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Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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  • #100012409
    Chris Lakin

    Hi all, Chris from the UK

    I’m new and going through the essentials course, just wondering if anyone has had a problem with consistency, I emailed Marty about (chatter) as he called it lol. I seem to have cured this problem and my lines and depth seem to be wrong, you know how it goes, you solve one issue and create another. has anyone else had an issue and how did you solve it, please?


    David Bass

    Hey Chris,

    I do believe no matter how skilled we are, we all experience the same and similar issues. I have been chip carving for quite some time now and still find myself having days like what you described.

    For I know consistency is obtainable. I understand how you feel and like you when I first started was frustrated because I could not get my chips to look like everyone else, especially Marty. He makes it look so simple, but once you realize it is because he has had years of experience and has learned to be consistent. Honestly it is not going to happen overnight, but I believe you have taken a great step forward just by asking.

    It means you are paying attention to the chips your producing. As Marty states learn from chip to chip. Examine the chip you just made and try to correct it on the next one. Slight adjustments with each chip will get you to the place you are producing the chips you want.

    As I stated, I have been doing this for a while now, but recently realized I was rushing to get what I was working on completed. When I finished I was frustrated because it did not look the way I was expecting. It finally dawned on me it was because I was rushing. My technique got sloppy and started not being consistent. I had to break this habit and the same time I realized I wasn’t quite enjoying it because I was not doing my best.

    I know this is long winded and I am sorry, but my point is to take your time and enjoy it. Don’t let it be a chore. Before making a cut take a quick moment to make sure you have the right hand position and the right angle. Don’t just cut the wood, but understand what you want to achieve with that cut. Then with time and practice you will achieve the consistency you are wanting.

    Keep at it, you too will get there!


    Norbert Riedi

    Hello Chris

    In my humble opionion there’s not a lot left to add on David Bass’ very profound essay.

    From my point of view concistency is a matter of repeating and training, repeating and training. You don’t learn the letters and numbers the first day at school. No one flatpicks his guitar like Billy Strings from day one. No one hits a target with nothing without training, knowhow, practice.

    As an example I cut the same to me difficult letters against the wood’s grain again and again (see foto attached). Like back then in school when we had to learn wrighting those letters. And only last week I had my first practice board finished and with more letters okay than not.

    So like David wrote I’m confident too—concistency is obtainable.

    Kind regards,



    Hey Chris,

    Ditto from me.  Being new myself I can strongly relate to your difficulty.  I printed the 2015 practice board and am almost finished with the second one.  I find that deliberately slowing down has helped a bit.  The triangles are coming out cleanly more often.  I’m still struggling with the crescents, even the smaller ones, so I printed out the essentials’ crescent pattern & it will be my next set of practice.  Don’t be wary of making adjustments to the recommendations either.  I nearly severed my thumb at the base of the nail several years ago and can no longer bend it as far as Marty is able to bend his.  To finish a cut, I sometimes have to lift my finger knuckles off the board,  but I pay close attention to maintaining the angle when I do.  Hope this helps.




    Marty Leenhouts

    “deliberately slowing down has helped a bit.  … can no longer bend it as far as Marty is able to bend his. “

    Good tips, David.

    When slowing down, remember to “focus”

    Our thumbs all work differently so work with what you’ve got!

    Thanks for sharing!!

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