Shop Tips

Q&A: Do I Need a Sharpening Appliance?

Q&A: Do I Need a Sharpening Appliance?

Q: I saw these new sharpening appliances on a website. Do I need something like this to sharpen my carving tools? A:  No. Sharpening appliances like this are designed for single-edge chisels and plane irons. You could sharpen knives and gouges on it, but they don’t require the absolute flatness the aluminum […]

by July 3, 2017 Shop Tips
All About Chisels, Gouges, and V-Tools Part 2

All About Chisels, Gouges, and V-Tools Part 2

Keeping up with the old and the new in essential carving tools By Roger Schroeder   Whittlers take note: Chisels, gouges, and V-tools are here to stay. While you may feel comfortable with just a knife in your hand, don’t think that these other edge tools can’t perform miracles.   […]

by April 20, 2017 Shop Tips
All About Chisels, Gouges, and V-Tools Part 1

All About Chisels, Gouges, and V-Tools Part 1

Despite hundreds of profiles, sizes, and shapes to choose from, they all remove wood By Roger Schroeder   To a carver, chisels, gouges, and V-tools are all chisels. While that simplifies the description, it is not accurate. The cutting edge of a chisel is a rectangular shape, while the cutting […]

by April 18, 2017 Shop Tips
Paint Tote Case

Paint Tote Case

Build a simple but sturdy organizer for your paint collection By Dick Truesdell Like many woodcarvers, I have accumulated a sizeable collection of paint bottles. Storing, organizing, and transporting all of them to classes was difficult, so I decided to build this handy case. Done as a weekend project, I […]

by April 10, 2017 Projects, Shop Tips

Organizing Sandpaper

I use small strips of sandpaper, and sometimes the grit of the sandpaper is not visible on the backs of the small pieces. A friend suggested I reinforce sandpaper with strips of duct tape, especially when I’m sanding in tight corners. I decided to color-code the duct tape based on […]

by April 26, 2012 Shop Tips

Stropping Angle

No matter how you strop, whether by hand or with power, the surface you are working is always face down and out of sight. This makes it difficult to see if you are holding the tool at the correct angle. I use a Sharpie® marker to draw a broad mark […]

by April 24, 2012 Shop Tips

Shopmade Work Positioner

Work Positioner By Mike Pounders Using a work positioner allows you to carve with both hands, which provides greater control and power. This positioner is simple to make with a few pieces of plywood and some hardware. To start, face-glue two pieces of 1/2″ (13mm)-thick plywood together or use 3/4″ […]

by October 7, 2011 Shop Tips
Keeping Tools Organized

Keeping Tools Organized

Organizing Sharp Tools Whenever you are working with sharp tools, it is important to be organized. I start by color coding my tool handles. For example, I paint a purple stripe on all of my #5 gouges. Then I woodburn my initials or a symbol (I use a sun) on […]

by November 23, 2010 Shop Tips
Inexpensive Tool Rack

Inexpensive Tool Rack

Tool Rack It’s easy to make a rack for carving tools out of 1″-diameter PVC pipe. First, choose the length to make the rack. Take into account the size of your work space and avoid making the length longer than 24″ because the pipe can sag. Drill 1/2″ to 3/4″-diameter […]

by September 8, 2010 Shop Tips
Sharpening a Carving Knife

Sharpening a Carving Knife

Quick and easy steps keep your knife ready to carve By Mac Proffitt A sharp carving tool is the first requirement for successful and happy carving. A dull tool will not produce clean cuts and creates a greater risk of injury. Fortunately, there is a simple method to sharpen your […]

by February 24, 2010 Shop Tips