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  • Carving Chisels

    I am wanting to start carving, relief carving to start and am looking for some advice on chisels. One of my children gave me a set of japanees carving chisels but I am concerned while good for fine work may not do the job. The chisels are from Lee Valley and the link is:

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...332,43334&ap=1

    I am looking at potentially adding some and would appreciate peoples advice on a set available from Busy Bee; the link is:

    http://www.busybeetools.com/products...TOCK-12PC.html

    I recognize the quality may not be what I would want if I find I really enjoy carving but I also so not want to spend the $25-30 per chisel that would be required to get what might be better quality from Lee Valley.

    I would appreciate feedback on the suitabilty of the current Lee Valley set I have for relief carving and also views on the set from Busy Bee that I am considering purchasing. Also open to other suggestions on sources for reasonably priced set.

  • #2

    Re: Carving Chisels

    Re: Carving Chisels

    If by relief carving you mean the typical shell or acanthus designs found on furniture then IMO the LV set is too small. They also require a different technique in holding them than do full-size chisels, and you might acquire working habits that you might have to unlearn later. There are two main schools of relief carving, and one -- the European -- usually involves first outlining your work with a V chisel, and the one shown here wouldn't really do the job.
    I don't know the BB set, and the illustrations don't really show what you need to see, but I'm suspicious of them. They look similar to the ubiquitous sets around that price sold at CT and elsewhere. The steel on those is cheap and won't hold an edge. The V chisels are so thick and badly shaped that a week's work with a grinder wouldn't help them much. If that's what they're like then you'll lose interest in carving before you really get started.
    Carving chisels are like planes -- a couple of good ones are better than a stableful of bad. One way to get started is to get hold of a dvd or article describing one project; it'll usually tell you what chisels you need for the job, probably not more than 3 or 4 and you can use bench chisels in lieu of straight carving chisels. If you don't like carving you won't have spent too much and if you buy quality you can resell them. I haven't bought mine from LV because they don't stock the full line of Sorby, and I don't like that brand anyway. Mine are Iles, but perhaps the most sensible brand to buy is Pfeil. Several Canadian dealers stock the full line.
    Jim

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    • #3

      Re: Carving Chisels

      Re: Carving Chisels

      I have a few different carving tools from Pfiel, and Sorby but my favourites are my Henry Taylor set from Lee Valley based on the Hayward and Wheeler book (this set is no longer available). I have the palm handled Ramelson detail set from Lee Valley and a set of older Footprint brand (English) long handled set similar to the Ramelson basic carving set but with a more comfortable handle shape; both are good sets for the modelling tasks that are their primary purpose but are not really suitable for relief carving. They are just too small and cannot be used with a mallet.

      If I were just getting started in relief carving, I would get the relief carving set from Lee Valley (at $239 a good buy) or similar from other suppliers. The BB set mentioned is not something that I would recommend.



      Ken
      Last edited by KenL; 01-31-2012, 12:48 AM.

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      • #4

        Re: Carving Chisels

        Re: Carving Chisels

        Jim/Ken:

        I appreciate you advice, there seems to be a couple of consistent themes in your posts. I very much like the advice from Ken on the Lee Valley set and am likely to proceed in that direction.

        Again, thanks for the very useful input

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        • #5

          Re: Carving Chisels

          Re: Carving Chisels

          Just a couple of more options you might want to look into:

          http://www.flexcut.com/


          http://woodworking.rockler.com/nav/c...rving-tools/0?


          http://www.chippingaway.com/woodcarv...rvingTools.htm


          http://hocktools.com/Knives.htm


          http://www.rmurphyknives.com/store/carving-knives.html
          Wine Rack Plans|Bunk Bed Plans

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