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Carving instruments

The main tools – blades, knives and chisels of different forms.

Blades are used to cut contours, geometric lines, ornaments. The iron of blade should be 1 mm thick and 10-12 mm wide, blades are straight and plane, sharpened knobs. When cutting hollows the cutter is held in a fist with the blade down and towards oneself, when cutting smaller patterns – like a pen.

Knives of different forms are used in diaglyphic and sculpture carving to cut oval and bended contours, to cut along the wood fibers and to finish edges. The iron of knives is made of tool steel to make sure it wouldn’t get blunt too soon and to make it flexible. Iron made of hard steel is not suitable because it quickly breaks.

For bigger pieces one should use chisels of different forms. They can be used to manually carve thin layers of wood or to tear them away ramming them with a wooden hammer to break away a bigger chip.

Flatter chisels are used for leveling, for cutting contours of an ornament. Inclined chisels the blades of which are slanted at the angle of 45-70 degrees and width of blades varies from 10 to 30 mm are mostly used for geometric carving.

Sloping semi-circular chisels are used in geometric and contour carving for cutting braces and semi-circular hollows.

Angle chisels are used to cut narrow grooves.

Iron of spoon gouges chisels is short, curved like a spoon or a hook. They are used to cut diaglyphic pieces for extracting of wood from deep places of background, all kinds of hollows. Their profile is various, width from 5 to 50 mm.

Spoon knives of different forms and profiles are mostly used for carving dishes, spoons, jugs. They are used to cut the inside surface of products.

In diaglyphic carving even background is textured with punch stamps, i.e. steel punches, on one end of which there are cuts of different geometrical forms and profiles. These punches are easily driven in with a hammer.

For primary processing of major pieces choppers are used. Choppers with curved blades of different profiles are used to cave different hollows.

Wooden hammers are used to carve background, relief while working with hard woods or creating big sculptures.

For fine carving saws are used. Two-handed saws are used to saw big pieces. Big one-handed saws with teeth of various forms are used to saw wood along and across.

For shipping plain surfaces we use the following planing tools: planer, jointer, finishing planer and block planer.

Holes are drilled with a brace, electrical or manual drill.

For marking we use instruments, preciseness of which the success of carving depends on. For marking on big pieces a metal cutter and metal dividers are used, on smaller ones – graphical pencils of corresponding hardness.

To mark a circle, a curve and to divide them we use marking dividers with two needles. Outer, inner sizes of details and depth of holes are measured with a caliper with accuracy 0,02-0,1 mm. A depth gauge is used for measuring depth of holes.

Apart from manual instruments for woodwork electric manual instruments and woodwork tools are used in wood carving.

Main rules and ways of wood carving.

A sloping cut should be made at a slanting line along the fibers and layer. Such cut will be clean, even, smooth. When working across the fibers surface may crack and become rough.

For cutting across the fibers one should cut with a semi-circular chisel from both sides from the sides of the piece towards the center. One should not cut from one side to another with a single movement, because this may make the wood crack.

Carving of a straight double-sided hollow across the fibers is done with a slanted cutter. First, holding a cutter vertically, one should cut a straight middle line, then, holding the knife at an angle, facets from both sides are carefully cut towards the center of a hollow.

Carving of a double-sided slanting hollow is made on a fixed and marked piece. First one cuts a straight middle line holding the cutter vertically at the full depth of a hollow, then one sloping side of a hollow is cut along the fibers. The other sloping side is cut in the opposite direction, also along the fibers. If you don’t follow this rule chips and roughness may occur.

Carving of straight double-sided hollows is made without major difficulties if growth ring texture lines are parallel to the back sides of the piece. First one cuts a middle line at the depth of the hollow, then — side facets along the slanting lines in any direction.

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