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Don – Inman Guitars

Home Forums Introduce yourself! Don – Inman Guitars

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    Hi, Marty!

    I got your email. welcoming me to the Platinum community. Yeah, I have been building and repairing guitars since 1991. I’ve been woodworking since the mid 70’s. I recently retired from both guitar repair and my main job as a letter carrier with USPS, so I’m starting in on all those projects that have been put off, some for many years. Over the past three years I’ve shifted gears, setting the guitar work aside and delving more heavily into carving and sculpture. I’m working mostly with woods which are available to me locally- for free. That’s limited mostly to manzanita burl, piñon pine, juniper, eucalyptus and canyon live oak-all VERY dry, hard woods, requiring mostly power tools. Not my favorite way to work, but I occasionally am able to find somebody cutting down a tree in their yard, which gives me green wood to work with, so out comes my axe, adze and carving tools.
    So now, I’m mostly making bowls, spoons and bowl based sculpture, some power carved, some non-power carved. That’s where chip carving comes in. My greenwood carving is mostly influenced by David Fisher, who uses chip carving(with a pocket knife!) to carve and letter the top of his bowls. (His work is absolutely beautiful. If you aren’t familiar with him, you can can check him out at www.davidffisher.com).

    Your videos are very helpful. I really appreciate the effort you’ve put in to the them. I’m dyslexic and have a hard time learning from books-it takes a lot of time and effort!

    I have a question, actually I think it’s more of a comment. It has to do with my knife grip. I am using the Ruby knife, with the notch for my thumb joint. It seemed like my cuts were maybe too deep. So I changed my grip a little bit- now I’m placing my thumb at the back edge of the notch instead of directly on it. Now my cuts are a little shallower, and to my eye look much better. Also the effort to make the cuts is a bit less. I do have very large hands, so I think this affects where I need to place my hand on the knife- Could you comment on this? Anyway, thanks for the effort you put into your website and videos. I am really enjoying this. Can’t wait to start lettering!


    Don Inman
    Sent with Airmail

    David Bass

    Welcome Don,

    For me I have the reverse issue. I have small hands so I wind up having to choke up on the knife.

    As with any knife, they will fit most, but not all unless you create your own handle.

    So for me, I do what works best for me, adjusting as needed. I honestly do not pay attention to the thumb groove. I have found what I call the sweet spot and I use it that way. So if you need to move back on the handle to find that spot, go for it. It is not incorrect. If you try to to adjust according to the knife build you will wind up frustrated and end up not carving. Do what works for you even if it means ignoring the thumb groove.



    Thanks, David! I’ve made handles for several of my carving knives. Just finished a new handle for my adze-not because of my hand size, it was just totally shaped wrong. I’m thinking of eventually making one for the chip carving knife. For now I’m going to use it as it is. I’ve just moved my hand back a little bit, that seems to work fine.

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