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Thread: Power carving tools

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    N CA
    Posts
    325

    Power carving tools

    I just had a lot of tree work done on the place and have quite a lot of Black Walnut cut to fireplace length. Much of it will be burned by someone, but there are some pieces that I want to try my hand at carving some birds, etc. I have a Dremel tool but no carving tools for it. I would prefer too not make a lot of mistakes in purchasing tools and bits but want the right tools to get this done. I have chisels, standard carving tools and some chip carving knives. I'd be much obliged for any guidance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    1,420
    There is a carving forum on here, but you can start looking here for the roughing tools to get you started. https://www.arbortechtools.com/us/

  3. #3
    I have one of the arbortech rotary cutters for an angle grinder. I have used it for chair seats and other concave furniture parts. Far superior to the chain saw chain type cutters(I consider them too scary to use) but still requires a death grip on the grinder. Leaves a pretty smooth surface.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    256
    For rough carving I use a Kutzall disc in an angle grinder. It will remove a lot of wood quickly but it takes two hands to control it well so you'd need a way to secure the workpiece.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    I just had a lot of tree work done on the place and have quite a lot of Black Walnut cut to fireplace length. Much of it will be burned by someone, but there are some pieces that I want to try my hand at carving some birds, etc. I have a Dremel tool but no carving tools for it. I would prefer too not make a lot of mistakes in purchasing tools and bits but want the right tools to get this done. I have chisels, standard carving tools and some chip carving knives. I'd be much obliged for any guidance.
    The Makita GD0801C die grinder will set you right, variable speed with paddle trigger, very easy to control. It's a pleasure to use, for larger carvings (you still have the Dremel for miniatures or detail work.) And Kutzall burrs.

    You'd still need something to hold the work, but that's task-specific.
    Last edited by Doug Dawson; 01-21-2020 at 10:49 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    N CA
    Posts
    325
    Thank you for the suggestions. Iím a fitter/welder by trade so I have way to much experience with angle grinders👍

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Granby, Connecticut - on the Mass border
    Posts
    313
    I've recently gotten a bunch of saburr-tooth carving burrs for my dremel, just to play with on some spoons and similar stuff that was too dry to work by hand. They seem to work very well, not too expensive, around $18 each or so at highland hardware. I also got a 2 inch saburr-tooth donut shaped carver, and a cheap die-grinder to use it with. Removes wood impressively quickly.

    Ken

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    8,898
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    I just had a lot of tree work done on the place and have quite a lot of Black Walnut cut to fireplace length. Much of it will be burned by someone, but there are some pieces that I want to try my hand at carving some birds, etc. I have a Dremel tool but no carving tools for it. I would prefer too not make a lot of mistakes in purchasing tools and bits but want the right tools to get this done. I have chisels, standard carving tools and some chip carving knives. I'd be much obliged for any guidance.
    Hi Jack.

    I have four Dremels, three Foredom rotary carvers, a Merlin rotarty carver, a reciprocal carver, and a number of hand carving gouges and knives.

    I do use the Dremels for some carving but they are my last choice for all but some fine detail work. For example, I use it for stippling like on the band on this bowl but did not use it for carving on the feet and handle tendrils:

    carved_bowl_IMG_4211.jpg

    The Dremel is too hard to hold and control compared to the Foredom carvers with their long flexible shafts and very small handpieces. (I like to have more than one since I'm lazy at changing bits.) For any of the rotary carvers I like a variety of carbide bits since they stay sharp a long time. I can't imagine doing carving with an angle grinder - I'd rather use a chain saw.

    The reciprocal carver is extremely nice for some work. With gouges that are very similar to hand carving tools, but a smooth cut is effortless even on very hard woods. But I probably use the hand carving tools and knives just as much and the power tools. Also, although a coping saw will work, for me a bandsaw is almost a necessity for cutting out the rough shapes for carvings. For example, I removed most of the waste with the bandsaw before carving these:

    coffee_scoops_PB010307s.jpg coffee_scoops_PB044022comp_s.jpg

    I also use various rifflers, files, and sanding sticks to refine and smooth. I like the little plastic sanding sticks that have a narrow sanding belt that can be rotated to a fresh spot.

    All that said, when I get time to carve I usually reach for the chip carving knives!

    Hey, if carving birds is of interest, they sometimes have a week-long bird carving class at John C Campbell Folk School. I've visited the class and talked to the instructors and would like to attend some day. I want to carve a peacock, since I raise them here. Probably have to use some kind of iridescent paint for coloring!

    peacock.jpg peacocks_for_sale.jpg

    JKJ

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