First bowl carving tools - which ones?

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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby ToneWood » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:55 am

Interesting video on tuning and sharpening a plane - surprisingly interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv1zo9CA ... re=related (Wow, his plane is made in England :)).
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Sharpening again...

Postby ToneWood » Mon May 07, 2012 12:19 pm

I'll try to make this my last post to this thread. Going back the sharpening discussion.

Japanese Waterstones v. Ben Orford-style sharpening sticks
I came across a cheap-ish set of Japanese waterstones today but I realised that I don't really want or need them now. Even at the reduced price, they still cost a lot of money and I am not convinced they will be significantly different to the dozen old oil stones laying around the garage and cluttering up my workbench, largely unused*. The thing is, the Ben Orford-style sharpening sticks work brilliantly well, are very cheap, very simple, versatile and very effective. I actually prefer sticks to stones (!), it gives you the option to move the knife over the stick, vice versa or a bit of both; I find holding the knife/blade still and moving the sharpening stick feels a lot safer

"Scary-sharp" -style glass & paper
I've also got a large piece of glass (tempered, which apparently is not ideal as it is usually not flat as untempered, but it is stronger), the top off somebody's old hi-fi stack,to which I've glued 5 strips of wet & dry paper to, in increasing grit ratings. It's like have a set of stones and I wash it down afterwards to revive the wet & dry paper.

Grinding wheels/Belt sanders/Linishers
And I've still got the little wet 250 grinding wheel, about 2.5"x2.5", which has been very helpful. The wheel has worn down v.quickly since I've been using it on axes (really intended for chisels, knives & drill bits I think) but I found the grinding spare wheel that came with it, so it should be good for another decade or so. I came across a linisher this week (bench mounted belt sander with grind wheel), being sold nearby quite cheaply - but after thinking about it, I don't really have a big need for that sort of coarse grinding - and my little grinding wheel takes as much bench space as I can reasonably spare without dedicating the whole workbench to just sharpening (and my wife just made a fantastic job clearing out the garage - and probably would not be please to see such a large piece of machinery come in so soon :D).
Linisher:
Image

*Oil Stones re-visited
Oil stones probably work best with proper honing oil or other light oil, such as "mineral oil" , to "float" the swarf off- but I recall my father using 3-in-1 oil and even engine oil. I don't fancy dealing with that oil mess. However, I am thinking of reviving and re-using some of the old oil stones. My idea is to, perhaps, first clean them by boiling them (a technique I think Robin Wood mentioned), then use them with either just water, or more likely soapy dish water (suggested by a former abattoir worker on the bushcraft forum) or perhaps glycerol/glycerine - which is a sweet (edible), slippery liquid derived from animal fats which is actually supposed to be good for your skin, and washes away with water.
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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby bulldawg_65 » Mon May 07, 2012 12:47 pm

Tone, you can also use olive oil. Very available and very inexpensive and wipes away easily with a cloth or a paper towel. I use all sorts of cooking oils for honing, whatever is available in the kitchen really. I fill up a small squeeze bottle, use it until it is empty and then refill it with whatever we have left in the kitchen. Works very well. :D
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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby ToneWood » Wed May 09, 2012 3:16 pm

Interesting. I'd probably use Lidl rapeseed oil - considerably cheaper than olive oil, albeit thinner than extra virgin. Still a little messy but presumably you wash it off afterwards in case it goes rancid. Don't know why I didn't think of that - esp. as I've used rapeseed cooking oil as chainsaw bar oil in the past* & use it to protect my dive knife.
*I don't recommended using cooking oil as chain bar oil (but that's another story), visit Clark Forest & get some their (Scandinavian) bio chain-bar oil instead - it is vegetable oil which has tacifiers, which are necessary in my experience.

BTW I tried the abattoir trick of sharpening with soapy dish water:
1. It works very well and also cleans the stone at the same time. I used one of those paint-roller trays to hold the water, which worked out quite well.
2. My oil stones (I tried 2 different combi-stones) are a bit rubbish (compared to wet & dry paper) - perhaps too fine (coarse & fine sides).
One is a decent Draper/Faithful stone the other cost £1 from the local market. The £1 stone is soft(!) but it's box is probably worth the £1. Both bought within last 18mo and little used. I have other coarser stones to try though.
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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby ToneWood » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:09 am

Nice video intro. to green wood tools in general & bowl making tools in particular, on youtube: Master carver Norman Brown at the Mother Earth Fair
(Interesting drawknife blade protector - leather but not unlike my welly-rubber guard).
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Water soluble "honing oil"-substitutes

Postby ToneWood » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:38 am

ToneWood wrote:...BTW I tried the abattoir trick of sharpening with soapy dish water

Some other water-soluble sharpening lubricants occur to ,me: glycerol/glycerine, seaweed extract carageen/carrageen (about £15 a ton from China, last time I looked, also available from S. America).

Watched a TV program on the US corn industry last night. Mind blowing. They produce 5 tons of dent corn per acre! The most productive crop plant. One interesting product, [b]Xanthanum gum[/b] (see it of processed food labels quite a lot, used as a thickener), is made by combining corn startch (I think) with Xanthania bacteria (from rotten cabbage) to get this interesting product. The oil industry pump it down drill holes (so must be pretty cheap) to suspend debris evenly (and presumably lube & cool the drill), thus reducing blow outs. It strikes me that this is very similar to the properties needed for sharpening/"honing oil" and also lube/coolant when drilling metals like stainless steel.
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Bowl carving clamps

Postby ToneWood » Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:54 pm

I came across a very handy and inexpensive (£3) clamp this weekend - see my full review here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2426&p=19241#p19241
Image
For somebody starting out, one (or two) of these may be enough to get by w/o a (Robin Wood) bowlmate or (David Fisher) bowl horse - heck I made my first two, admittedly rather rough, bowls without any of the aforementioned aids. A bowlmate is handy for the adze and gouge work though. Once you have built your bowlmate (see bowlmate thread) and/or bowl horse, the clamp is handy for finishing your bowl. It allowed me to work on my very large, round oak bowl on a flat table in my garage while my bowlmate sat outside in the rain. Brilliant.
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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby ToneWood » Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:24 am

This chap in American has taken a different approach to carving a Swedish-style bowl: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7NIFU8W ... re=related
He uses a huge 2-handed all metal chisel & a bow saw, instead of side-axe/carving axe for much of the outside shaping - although he also used a huge broad axe (hewing axe?) for initial shaping. For the inside, he used a long-handled adze, a big straight gouge and some dog-leg gouges. He takes on some pretty significant decorative carving too - but that's not beginner stuff.
Last edited by ToneWood on Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby bulldawg_65 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:57 am

Hey Tone,

Yeah he's got several videos. I look at them and see it as a testament that there is more than one way to skin a cat. The big tools he was using are timber framing tools the big chisels are called "slicks". If you look at most of his work, he doesn't use green wood but well seasoned wood and he also seems to prefer a very rough finish. That being said, he's very accomplished. The dog leg gouges look like the ones available through Dale Langsner's website.
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The one magic bowl making gouge

Postby ToneWood » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:56 pm

Talking of choosing first bowl carving tools, this recent discussion suggests, I think, that you might be able to get good results with just one carefully chosen curved gouge - the magic bowl gouge:

HK 40mmxR90mm curved gouge

After the adze work, I hasten to add.
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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby alexyerks » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:33 pm

Tonewood that fish spoon is amazing! Reminds me of ancient relics or something 8)
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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby robert » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:11 pm

I have been green carving bows for 6-7 years. Don Dillon a Blacksmith in N.C. makes great Bowl Adzes, and for a great price. Check out
Wooden Bowl Carving by Ingo. It shows the tools in action
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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby ToneWood » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:08 pm

I think that is Jakruss on ebay isn't it? Yes we are familiar with his work, his adzes are well regarded here :)
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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby Shankar » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:11 pm

Inspired by all the posts here and David Fishers Youtube videos, got onto my first bowl. Willow is all I've got and its easy to work. Got a good range of tools over the years.
Roughed out inside first with HK 600g Adze (no problems with holding initially as the mass of wood sufficient for stability to allow safe adzing)
then did outside with GB large carving axe. Have got some HK gouges but struggling with the finish. Any suggestions.
I don't have any fancy holding mechanisms. Tried wedging it in the shaving horse but not successfully.

Also did I have too much pith in edge- is that why is broken off ? ways to avoid.

Getting seduced but the temptations of the sandpaper- please save me.

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Re: First bowl carving tools - which ones?

Postby gavin » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:30 am

Shankar wrote: but struggling with the finish. Any suggestions.

Make more, make lots, make often. Don't fuss about any particular ones. Be prepared to burn them. If ever you get to selling them, photos of your work burning will impress would-be buyers.

Shankar wrote:
I don't have any fancy holding mechanisms. Tried wedging it in the shaving horse but not successfully.

Google Robin Wood's Bowlmate

Shankar wrote:
Also did I have too much pith in edge- is that why is broken off ? ways to avoid.

Start with the pith and 2 or 3 next years' of growth fully removed

Shankar wrote:
Getting seduced but the temptations of the sandpaper- please save me.

No. I will not save you. It is a free world. If you wish to sand do so. Only then can you decide what works for you. I feel sanding hides the skill - or lack of it - in the craftperson. You'll also learn about how dry or wet timber sands - or does not.
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