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New to Chip Carving

Home Forums Introduce yourself! New to Chip Carving

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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    Dawn Caveness

    Hello, my name is Dawn and I’m new to chip carving. I did a project many years ago in High School (I still have the box) and have always wanted to try it again. I love your site Marty and everything you have to offer, thank you. I’ve definitely invested in my new hobby but am having a hard time with one thing right now. My top question is, how can you get your transfers done so quickly and easily? I have a heat transfer tool, but it takes a very long time and seems to require a lot of pressure. I am finding that my hand and wrist get sore and fatigued and have to take breaks. I feel the loss of this ability is deterring me from chipping more and this makes me so sad because I really love to chip carve, kinda addicted actually. Do you use really thin printer paper? I can get patters on the wood but like I said it is not easy. Any suggestions?

    David Bass

    I have had that issue before. What I have found works for me is the increase density (make it darker) when you print it out. Also, make sure the board is sanded smooth. There have been times I figured I would just put the pattern on the board because it seemed smooth enough. That is not always the case. I use a small orbital sander with about 400 grit sandpaper. Does not required a lot of effort, 4 or 5 passes will do. Clean it off once sanded, vacuum or brush. Then apply the pattern.

    Also, I have had to learn patience. Be sure to let the transfer tool warm up a few minutes. I usually plug mine in and then affix my pattern. It should be hot enough to apply without any issues. I have learned this one the hard way because I wanted the pattern on it right now 🙂

    Good luck!

    Marty Leenhouts

    Hello Dawn,
    There are really only two things that could be causing transfer problems.
    1. The pattern transfer tool is not hot enough. After heating up for 10 minutes it should be hot enough to burn the wood (try it on a piece of scrap).
    When hot, move slowly across the pattern to transfer the toner to the wood.
    Be sure the tip on the PTT is screwed on tightly.
    2. The pattern is not printed with toner (photocopy of laser printer). Heat melts toner and transfers it to the wood.
    A pattern printed with ink will not work. Take an ink jet print to the photocopy center and make a toner copy of it. Then it will transfer.

    If you continue to have problems, please contact me and I’ll help.

    Dennis Wilson


    I agree that the PTT has to warm up for 10 minutes at least before it is hot enough, and when you make the xerox copy of your pattern on a toner machine, be sure to have it set on the darkest setting. The normal setting may not be giving you enough toner on the paper. Xerox machines can be confusing to set up for this kind of duplication, so I would advise you to visit a duplicating center like Staples offers, and ask the associate to show you how to increase the toner settings. Best of luck.



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