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The following questions are frequently asked our Staff. if you have any additional questions not posed here, please don't hesitate to contact us.
» Clay Modeling Materials
» Clay Modeling Tools
» Stone Carving
» Ceramics
» Mold Making & Casting
» Wood Carving


What is the difference between wood carving and woodworking?

Wood carving (in sculpture) and woodworking (in cabinet and furniture making) are two different fields. Although similar in many ways, the tools for wood carving are not quite the same as those in woodworking. The basic styles of wood carving tools include the chisel, gouge, short bent, long bent, skew, parting tool and fish tail. The shapes, widths and bevels were all developed for specific purposes to carve decorative motifs with as few cuts as possible. In wood carving the bevel on the tool may be at a lesser angle and the cutting edge is generally thinner.

What other types of wood carving tools are there?

Beyond supplying specialty tools, Sculpture House also offers such unique wood carving supplies as wood carving knives, rasps, large combination rasp/files, pneumatic wood carving tools and a variety of unique wood carving tools crafted by our master forgers and grinders. Mallets, canvas carrying tool rolls and slip stones for sharpening wood carving tools are also available.

Pneumatic tools, composed of a handpiece and the pneumatic tool and used with an air compressor, can reduce bulk material in about a third of the time standard handheld tools require. Common shapes of the cutting ends of the pneumatic tools are: short bent, straight chisel, gouge, fishtail, and parting tool.

How are wood carving tools made?

Sculpture House hand forges and grinds our wood carving tools from 1095 high carbon steel, then tempers each one in oil, and batch tests, in house, with a Rockwell Black Diamond steel hardness testing machine.

How do I prevent my wood carving tools from becoming dull?

This is the most common complaint. Remember a tool will get dull when used over a period of time. Most tools should be sharpened after 20 to 30 minutes of use on hard wood. The use of a good sharpening stone will provide detailed sharpening. Most tools are sharpened on a bench stone or a combination bench stone (a sharpening stone with two coarsenesses). For gouges and parting tools a specifically shaped sharpening stone is used. The sharpening process is done at 45° angle to the stone and in a figure eight rotation.

What is honing?

After basic sharpening, this is an advanced sharpening process done with an extremely fine sharpening stone. It takes about 20 minutes per tool and gives a razor sharp cutting edge to the tool.

What type of steel is used for wood carving tools?

Usually 1095 high carbon steel is used for most wood carving tools.

Is there a difference in temper between wood and stone tools?

Yes. The stone tools are slightly harder due to the wear demanded of them. Consequently they must also be sharpened more often.

What is a steel fracture?

At times a tool will develop a hairline crack or fracture. This should not happen and can be the fault of the tempering process. If the tool is dropped, or hits a nail in a piece of old wood, it can develop a crack.

What causes fraying of the handle?

The percussion of the mallet hitting the contact surface can have a mushroom effect on the handle. Electrical tape wrapped around the handle end will diminish this.

Why are the mallets wax-coated?

To reduce checking (cracking) of the mallet which may occur as a result of various environmental factors (e.g., humidity) and atmospheric pressure.