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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
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    6,834
    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
    17
    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.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the ideas!

    I'll look into that supplier.
    Also, I think you did a beautiful job with that wooden knife.

    As for the sloyd knife, it's about 2.25 in long...a little shorter than my index finger. https://pinewoodforge.com/product/sloyd-knife-2-14/
    I guess I feel most comfortable with it, since I used it in lieu of a scalpel my time in dental school for many hours a day.
    On the first week, my scalpel handle was stolen--and I'd started getting into guitar building.

    I found a laminated Mora knife to do everything I needed, from trimming stone dies to denture work...drew some strange looks, until they found that I was faster and better than most of my peers--at least with knife related stuff.

    Other knives I have include a few from North Bay Forge, but I found 1.5 in to be shorter than I'm used to.
    Go figure.

    I may look into getting a V-tool.
    I just bought a 5/8" palm gouge (#7 sweep) from Drake Tools....it's a really beauty for hollowing spoons.

  6. #6
    The kids are probably anywhere from 0-3 years old for now.
    Some others are probably 8-12, and may want video games instead.

    I was thinking of carving some geese, fish, maybe a dog or a robot.
    Depends on the kid.

  7. #7
    My the way, so you recommend a certain block size for practice?

    Today, I had a very enjoyable morning shaping handles for my pinewood forge blades...under a beech tree.
    The resultant knives feel like old friends.

    I'd love to carry around a block and carve, but all i know are spoons!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    6,834
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Lau View Post
    My the way, so you recommend a certain block size for practice?
    Rather than buy specific sized blocks, you might consider ordering a thick plank and cut your own blocks as needed. I bought 2", 3", and 4" thick planks from Heinecke (shipped UPS) and cut up pieces with the bandsaw as the mood strikes. A 4ft 4"x8" board will provide a LOT of carving! (and plenty of thinner practice boards if you do chip carving)

    I would make the older kids something anyway and let someone else get the video games! Maybe you could entice them to "help"!

    Sorry if I missed it, but have you tried chip carving? A couple of years ago I learned chip carving, mostly so I could carve on wood turnings. Chip carving has been immensely satisfying, takes only one knife, and can be done almost anywhere! It took me just a month or so of practice until I felt comfortable real projects.

    practice_comp.jpg chip_carved_goblet_c.jpg ornaments_chip_carved_IMG_5.jpg BOC_C_Jack_01_IMG_6687.jpg

    An appropriate sign for my shop.
    chip_mess.jpg

  9. #9
    Sorry for the late reply.

    I never tried chip carving, but you make it look really good!

    Spoon carving attracts me because it's useful, doesn't need a ton of tools, and can be done pretty much anywhere.
    I just secured a source of greenwood from a local arborist.

    As for video games, I totally agree regarding subverting kids to more industrious endeavors...I figure that the sloyd training of Norway is a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post
    Rather than buy specific sized blocks, you might consider ordering a thick plank and cut your own blocks as needed. I bought 2", 3", and 4" thick planks from Heinecke (shipped UPS) and cut up pieces with the bandsaw as the mood strikes. A 4ft 4"x8" board will provide a LOT of carving! (and plenty of thinner practice boards if you do chip carving)

    I would make the older kids something anyway and let someone else get the video games! Maybe you could entice them to "help"!

    Sorry if I missed it, but have you tried chip carving? A couple of years ago I learned chip carving, mostly so I could carve on wood turnings. Chip carving has been immensely satisfying, takes only one knife, and can be done almost anywhere! It took me just a month or so of practice until I felt comfortable real projects.

    practice_comp.jpg chip_carved_goblet_c.jpg ornaments_chip_carved_IMG_5.jpg BOC_C_Jack_01_IMG_6687.jpg

    An appropriate sign for my shop.
    chip_mess.jpg

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