Notes From The Net
Questions and Answers About Carving Gathered From Popular Carving Groups
Edited by Matt Kelley
Welcome carving friends to NFTN, version 2.0. In this ongoing series we will gather the best questions, answers and comments from the more active Facebook carving groups, such as the Woodcarver List, Woodcarving 101 — The Joy of Woodcarving, and the International Fish Carvers & Painters Association, and present them here.
Enjoy, and Carve On!
Tip for new carvers
Perry A. Reynolds offered the following tip in the Woodcarving 101 “The Joy of Woodcarving” FB group:
“For all of you very new to carving, START SLOW and just start with a couple of basic tools to see if carving will hold your interest. Watch a couple of Youtube videos or join a club to basically just learn to use your tools. The wean yourself off of Youtube and carve. There is only ONE way to get better and that is simply putting your tools to wood. Hours spent understanding grain and the use of your tools is the only way that you become better. If you are an individual that seeks “Instant Gratification” then carving will most likely not suit you. Carving is something that everyone continues to learn from the first day they pick up a knife until the last day they carve before going to that great wood yard in the sky.”
Test before staining
Tami Affolder-Sealscott asked on the Woodcarver List FB group: “Looking for some good tips on staining. Is there a test I can do on my piece before I stain to make sure I have all the nicks and stuff out before I stain? I thought the piece I was working on was all sanded smooth, felt like it. But once I stained I saw the rough spots and it looks blotchy. Now going to re-sand it. Any advice?”
Bill Draper replied: “I put rubbing alcohol on the piece to highlight any remaining scratches. The alcohol doesn’t raise the grain of the wood and evaporates quickly with no residue.”
David Salser added: “There is a pre-stain product you can use to help eliminate blotchy spots. I have used it on basswood and it works well.” David then added a photo of Minwax Pre-Stain wood conditioner, which is available in both oil-based and water-based versions.
Holding small carvings
In the Woodcarver List FB group, Michael Anthony Zelonis asked about methods of holding small carvings.
Barry Doucette was one of several that responded: “I made a ban bag out of dry rice and a burlap bag with a plastic bag holding the rice inside the burlap bag. I filled it 3/4 full so I [can] mold it around the piece. I carve pine knots and most don’t fit in a vice and I can form the bag around the piece to secure it and turn it easily to carve a different area.”
That’s it for this edition of NFTN 2.0. If you see a post on one of the FB groups or Mail Listservs that you think should be preserved in NFTN, please use the form below to submit your suggestion.