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Topic: chip-carved ornaments  (Read 4411 times)
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if this isn't nice, what is?
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« on: December 27, 2006 09:01:59 PM »

Just wanted to show off one of the ornaments I made for xmas and have not yet given away.  They are chip-carved basswood rounds with little screw-in loops and metallic string.  The pattern is from my good friend, Mr. Barton.
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006 09:33:20 PM »

Oh wow.  That is beautiful...did it take a really long time to do?   The details on it are just amazing....great job.
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006 09:36:29 PM »

Those are REALLY nice! Did they take a long time to do?

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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2006 09:41:54 PM »

Very nice.  It looks like it would be fun to make Smiley


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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2006 03:38:40 AM »

Wow - you have talent and patience.
That is really beautiful. I hope the recipients are appreciative!

I have a gorgeous granddaughter Smiley

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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2006 07:35:20 PM »

Thanks for all the positive responses! :-)  Actually, the really great thing about chip-carving is that something little like that does not take long at all -- maybe an hour including sanding.  The most important thing is to know how to keep your knife sharp.
This technique takes a little time to learn/practice, but the concept is simple and it really doesn't make a very big mess (I did these in my apartment with little harm to the vacuum).  If anyone is interested, I can gladly post my favorite books/links on chip carving. I'm by no means an expert, but I can offer up what I know. :-)
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2006 09:27:42 AM »

if you could post the links that would be SO appreciated:). You did a fantastic job and I'm surpised that it's easy to make cause it looks SO intricate. Great work!

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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2006 10:31:45 AM »

A couple of how-to's:

And a great place to get basswood and butternut (the two most commonly-used chip carving woods) blanks of all sorts:

I would highly recommend picking up a Wayne Barton book from half.com (no sense in paying full-price for media!) -- or stopping by your local library to pick one up and go ahead and make some copies while you're there.  His patterns are amazingly beautiful.

You'll also need a knife -- eBay is a great place to get them, but lots of woodworking sites have them for a decent price (usually under 20 bucks).  If you find that the site selling them has an extra fee for a sharpening service (beyond "shop sharpened") -- GET IT. 

Also pick up a leather strop for a buck or two, some silver carbide powder for sharpening, and a thumb guard(little piece of leather with elastic) since you'll be cutting toward yourself.  If you have small hands like me, be sure to get a small-handled knife or it will seem cumbersome.  I'll add more links as I dig them up in my very unorganized bookmark folder. :-)

There are several ways to get the pattern onto the wood, but my favorite is just to use a glue stick lightly, smooth it on and let it dry for a few minutes.  If you find the glue is still sticky when you're all done carving and are trying to remove the excess paper, just pull out your trusty iron, cover the piece with a damp cloth, and give it a very quick steam on high heat.  The paper will fall off, and the glue can be removed with a quick swipe of the cloth - easy-peasy.

Also, do not by any means believe that "stainable" wood glue is indeed stainable -- it is NOT and can really ruin a project you've worked really hard on.  Further, Always always test your stain first on a scrap of wood -- the same kind of wood you're carving. You can get results that are a lot different that you expect based on the color on the stain can!

Oh -- and sanding paper.  You'll need some fine-grain sanding paper.  Multi-purpose will work just fine too, just use a light touch, as basswood is quite soft (not like balsa, but soft none the less).

I hope this helps get you started -- it is a beautiful, fun-to learn craft and I enjoy it very much.  I still have a great deal to learn, as I've only been carving off and on for about a year.  I hope to gain more precision with my technique and someday be able to develop my own patterns.  Please msg me with questions, or anything else.:-)
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2007 09:30:54 AM »

And here are the ornaments I'm making as gifts for our wedding party, as yet unstained because it's too cold to go out into the garage and stain them. :-)
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2007 10:48:28 AM »

This is beautiful and obviously took some time, I would love to get one for x-mas! Great job!

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