Here are the Carving Tools That I Recommend

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by Erdbeereis, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Erdbeereis

    Erdbeereis Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Tools for Bowls, Spoons, and Kuksas (Updated 6/18/2013)

    I've been wanting to make this thread for a while and finally got around to it. Here are the tools that I recommend for different levels of carving.

    To start, here are the non-edged tools that I feel are necessary.

    1: A good strop loaded with compound (chromium oxide, or other). It's very important to keep your knives and axes sharp while carving.

    2: A good tool bag (I use this one, http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-203224201/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=tool+tote&storeId=10051#.UTQFGaVXLzI). It might not be "necessary," but I like to be able to carry all of my tools in one bag.

    3: I like to wear a glove on my left hand to protect myself from my knives. I just got these that are supposed to be cut-resistant. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GQ7IJE/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    4: I like to keep a pencil and a sketch pad in my bag. I use the pencil to draw the design on the piece of wood and the pad to sketch designs that I might want to make in the future.

    5: I also keep an apron in my bag to keep the wood chips off my clothes.
    8517844210_821710dc00_c.jpg

    Here is my tool bag,

    8516723497_39ae259243_c.jpg

    NOTE: The rubber mallet is for hammering the back of a gouge.

    Okay, now for the sets.

    Set 1: Someone just starting to carve that doesn't know if he/she is going to follow through with the hobby or doesn't want to spend too much money. You will mainly be able to make spoons with this set, but you could make bowls and kuksas. However, it would take quite a long time to hollow the carving out. You could easily add a gouge to help with that.

    8516724365_d1a6c33fa2_c.jpg

    ITEMS:

    Mora 120. It only cost about $20 and I haven't found anything wrong with it.

    Wetterlings Wildlife axe. This isn't ideal, but it works very well for a beginning carver.

    Mora 164 hook knife. Now, this is by far not the best spoon knife. However, if you have the ability to reprofile the edge a bit thinner it will be very serviceable. You could also get a better spoon knife from someone like Del Stubbs (http://pinewoodforge.com) or Paul Jones of Deepwoods Ventures (http://www.deepwoodsventures.com/index.html). Paul was VERY kind when I gave him some constructive criticism about the spoon knife he made me. He even sent me a prototype of a new spoon knife for free.

    Saw. You really could use any saw that you have, but I use this one http://www.amazon.com/Corona-RS-7395-Pruning-Curved/dp/B000GIIQFC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1362367600&sr=8-3&keywords=corona+saw. I think a straight bladed one would work better than this, but it's just what I have.

    SET 2: This set would be useful for someone that is more serious about carving and wants a great set. You can always add anything else you need. This set would work great for spoons, bowls, kuksas, and anything else you could this of.

    8516728371_d4e607752e_c.jpg

    ITEMS:

    Gransfors Bruks Swedish Carving Axe. If you can afford it, it is really nice. You can literally feel the hand-made quality.

    Mora 120. Same as above.

    Saw. Same as above.

    Pfeil #7 bent gouge. I got a good deal on this on E-Bay for about $30-40. You would probably want to get a rubber mallet to chase the gouge.

    Deepwoods Ventures spoon knife. This one doesn't work that well for spoons, but it is great for rough hollowing bowls and kuksas.

    Deepwoods Ventures spoon knife prototype. Paul said he was going to add it to his lineup sometime, but he hasn't added it yet. This one works great for spoons, and the finish work for hollowing bowls and kuksas.

    I hope this will help someone. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  2. Erdbeereis

    Erdbeereis Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Double...
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  3. stronghorse

    stronghorse Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Coastlands of Virginia
    Nice pointers, thanks!
     
  4. Bush Bear

    Bush Bear Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    506
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I have some of Del's tools from Pinewoodforge, a carving knife, spoon knife, and kolrosing knife. They are really great tools.
     
  5. Nolan King

    Nolan King Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado/Texas
    I have been wanting to get into this for a while. Now I know what tools to get. Thank you!
     
  6. bertha626

    bertha626 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pa
    Thanks alot. That is very nice. I have thought about trying to carve something and wondered what all I would be getting into, now I know. Any idea on the cost of the different kits?
     
  7. NGshooter17

    NGshooter17 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northern Ohio
    Thanks and nice post. I have some similiar tools. Just recently got a few flex cut tools and really like them too.
     
  8. RKP

    RKP Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 5, 2012
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    Do you have a better picture of Paul's prototype spoon knife? I have one of his spoon knives but was wondering how it compares to the prototype. Nice tools by the way.
     
  9. Erdbeereis

    Erdbeereis Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I'm glad I could help some of you guys!

    The first set woulld be around $160 give or take $10-20. That's including the tool bag.

    The second one would be about $350. But you get a lot more tools.

    Will do, I'm on vacation right now, but I'll do it when I get back on Thursday. :)
     
  10. Bully

    Bully Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Oahu - Hawaii
    Nice job posting this and thanks for all the details !
     
  11. Erdbeereis

    Erdbeereis Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nebraska
    No problem Bulley!
     
  12. bertha626

    bertha626 Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pa
    Does anyone know of any ready to go kits to buy that are a good start?
     
  13. NGshooter17

    NGshooter17 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    428
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Northern Ohio
    Flex cut makes some good starting kits. Google it :)
     
  14. Erdbeereis

    Erdbeereis Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I'm not sure the Flexcut ones are great for spoons and stuff as they don't come with an axe or a hook knife. They might be alright though, I'm not sure...
     
  15. Ugly_Barbarian

    Ugly_Barbarian Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Supposedly I live in Vegas, but as I type this I'm
    Silly Question

    Is there a problem with using a wooden mallet instead of a rubber one to chase the gouges with?

    Thanks
     
  16. crookedknife

    crookedknife Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    1,379
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kodiak Island, Alaska
    Long term use of a wooden mallet will cause you elbow problems, but for a hobbyist, no problem. You will know if your ever need to change. BTW, rubber carvers' mallets are made in the same round configuration as wooden carvers' mallets. Much easier to use than the hammer looking type. You can choke up on the handle for lots of control, and unlike the hammer type, it will never roll to the side. That style has been used by carvers for a half dozen centuries, and there is a reason for it.
     
  17. Erdbeereis

    Erdbeereis Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Bump for new members interested in carving. :)
     
  18. Feldgrun

    Feldgrun Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Virginia
    This is really helpful, thanks!
     
  19. Boot1990

    Boot1990 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have one of paul's spoon knifes and find it to work pretty well when doing my first spoon. can you briefly explain what was changed about it for the prototype?
     
  20. Erdbeereis

    Erdbeereis Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nebraska
    I'm not sure if he changed all of his spoon knives a bit, but on mine he made the blade narrower, a bit less of a curve, and the handle a little narrower. :)
     
  21. Boot1990

    Boot1990 Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks. I'd have to say after doing a few more spoons I can definitely see how that would help. The blade on mine is just a bit wider than it needs to be and I find that when going deep on a spoon bowl it will tend to chip the wood on the way out of a cut instead of continue as a nice smooth cut. Of course you don't really need to go very deep on spoons.
     
  22. Erdbeereis

    Erdbeereis Banned Member Banned

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nebraska
    UPDATE!

    Paul (deepwoodsventures) now has a small spoon knife in his store (what he gave me). I also got a Pinewood forge regular sloyd that has replaced my Mora 120. I still haven't found anything wrong with the Mora, but I wanted to get a new knife anyway. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Peter G

    Peter G Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    Carving resources

    I have no connection with these sites and am not advertising for them, but here are a couple of great resources I"ve found on spoon and bowl carving. The first is a carver named David Fisher http://davidffisher.com/. He is a professional carver, but there is some interesting reading and videos on his site, as well as more tool advice. You can tell he is really passionate about sharing the craft and not just selling his stuff. The second is Country Workshops http://www.countryworkshops.org/. They run classes on traditional woodworking and carving, and have a good selection of tools, and there is a lot of information there as well.

    Lastly, I just got the DVD, "Carving Sweedish Woodenware" on Amazon here and it is a great beginner video and at less than $18 it's hard to beat. Shows carving a bowl and a spoon start to finish along with some discussion of knife techniques. He points out how to make this or that cut correctly, where the "stop" is in the technique to avoid cutting yourself, etc. Really interesting.
     
  24. JustinB60

    JustinB60 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thought I'd revive an old, and incredibly useful, thread with a question.

    Currently I own the following tools:
    Small Flexcut Detail Knife (from Woodcraft)
    Mora 106 carving knife
    Mora 162 and 163 full and half curve carving knives, respectively (link for where I got all 3 Mora's listed here)
    Husqvarna Carpenters Axe (link)
    Rubber and wooden mallets
    Various wood saws and a chisel set

    Do you think I should get a GB Sweedish Carving Axe to finish off the set or should the Carpenters Axe do the job well enough? Reason I ask is it was my birthday today and I went ahead and ordered one from the local woodcraft shop on a whim… I can still decline the item when it hits the store after inspecting it and so wanted to get your opinions on the matter first. I could also cancel that order and go with a GB hand hatchet or or mini hatchet if you think that'd be better? The hesitation is that the GB SCA is about $170, with a 10% off coupon, so it is very steep and with that money I could get a nice strop, polishing compound, and any other tools I am missing from above that you guys think would be required and/or suggested.

    Please chime in with a yes/no on whether or not I should go ahead with the GB SCA, get a different GB axe for carving, or just stick with the carpenters axe and if you think I need to add anything to the above list before I start giving this carving hobby a real shot!


    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  25. tracker06

    tracker06 Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    ga.
    Not sure if my qualifications allow this but I do have the GB Hand Hatchet and the GB Swiss Carving Axe. The Hand Hatchet is a very cool tool and is useful in carving bowls, spoons and Kuksas, it is easily controlled and very precise. I bought it as an introductory piece to the GB line. Now I would not be without it. I also have the Swiss carving axe, double bevel. It is a beast at removing a lot of wood, yet is controllable and accurate. It is heavy and will cause some sore muscles, I also now would not be without it. They are both great tools and compliment each other, I will change out often as I work on a piece. I would recommend that you get the carving axe, the hand hatchet and also an adze, the GB is my next purchase, and then a couple of good gouges. Then you will want some more knives and hooks and on and on and on, just embrace it.
     
  26. JustinB60

    JustinB60 Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Michigan
    I appreciate the feedback tracker... That is the route I am leaning towards is to just go ahead and pick it up! :)

    I guess I was just curious if a bunch of guys were making their spoons only with a carpenters axe? If that was the case it may encourage me to hold off on this large purchase until a little later.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  27. Swamprat1

    Swamprat1 Scout Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    980
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    The South
    Found this thread looking for info on carving axes. Really good info here. I find that I am becoming more and more interested in wood carving. Just have to slowly start gathering a few tools.
     
  28. Newtothewoods

    Newtothewoods Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NE Ohio, Massillon
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014

Share This Page