I finished the borders around the tray. I may bust out the Platinum Stab Knife to embellish the border pattern. It could use a little something. The carved square comes out for cleaning cracker crumbs and a tile inserts on the other end for cutting cheese.
Your comments are always welcome on the blog page.
I applied a finish to some items a chip carving friend recently completed but could not finish because of broken hip. He has been chip carving longer than I’ve been alive so this post in no way is critical of his work.
I placed his plate alongside mine so you can see that difference in shadows that are formed when the angle of cut changes. I’m guessing the angle on his cuts are about 45 degrees. It would be best if the same pattern were alongside each other but this will have to do for now. This being said, if you are having good success with 45 degree cuts and enjoying your chip carving, keep doing what you’re doing! But if you are learning and want to get more definition and shadow in your chip carving, then look for cuts around 55-65 degrees.
Your comments are welcome in the comment section on the Blog page. Thanks for reading!
Bill came to Red Barn Retreats for the chip carving class on lettering. Like me, Bill enjoys carving signs and does some wonderful work. Here’s a sign he just completed.
“This one goes to Brattleboro, VT. Birch, 21″ by 12”, panel is one piece, figure is appliqué. Here is a good example of letting the grain tell the story — the trees are near a good bass spot on a Minnesota lake. Finish is polyurethane. About 100+ hours of work on this project. lots of research and modeling before I started. The flower bed is along the 18th century European style. Learned a lot, especially to get acquainted with small script carving with special knife (Platinum Modified Knife) (thanks to you).”
In the most recent E-letter I shared with you some of the things Gary has learned.
This email from Jim adds some valuable tips that I hope you can apply.
Wow, I wish Gary had learned the importance of having and KEEPING a sharp knife. Some of my suggestions to add:
Treat each chip as a separate carving. This helps especially when doing an intricate carving. It is easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Before you leave the chip, do any cleanup needed.
As you carve, remember to either strop or hone your knife as needed. If you can’t remember when you last stropped your knife, it is probably time.
Challenge yourself. You will get better as you choose more challenging patterns or projects.
Display your carvings……even the first ones. As you refine your skill, your carvings will look better, but keep the early ones, you will look at them and realize your improvements.
Carvings make great gifts !!
I am attaching a picture of my latest carving. It is a jewelry box (purchased from My Chip Carving, by the way). It is a gift for my daughter. It has approximately 2,000 chips and took about 6 weeks to complete however it is my crowning achievement……to date !!
If you like to do other styles of carving, check out what I did with the Classic Jewelry Box for a customer.
Chip carving technique helped a lot when completing the carving. Making all of the stop cuts to outline the objects were done with my chip carving knife. Using some gouges and chisels along with my router helped complete this piece. You can comment below, good, bad or indifferent
I am pleased with the chipping on the front and sides. Now…about the top…..
When I chipped the sides, the knife went in very nicely and smoothly…but the top was very hard. It was as if my knife was dull. But, it was not as I tried the top, then the sides, then back to the top.
Why would the cross grain be different on th4 top instead of the sides. I guess I still do not have a real clear understanding of against grain, cross grain and with the grain.
The front and sides chipped very well.
My reply follows.
I hope this image helps. When a board is cut like this, the wood fibers run up and down as shown in the picture.
Carving into the ends of the fibers (END Grain) is inherently harder than carving across the FACE or EDGE grain fibers.