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Thread: Simple presents for people?

  1. #1

    Simple presents for people?

    Hey Carvers,

    I love wood, but can only go to my workshop maybe once a month.
    I'm thinking of carving things...both for stress relief and presents for my friend's kids.

    Do you guys have any tips, recommendations?

    I have a pair of sloyds from Del Stubbs...but was also considering something like a folding knife.
    Also, not sure if you have a recommended wood? I was thinking of getting some basswood...but have quite a bit of Port Orford Cedar.

    -Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    6,197
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lau View Post
    Hey Carvers,

    I love wood, but can only go to my workshop maybe once a month.
    I'm thinking of carving things...both for stress relief and presents for my friend's kids.

    Do you guys have any tips, recommendations?

    I have a pair of sloyds from Del Stubbs...but was also considering something like a folding knife.
    Also, not sure if you have a recommended wood? I was thinking of getting some basswood...but have quite a bit of Port Orford Cedar.

    -Matt
    How old are the kids? Lots of kids like little carved animals, puppies, kittens, venomous snakes. Certain older kids may appreciate a special Christmas ornament. Strong magnets embedded in small carvings make nice "fridge" magnets. Things personalized with their names or initials appeal to some kids.

    I ordered basswood from Heinecke in Wisconsin - shipped UPS, fantastic wood and far cheaper than the local carving shop.
    http://www.heineckewood.com/
    I use it mostly for chip carving.

    I've carved walnut but it's rather coarse grain. Mahogany is a bit finer grained and easy to carve. (True mahogany, not a look-a-like such as sapele.) Luan is soft and easy to carve. Buckeye is good.

    I have no idea what a "sloyd" is, a thing to carve or a thing to carve with? Are you considering using a folding knife to carve with or thinking of carving a folding knife?

    My grandson wanted to make a folding knife. As part of my ongoing plan to engage him in things other than screens we worked together on this copy of a Gerber folding knife I sometimes carry. It's made from dogwood, tough, strong. Some of it is carved or otherwise shaped, some is just cut out and sanded. Careful placement of the dogwood spring and shape of the blade end lets the blade "snap" open and closed. Good clean fun!

    folding_knife_IMG_7676.jpg

    JKJ

  3. #3
    I am a firm believer in making gifts for folks. Especially young kids. When my children were little I not only made each a small item every year, but I enlisted their help in making Christmas ornaments each year. We had the Prissy show tree that the ex approved of up in the living room with all commercial decorations. and the real tree in the rec room with all hand made ornaments on it. The ex sure had a way to suck the magic out of Christmas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    SW Missouri
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lau View Post

    I have a pair of sloyds...but was also considering something like a folding knife.
    Also, not sure if you have a recommended wood? I was thinking of getting some basswood.
    -Matt
    Basswood is probably most carvers go-to wood.... Tight grain, which holds detail well, and easy to carve... if you get the good stuff. Northern basswood is my favorite... Wisconsin, Minnesota, etc. The whiter in color, the better. Agree with John on Heinecke as a good source. I buy a lot from them each year at a local WC show.

    Look for some simple projects to start out with. I teach a beginner's class and have posted 3 beginner projects I have used in my classes on our group's website. I made a PowerPoint for the class and can be downloaded in PDF format here:

    https://shellknobwoodcarvers.weebly.com/projects.html

    The Sloyds may be good for roughing out a project, but they are too big for me. I would also caution one from using a folding knife, unless the blade can lock open, for a beginner. I prefer a knife made for woodcarving with a fixed blade ( 1.25 - 1.5 inches long) and a longer handle (about 5"...?). The typical folder with a shorter blade has too short of a handle for me. The two other tools you may need for the above projects: Gouge, 5/16” (8mm) #7, bent and a V-Tool, 5/32” (4mm) 90, bent.

    Buy the best tools you can afford to insure you get good steel. Find a local WC club and visit them. They can show you how to use your tools and how to sharpen them.
    .... Dave

    Old carvers never die.... they just whittle away.

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