January 25, 2021 at 8:08 pm #100014538Mike WoolfParticipant
Hey all, I understand how to follow the advice Marty frequently gives in the videos to cut with the grain (the card trick). What I have so far been unable to grasp is *why*. No matter how much I cut and visualize, I simply don’t yet understand why and when cutting against the grain makes chip-out more likely.January 25, 2021 at 11:44 pm #100014543Marty LeenhoutsKeymaster
Good question. The best way to answer your question is for you and others to watch this video…
After watching the video your reply is welcome and anticipated!
MartyJanuary 31, 2021 at 6:42 pm #100014586Mike WoolfParticipant
Thanks for the quick reply, Marty. That video really just reviewed what I’d already picked up, but it and some other lesson videos did trigger some possible insights. Please correct me if I’m wrong about this, but my impression now is that chip-out is primarily about avoiding putting stress on short grain sections, and avoiding undercuts. That seems to have mostly to do with sharpness of the blade, order of cuts, and depth of cut. If “with” or “against” the grain has a significant impact on the short grain area, my original question really is why that would be.
The benefit of the card trick seems to be mostly about making a smooth straight cut easier to accomplish? Except that I have not experienced that. Straight cuts in either direction come out perfectly smooth (tight curves and circles remain my greatest weakness, but that’s a different issue entirely). You pay a lot of attention to this concept, though; thus the question.February 2, 2021 at 1:12 am #100014595Marty LeenhoutsKeymaster
my impression now is that chip-out is primarily about avoiding putting stress on short grain sections, and avoiding undercuts. That seems to have mostly to do with sharpness of the blade, order of cuts, and depth of cut.
Yes, you’re on the mark with these thoughts about chip out.
If “with” or “against” the grain has a significant impact on the short grain area, my original question really is why that would be.
If you cut against the grain towards a delicate short grain area, this puts undue stress on the weak area and can lead to chip out. Add a dull knife and undercut and chip out is very likely.
I hope this answers your question. Don’t worry about having it all figured out. The more you chip carve the more it will make sense. When chip out happens you will self-evaluate why it happened and make changes so it doesn’t happen again 🙂
Basswood is a very tight grained wood. Cutting with the grain and against the grain can result in smooth cuts if your knife is sharp. But not all pieces of wood are the same. You’ll find some are more brittle than others. This is when understanding the grain direction is a big plus. And, besides that, it’s helpful to understand carving with the grain as the grain is more pronounced in some pieces than others.
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