Green wood carving books?

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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:14 pm

Saw an ax like the one on the right, above, listed on ebay this week for about £220 :D.
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:36 pm

Was thinking about buying Jogge Sundqvist's book, "Slojda I Tra". Yes, incredibly, yet again they have decided not to sell it to the worlds biggest market, English speakers/readers (USA, UK, Oz, NZ, Canada, SA,...). :( Must stop banging my head against the wall.
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Amazon UK are listing the German version:

"Schnitzen: Schwedische Tradition neu erlebt [German] [Hardcover] - Jögge Sundqvist (Author), Peter Müller (Translator)

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So, perhaps another opportunity for me to improve my rather poor school-boy German, sigh. Only 80 pages this time. One review suggest this complements Wille's book, being more art-oriented and less technical.

Norwegian?
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby jrccaim » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:13 am

You have my complete sympathy. I can deal with German quite well, but my Swedish... well. the less said the better. I'm at least glad they did a German version. My suggestion is to buy the German one, since you have some German; look at the pictures, try to figure out the text. Feed unknown passages into Google translate. This system is quite remarkable. I have done some translation professionally, i.e for pay. By far the hardest thing I ever did. I am impressed with the results of Google translate. (In fact I have used it quite a lot to translate some of the Swedish blogs I follow.) I own no stock in Google. In fact I am quite upset by some of their privacy policies. But their translation program is a useful tool and you can get some mileage out of it. BTW the closer to English the source language the better a translation you will get from a computer program. All the Scandinavian languages are quite close to English in syntax. German is a little further away.

Dunno why they didn't do an English translation. Seems silly. Maybe they thought the USA market wasn't there :(.
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:16 am

Probably didn't want to make too much money :D
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:17 pm

I decided to buy a couple of books as the nights are drawing in:

I ordered Jogge's book, "Slojda I Tra". I wanted an English version (not available :(), or failing that the Swedish version but it turned out to be cheaper & easier to get the German version. I'm hoping and expecting it to be a colorful picture book. I got it from an alternative supplier through Amazon, so a bit cheaper than Amazon.


I also ordered a cheap, used copy of Drew Langsner's book below - only acceptable condition but the price inc. shipping was less than 2 pints of beer or about the price of a fancy magazine.
ToneWood wrote:...I found that book: Country Woodcraft - Drew Langser
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Also came across another Birch book: Plaited Basketry with Birch Bark
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby bulldawg_65 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:22 pm

Nice find Tone! Drew's book is quite good with detailed drawings of how to make several neat things. Let me know how you like Jogge's book!
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:55 pm

bulldawg_65 wrote:...Let me know how you like Jogge's book!

It finally arrived :). Took longer than it was supposed to and, despite being well packed, one corner was badly dinged :(...
ToneWood wrote:I ordered Jogge's book, "Slojda I Tra". I wanted an English version (not available :(), or failing that the Swedish version but it turned out to be cheaper & easier to get the German version. I'm hoping and expecting it to be a colorful picture book. I got it from an alternative supplier through Amazon, so a bit cheaper than Amazon.
"Schnitzen: Schwedische Tradition neu erlebt [German] [Hardcover] - Jögge Sundqvist (Author), Peter Müller (Translator)

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It is a lovely book. Lots of color images as I had hoped (although a few more would not have gone amiss) and some decent hand drawings to support the more technical aspects of things. It has more text in it than I expected - which is a good thing, lot's of content, except...it's German and I'm not. My schoolboy German is just not up to it. I guess I must persevere until some publisher decides to publish this in English*.

There is less content than Wille's book (which is still the Bible of Swedish carving) and, unsurprisingly, the two books overlap somewhat. Oddly, both include a (different) sketch of a dead-head shave horse taken from Drew Langsner. It would probably make a good book for a beginner because, it's modern, it starts simply with a butter spreader and shows gradually more challenging projects and is visually attractive. The inside covers also include pictures of the tools used and their names - which is a handy German reference for me. However, I really like Jogge's (or should I refer to him by his alter-ego, Surolle?) colorful "naive" carving style - and this is effectively the style-guide to it. I am frustrated that I am currently unable to read the details of how he uses the pigments/oil colors - fortunately I am a fast typist but I don't plan to type the whole book into Google Translate.

No bowls & not much on carved decoration so far as I can tell so far - other than some great examples in the color pictures. Other projects include several novel clothes hangers (the "bedstead tree" hanger is a neat idea but not terribly realistic for most of us). I don't like the idea of painted cutting boards but they look great. Some great looking (birch?) bark sheaths for knives, which I really must try - pity I can't read the accompanying text :(. I've only had the book a couple of days though (and it is supposed to be for Christmas), so I'll update this review once I have spent more time with the book. I like the book though, this one is inspiring (to me), I want to try several things from it. :)

*I'm surprise Jogge doesn't translate his book & his fathers himself - he speaks pretty good English. I'm sure there are plenty of folk who'd be happy to proof read it (Robin Wood?) - I'd do it myself for free ;). I bumped into an old school friend at the weekend, she's extremely well read (i.e. top notch English) and apparently is now a professional translator, her primary language German - she said her rates are reasonable ;).
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby robin wood » Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:36 pm

ToneWood wrote:*I'm surprise Jogge doesn't translate his book & his fathers himself - he speaks pretty good English. I'm sure there are plenty of folk who'd be happy to proof read it (Robin Wood?) - I'd do it myself for free ;). I bumped into an old school friend at the weekend, she's extremely well read (i.e. top notch English) and apparently is now a professional translator, her primary language German - she said her rates are reasonable ;).[/i][/color][/size]


I think there is a common misconception about how much money is to be made from writing books. My last book was the result of around 10 years research, maybe around 6 months total work time sat at the computer and so far I have seen about £3000 for the effort. We do all try to put information out there for others to enjoy but the idea that specialist publications are a quick way to easy money is simply wrong. Typically there are 200-500 people who desperately want the book but there are not many that go past 5000 print runs and you need to be hitting 10k or more to make it worthwhile (an author could expect £1-£2 a book in the past but with everyone buying through amazon it's a lot less now)
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby mstibs » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:01 pm

robin wood wrote:the idea that specialist publications are a quick way to easy money is simply wrong

I can confirm that for Germany and the computer topic. I was asked by a publisher to write a special database book after he read my magazine article. My income expectations were about 2500 - 3000 Euros (for about 2000 print runs) for 4-6 months of work though we have fixed prices on print products. Furthermore he offered a high reputation in the scene and that was the reason why I really considered writing it. Didn't do it finally.
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:14 am

Interesting insights. I am not entirely surprised. I guess I was surprised that, having already done most of the work (written the text, got the pictures together and laid out, design sorted) that they were able to justify selling to what at first appear to be relatively small Swedish & German reading markets, while ignoring the relatively large English reading markets (UK, USA*, Oz, NZ, ZA, Canada .... not to mention all the people that have English as their second or third language). But perhaps the point is that the number of carvers interested in Swedish carving in those markets is quite different -- perhaps it would make more sense to translate English carving books into German/Swedish because they have more readers interested in carving? (*US population is now 311million! Was "only" around 267-270m last time I checked).

Perhaps they also have enthusiast publishers in those countries. Years ago, there used to be a fantastic French glossy climbing magazine called, I think, Vertical. It was a thing of beauty & inspiration. But apparently always run at a considerable loss by a rich French enthusiast who did it for the love it. A true amateur I suppose.

The most popular (and best) introduction to spearfishing is a small, cheap booklet by Len Jones in South Africa. It doesn't have an ISBN as far as I can tell and it appears to self-published inexpensively in South Africa, with quite a lot of sponsor advertising included. But it's a little gem. BTW I noticed both of my German carving books, by Wille & Jogge Sunqvist, have a few pages of adverts at the back - probably helps offset some of the costs, while allowing readers & suppliers to connect.
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby mstibs » Sat Oct 06, 2012 5:47 pm

There is one publisher in Germany (Th. Schäfer) who fills the gap of special woodworking topics. Your books Tone are from him, at least the one from Jögge as I can see from the Amazon listing. They are part of the Vincentz network, a larger conglomerate of special interest websites and the publishing house which is also responsible for the german Woodworking magazine aside the books.
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:34 pm

Spent some time yesterday with Jogge's book and a very large Oxford German-English dictionary that I bought at a car boot sale several years ago, for no good reason other than it cost only 30p. :D It helped me discover that the German for froe is splitting iron (in German) - how sensible, and the German for scrubbing plane is scrubbing plane (in German), Winkel is angle & flache (sp?) is face, they have two different phrases for draw knife (including the German for draw knife, of course :)) and most planes, spoke shaves & drawknives include the German word for shave in their names (v. sensible), gravur is engrave (guessed it but was but was able to confirm it), farbe is color (thought it meant paint) & KünstlerÖlfarbe is artists' oil colour (paint). I really am quite enjoying Jogge's book.

I did wonder if it might be worth scanning the book to run it through some OCR software & then though Google translate :( However, I believe some smart phone apps can already do all of that for you - Google Goggles for example. Supposedly you can just point the camera at, say a menu in French, and it provides you with a translation of it :) (it can even read it to you).

Google Goggles translation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... hgfz0zPmH4 (mentions another possible future use: identifying trees from a leaf :))
Long winded :( - around 7min mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3tZ9ifx2I0
http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles/#text
http://www.wikihow.com/Translate-With-Google-Goggles

Actually, Jogge's book does include information of decorative carving - and it does feature SD knives for decorative carving (unlike his DVD, something which came up on the DVD discussion thread); it covers most things. Interesting additions beyond Wille's books include chopping boards, clothes hooks and stools. It occurs to me that I could use some of those rustic clothes hooks in my garage & shed to hang tools & equipment on. Oddly, somebody already asked me to make them a stool after seeing my bowlmate - I guess it's basically the same thing, only smaller & more finished (I wasn't terribly interested, as drilling the big holes for the legs with the electric drill & Foerster bit was surprisingly hard, noisy work - and that was into soft, green lime wood).
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby gavin » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:56 pm

ToneWood wrote:... drilling the big holes for the legs with the electric drill & Foerster bit was surprisingly hard, noisy work - and that was into soft, green lime wood

Have you tried a scotch eye auger? I really like them. Auger with a ring welded to the top.
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And if you cannot source one at the diameter or price you want, just get an auger and take to a welding shop. Get a ring welded to the top, and secure the ring with a U shaped strip of metal welded to ring and shank. Simples!
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby mstibs » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:55 pm

I use augers up to 32mm with drill bits ... hard work from 1" up. I got two sets cheap from Ebay. They're unused but old german army (Bundeswehr) stuff. Atm. there is one set online from a workshop closing 6-28mm for still €1 and 3 days to go: http://www.ebay.de/itm/Schlangenbohrer- ... 500wt_1413 Old Irwin style like mine (I like the two cutters - nowhere to get as new product here). Not sure if the guy ships to UK and what it costs.
IMG_0091.JPG
my wife ordered a new stool last month
IMG_0091.JPG (138.78 KiB) Viewed 13451 times
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Re: Green wood carving books?

Postby ToneWood » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:06 pm

RE: Scotch Augers
I bought one of those "new old stock" MOD/War Dept. 1" Scotch augers off ebay sometime ago - but figure it's diameter is a bit too small for legs. The larger sized Scotch augers seem too expensive for my limited needs. Those German augers look like good value - I've seen similar for sale in the UK. I don't have welding gear but I suppose I could get an old brace-&-bit - I have my father's old one soaking in WD40 but the wood in the handles appears to have swollen and stuck tight to the metal. I'll take another look this weekend though.

RE: Drew Lagsner's Country Woodcraft book
ToneWood wrote:..
I also ordered a cheap, used copy of Drew Langsner's book below - only acceptable condition but the price inc. shipping was less than 2 pints of beer or about the price of a fancy magazine.
Country Woodcraft - Drew Langser
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I finally received the above book :) Published way back in 1978 - a good year (the year Thin Lizzy released Live and Dangerous), 34 years ago! Happily, the hardback book is in fine condition, the pages are a little "dry" (I don't think acid-free paper had become the norm yet, back then) and the dustcover is entirely missing (the ad said only "acceptable" condition - so I am quite happy). I've just started flicking through it, here are some initial impressions:

It's great value. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it broadly covers almost everything we discuss on this forum and few that we don't - it has a massively broad sweep. It overlaps Wille & Jogge's books but covers a much broader range of subjects, however, inevitably that means it doesn't go into great depth on each. And I'm so happy to be able to look at the text and realize that it is in English, so no need to translate. It seems like a great introduction to green wood working. Whether it be axe handles, bowls, spoons, sledges/sleds, wood stores, wheel barrows, split oak baskets, froes, shave horses ...he's got it covered. And there are some surprising little nuggets of information in there, for example, he writes about how curved tool handles became more popular as industrialization took over and gives specific examples & details - which I found intriguing. It is apparent that he has a real passion for the subject and a desire to share what he has learnt. I believe Wille Sundqvist features in many of the photographs - it all traces back to Wille :). I'm hoping I won't need to make the wooden plough any time soon though* :)

*BTW On Time-Team (TV program), they recently demonstrated a reproduction of an old medieval wooden plough/plow - it was impressively refined (couldn't help wondering if they'd taken advantage of some modern design features too - the blade looked remarkably similar to a modern metal design) & it seemed to work well, but it was made entirely of wood, unlike Drews, which is simpler and uses a metal blade.
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