Monday, April 28, 2008

Student's Carved Scroll Sign

Here is a carving that a student of mine is working on. It will be a
sign for Jenny Ellerbe.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Tool Cabinet and Adjustable Light

This is the tool cabinet that I built to go above my workbench. An
adjustable lamp is mounted just above it.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Leather Stamping Tools

A carver with leather working experience asked me if the background texturing tools used for leather can be used for wood. The answer is yes, but with a caveat.

I have used leather stamps on several carvings. It's hard to see in this picture, but the backgrounds in this carving are stamped with a leather working tool.

I use a teardrop shaped, cross-hatch stamp the most. Some stamps will not work very well - especially those with much detail. The stamps work by crushing and tearing the wood fibers. The torn wood fibers will remain torn, but the crushed ones will (to some degree) return to their original form. Therefore, stamps are best used for creating texture, but not for detail. Creating texture will also add color since it will reflect light and take finish differently.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Carving Tools

People often ask me which carving tools I recommend. Generally speaking, for a traditional style of carving, I recommend full sized (sometimes called "professional sized") carving tools. These are usually close to 10 inches in length and are meant to be held with two hands or driven with a mallet.

The brands that I have used and found to be of good quality are Pfeil "Swiss Made", Ashley Iles, Stubai and Dastra.

Flexcut also make a good line of tools. They have full sized tools that are usually a little less expensive than the other brands listed above. Due to their design, I'm not sure you will get quite as long a useful tool life out of the Flexcut as the others. Before you think I have anything against Flexcut, consider that I measure tool life in decades. You can get a lot of good use out of Flexcut tools.

Flexcut also makes some carving tool sets that have interchangeable handles. Changing handles can be a pain for extended carving sessions at your workbench, but they can be great for a compact travel kit.

Having said all that, I primarily use a variety of Pfeil, Ashley Iles and Dastra full size tools. I also have a set of Flexcut interchangeable tools for when I need to travel light.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Welcome to my woodcarving and art blog. This blog will be a supplement to my site: