Perhaps not all the way through in one sitting, as I did yesterday.

BTW I found Robin Wood's website and posts to this forum (and bushcraft UK) particular helpful in getting started. Like a book that is continually updated.
I notice his website has a Paypal donation button (it defaulted to US$ for some reason - perhaps he used Paypal.com rather than Paypal.co.uk). I
felt that he'd helped me great deal, through his website and posts, so I made a small donation in the hope that it will encourage him to continue, and help
offset a little bit of his costs. I encourage others to do the same, if they are able to.

http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/

If you are not already familiar with Robin's website, I particularly recommend the Japan related topics and the German Journeyman story. As well as the axe & knife
recommendations.
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby jrccaim » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:06 am

My shelves are insufficient for the books piled on them. I read lots of books. I particularly like Drew Langser's books, especially Country Crafts. But sooner or later you must take axe, knife, and hook (or gouge) in hand and actually go build a spoon, or a bowl. I have made so many mistakes carving spoons (and other things) that I hesitate to count them. Each one has taught me something. Perhaps more than I have learned by my successes. I think books are necessary. But they are not sufficient. Sooner or later the edge must meet the wood. So, since we no longer have a master/apprentice system anywhere, you read (or view) all you can stand. Then you go do it, and of course you screw up somewhere. Never did it before, after all, so why curse? As Bogie does not say in Casablanca, play it again, Sam. My only advice: take small cuts. Make small mistakes.
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:17 pm

Sage words. I tend to research things a lot (too much perhaps), but I decided to dive into carving and just see how far I could get with minimal tools. I made two big, crude dough bowls, which only a mother could love (I think they are great but I only found one other person that liked them). But it seemed time to raise my game or drop it. These forums have been invaluable in starting to do the former; Robin's & Ben's websites, bushcraft uk, etc.. Having tried and made mistakes, I really enjoyed watching the DVD - Jogge did somethings I had learnt to do by trail & error but other times he showed ways to avoid mistakes I had made. I made my first spoon recently & last weekend made most of my third bowl - far quicker than my earlier 2 efforts. I'm documenting progress/experiences/impression with the new tools and the 3rd bowl on this thread: http://www.bodgers.org.uk/bb/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2255 ... it's getting long, time to wrap it up and finish that bowl :D.

I found that book: Country Woodcraft - Drew Langser
He's the chap with the US website that I keep referencing, because it has, I think, good advice on selecting tools - and it sells Hans Karlsson tools (although in the UK Woodland Craft Supplies makes more sense). I believe his place is probably where that Jogge Sundqvist video was filmed. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he owns Taunton Press too. Small world. One or two guys can really make a difference in this field.
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There are several good short videos on youtube on different aspects of axe safety. Ray Mears did a very good TV program, now split into short sections on youtube, on axe safety and sharpening using Japanese waterstones. I came across the sissy stick - hadn't heard of that before. Also, the idea of only axing the bottom 2/3rd of a piece of wood and working towards the farside of the block. I don't have URLs for them all - but its good to just browse when you have some spare time. The Australian guys restoring a small old settlement using mainly axes is priceless (on Robin Wood's website & possibly youtube as well).
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:44 pm

Bulldawg, I was just re-reading your earlier post. How does that first book on Swedish carving compare to Wille Sunqvist's? (I think I can guess :D)

That pattern book looks intriguing. It reminded me of a video I borrowed (*at no cost* - unlike in Britain) from a library in the USA, on making greedwood garden furniture, I'd forgotten all about that. I bet you could get all of these books from your local library in the US (they built fantastic new libraries in Chicago & the various Seattle suburbs while I was there). They recently built a v. small one near us, here in the UK, a year or so ago but now are talking about closing libraries - they are thinking the web (& perhaps Amazon) have superseded them. The libraries here are spending more on computers and less on books too. Perhaps this is the perfect time for me to visit the library :).
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:51 pm

Jeez, have you seen this Drew Langsner book, £159+/$250, and that's still available new!
I didn't realise greenwood working had gotten so gentrified! No doubt an instant collectors' item.
A good one to borrow from the library perhaps? :D
"Green Woodworking: A Hands-on Approach (Country Workshop Handbooks)"
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:40 pm

Birch. Ray Mears touched on how wonderfully useful birch can be in a couple of TV shoes (memorably the birch bark canoe but also the re-usable and transportable birch bark shelter used by some Native Americans). Well there is a book to celebrate it and the cover features some Swedish-style carved bowls:
Celebrating Birch: The Lore, Art and Craft of an Ancient Tree - by Greg Wright
Unfortunately, it appears, the day of £159/$250 (new) paperback book has arrived :(

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UPDATE: price now back down to a far more sensible £11.51 inc. delivery!!
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