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
Carver’s Lapboard

Carver’s Lapboard

By Charles Brown With this lapboard, you can carve mess-free anywhere—You can take your carving out of the basement and carve in the comforts of your easy chair. Flip it over, and it becomes a handy portable writing table. The dimensions of the lapboard depend on a couple factors; I […]

by February 2, 2010 Shop Tips
Shop-Made Holding Devices

Shop-Made Holding Devices

Inexpensive methods for holding irregularly-shaped carvings By Roger Schroeder Carvers tend to be innovative—and with the odd shapes that carvings can take on, many commercial holding devices just won’t work. That is why carvers design, or adapt, their own holding devices. The variety of designs is endless, but most can […]

by February 1, 2010 Shop Tips
All About Buying Wood

All About Buying Wood

A handy reference guide and inside tips from 30 years of buying carving wood By Roger Schroeder Buying wood—be it pine, basswood, or something exotic like rosewood—can leave you scratching your head wondering about the mathematics and vocabulary. When I first started purchasing wood, I fell in love with a […]

by January 29, 2010 Shop Tips

Top Ten Underrated Uses for Carving Tools

Tongue-in-cheek take on common carving tools and materials By Bob Duncan #1  CA glue: To glue your thumb to the piece of wood you are trying to replace back to the carving. Also serves to glue cut skin back together and glue your thumb to the cut. #2  Bandaids: To […]

by January 25, 2010 Shop Tips
Cleaning Your Brushes

Cleaning Your Brushes

When using your brushes, NEVER walk away and leave paint in the brush. It’s a good habit to rinse a brush before you lay it down, even if only for a moment. Brush Care Do not reuse the plastic tube used on new brushes; this may bend the bristles beyond […]

by January 24, 2010 Shop Tips
Files, Rasps, and Rifflers

Files, Rasps, and Rifflers

These versatile tools have a wide range of carving uses By Roger Schroeder While purists will argue that files, rasps and rifflers, not to mention sandpaper, should never touch a wood carving, don’t sell these tools short. Many projects need a smooth surface, not a flat-plane or faceted one. These […]

by January 24, 2010 Shop Tips