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Wood Carving

Wood carving (in Sculpture) and wood working (in cabinet and furniture making)are two entirely different fields. Although they are similar in many regards, the tools for each are not quite the same. In woodcarving, the bevels on the different tools will have a thinner cutting edges. The steel grade, 1095C (a high carbon steel, tempered or heat treated to harden the steel so it will maintain a sharp edge), will range approximately .59 to .62 on the Rockwell Black Diamond hardness testing device. The handles on wood carving tools are also shorter in length than those in wood working.

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The most popular styles of wood carving tools are: straight chisel, with a straight flat edge; straight gouge, with a curved cutting edge which will range in depth; short bent, with a small spoon-like dip used for quick deep cuts; long bent, which will make a long deep cut; straight skew, with a diagonal cutting edge; parting tool or veiner, which is a furrowing tool with a cutting edge that looks like a “v”; and fish tail which flares out on the left and right tips like the tail of a fish. These tools are available with cutting edges in different sizes ranging from 1/8" to 1".

In addition to the individual wood carving tools, some other carving implements include: a mallet for striking the individual tool; sharpening stones for honing the tool blades when dull; handheld tools for chip carving or relief work; and carving knives for finishing and detailing work as well as chip carving.

Carving sets come pre-assembled and offer the novice a convenient way to get the individual tools needed for a particular project. A good basic set should include a mallet; sharpening stone; rasp as well as individual tools.


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