Notes From the
By Mike Bloomquist, with Doug Evans
and Loren Woodard
Email Mike at m.bloomquistATverizonDOTnet or visit his web, Wooden Dreams Woodcarving
been a little quiet on the Net lately. Hmmmmm, maybe everyone's
carvin'. Can't fault anyone for that. Still, there
were a couple of tid-bits out there, and maybe something from
the archives. First we're going to talk about the tough
cuts when it comes to wood... cuts made directly across the end
The Unkindest Cut of
know my V tool isn't the best quality, but it is sharp. I'm having
difficulty detailing hair in the end grain of a small caricature.
The cuts tear out real easy. Should I "harden" the wood
first(basswood) or are there other secrets you could share?
Doug Evans started us off.
If your V tool is truly sharp you should not have this trouble.
First be sure the tool is a s sharp as can be . Quality doesn't
matter but sharp sure does !!! Try also to take smaller "bites"
into the wood make a few passes versus one big one. If you still
have trouble, yes use some super glue let it dry and go back after
that end grain.
Good luck !!!
Then Joe Dillet added...
Check the angle of your V-tool. Lower the handle so the tool isn't
cutting. Raise the handle slowly while moving the V-tool forward.
Stop as soon as the tool begins to cut. Measure the angle your
V-tool is to the wood when it begins to cut. That angle should
be about 20-degrees. In soft basswood if it is over 22-degrees
it is likely to smash the end-grain regardless of how sharp the
tool is. Also take very light cuts. If you dig deep, even at a
low angle, it has more a chance of smashing the grain.
Wetting the wood will help but wipe your tools so they don't rust.
The Carving Shop
645 E. LaSalle St. Suite 3
Somonauk, IL. 60552
Ralph had a suggestion along
My suggestion would be to soak your basswood in water for about
15 minutes. I find when my wood has dried out (we live in the
desert) I need to add moisture to the wood. Another problem you
must watch though, be sure to oil down your blades after carving
to avoid rust build-up.
Palm Desert, CA
...and Loren wrapped out a good
set set of tips with yet another.
If you haven t, you might try spraying the area you are having
trouble carving with a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.
It should help you out.
a question about diamond stones.
Diamonds, a Woodcarver's Best Friend
When purchasing and using diamond sharpening stones, is it better
to get the flat stones, or the ones with the "honeycombed-type
mesh" over the top of the stone? I hope I didn't confuse
anyone with all of the technical jargon I used!!! :>)
Thank you for any and all responses!!!
Joe took first cut at this one.
I have the honeycombed type of diamond stone. It was given to
me or I would have chosen the solid stone without the holes. The
holes are just wasted space and wasted time by rubbing over not
abrasive areas. Small tools drop in the holes so you get bump,
bump, bump as you sharpen on one with holes.
If I was choosing between diamond and ceramic I think I would
go toward the ceramic. The ceramic is less agressive in the beginning
but I've found that the diamond does wear and loose it agressiveness.
After about 7 years of use my diamond stone is less that half
the diamond left and not agressive at all. My ceramic stone is
just as agressive (about 75% of a new diamond stone) and just
as flat as when I purchased it 17 years ago. Neither stone requires
a lubricant of water or oil. When they load up just wash them
with soap and water to open the grit.
The Carving Shop
645 E. LaSalle St. Suite 3
Somonauk, IL. 60552
(815) 498-9290 phone
(815) 498-9249 fax
Then Old joe with some personal experience.
Both seem to work well. Mine is solid surface because it was on
Old Joe Woodcarving,Plattsmouth, NE
WEB SITE: http://www.oldjoe.org/
Then Loyd Smith offered
some price comparisons.
DMT diamond stones are tops but are expensive; they are monocrystalline.
There are sets of Chinese imports available here in Canada for
about $25. I bought a set for $18 on sale, three stones,
180,260 340 grit. I have a DMT one which cost around $60 guaranteed
flat to a few thousands of an inch. I use the cheapies for rough
sharpening or shaping or garden tools. The problem with the smooth
ones is that they are polycrystalline diamond and wear more quickly.
They all do a good job of truing your water stones and other stones.
...And Loren wrapped up
this one too.
I have both and the solid stone is much better in my opinion.
Then a hair raising question.
it, show it, long as God can grow it, my hair . . ."
I'm having a hard time carving hair. I think I'm just getting
more fussy. Anyway, is there a book or site that I can get
some help from?Or maybe just an explanation?
some good instructional help.
Doug Evans sends this along from the Knotholes list...
I guess I'll try to help. Hair on heads or beards is nothing more
than sweeping SSSSSSS . I usually use a (#11) gouge or two to
be sure the surface is not flat. There should be tuffs of hair
at different levels. After the basic shape takes place go
back with a couple of v-tools and cut in the SSSSSSSSSS . One
v-tool can be used if you vary the depths. Be sure when
you are done there are no flats surfaces shown between the SSSSSSSSSS
you have created with the V-tool. Rather than using a v-tool
a woodburner can used. It's just personal preference. Hair is
a fun thing and no right or wrong unless you are doing a very
Hope this helps !!
(Gotta disagree with you
there Doug. There are some "wrong ways... and I've
done most of them. - Mike B.)
...And Gordon wraps
this one up.
Take a look at an article in one of the older Woodcarving Ezines
on carving hair the Harold Enlow way, here's the url:
Other sources would be books by Ivan Whillock, Chris Pye, Ian
Norbury or Jeff Phares are just a few that first come to mind,
there are a number of others authors in print as well. Maybe
it's time for a refresher session back with the Woodbutcher eh!
Hey folks. Been lurking on this list for awhile (as well as over
on the woodcarving disc list - charlestrella over there), and
I've been wondering how copyright works in the carving world.
First a quick intro - I am a mid foties professional who has taken
an interest in carving and is a complete neophyte, newbie, whatever
name you care to call it. I am mostly interested in carving things
like greenmen, woodspirits, and mythical creatures (dragons,
hippogryphs, etc.). For now I am starting off learning to
carve woodspirits in hiking sticks and bark. Eventually
I want to try in the round carvings.
have really been inspired by carvings and the books of Shaw Cipa
and the greenman carvings of Chris Pye. My question is this. If
I do a carving following one of these gentlemen's step by step
instructions and using their design - am I correct in assuming
that I am not permitted to sell that carving? The
reason I ask, is that I've seen various vendors seliing
hiking sticks with woodspirit faces that look remarkably
like the patterns in Harold Enelow's book on carving found
wood. (sp? I thinks that's the one) Are they infringing
on his copyright when they do this?
faces seem more generic looking than others, but Shawn Cipa's
are very unique & recognizable, with the squinty or closed
eyes. There is a definite "look" that is consistent
across his carvings. I am not looking to steal anyone elses
work or designs so I just want to be sure that I understand
how this works. I am nowhere near ready to sell any of my
carvings and have a couple years to get under my belt before
I try, but I do have that as a goal in the back of my mind.
I am not a good sketch artist so I may have to rely on my wife
to help create new patterns and faces to carve, but how unique
can you be with these things and how do you avoid ethical
and legal copyright trouble if you want to sell your carvings?
there any resource out there that thoroughly explains this for
the carving craftsman? I don't want to have to wade through the
legalese and attempt to figure out how the law applies if there
is something or someone who has done so and can explain
Hi Chuck, Maura here.
Copyrights and carving
The purpose of a copyright is not to own an original design (not
ideas - ideas can never be copyrighted) but to prevent others
from profiting from the use of your idea or design without
paying for that right or asking permission. As a novice
carver, feel free to copy anything you want to produce for your
private collection or to give away to family and friends.
It is only when you move into the selling arena that the copyright
issue rears its head.
Example 1 - You duplicate an American Indian bust that you
have seen another carver do (who has a copyright) and then you
use it as part of your display at your local clubs annual show
and it unexpectantly sells.
Example 2 - You carve an original carving of a small dog
and copyright the pattern. At one of your shows, the carving sells.
A few years later while walking through a discount store, you
see your very carving reproduced in resin and when you inquire
about it you find that 10,000 of these copies were distributed
and sold throughout the US.
Example 3 - You search for patterns on the web for your
own personal use and store them in your PC. Some of
the patterns are copyrighted. One day realizing you are running
out of drive space, you copy all of the patterns on disk.
You think it is a great collection of patterns and make a dozen
copies and start selling it on ebay.
Example 4 - You post pictures to your bragging picture site.
One is a carving you made using a copyrighted pattern.
You give the original artist no credit.
Example 5 - You make a carving using a copyrighted pattern.
You change minor elements in that pattern. You then claim
it as your own and sell carvings using this design.
Example 6 - You buy a pattern pack on the internet and then
allow your neighbor to copy them.
Which of these are illegal? All of them. Anytime someone
profits in any way from a design that they have no right
to freely use, it is copyright infringement. In order
to take you to court the copyright holder will need to get
legal representation and lose time going to court. It is
only in their best interest to go after someone who has reaped
a substantial profit. But that doesn't mean that its not
wrong just because you didn't make a big enough profit for
someone to go after you in court. Certain cases against
people who make hand-crafted items have not been successful because
there are no real substantial losses as hand crafters do not churn
out a large number of copies of any one item. It is
not unusual for courts to award treble (triple) damages
in larger copyright infringement cases.
As to copying a pattern and making changes to it and then calling
it your own arena - I have heard it said that if you make 15%
of the pattern original, that it is now a new pattern but that
is not true. Any copyright lawyer will tell you that.
If it is obvious that one pattern was created based on another,
then it is infringement. but also remember that an idea
can not be copyrighted. If you take a pattern of a barn
with horse in front, split rail fence and a big shade tree and
make minor changes, it is wrong but if you go get your own
barn, your own horse, fence and tree and put them together to
make your own pattern, that is not copyright infringement.
You can make things that are similar to another carvers but do
them in your own style. Okay so you want to carve woodspirits
and might one day sell them. You can and no one will
bother you but ethically why not just get in touch with Shawn
or other artists you admire and simply ask first. Lots of
carvers do woodspirits and basically it is just a face. a carvers
own syle and the nuances of how he uses his tools are what makes
the faces unique. I bet if you tried to copy one of
the faces, it would come out different anyway.
I have asked lots of biggies if I could copy their designs and
have never received a denial. Also feel free to use anyones
pattern in anyway as part of your learning process.
There is an implied permission as far as using patterns
for educational purposes. Its only profiting from them that
can cause you problems.
Maura carvin' in nyc
...And Robert added two useful
OK, Gang, until next issue, keep them edges
keen, the chips piled high, and take a carvin' break once in a
while to keep in touch. See ya next issue.
Keep on Carvin'
Please take some time
and check out the wood carving lists on the Internet. There is
a lot of knowledge free for the asking on all of the list serves.
For information regarding the various email
lists for woodcarvers, visit The Carvers' Companion
Files, or click the links below.
Woodcarver's List - Woodcarvers' Porch - American Stickmaker's - Knotholes List - Fishcarving
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