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scrapers for wood and metal carving


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I've got a couple more weeks to go on a complicated carving project in Ebony and shibuichi. The wood carving is the most involved I have done, using a wide range of tools, including rotary burrs for roughing, and then chisels and scrapers (hisage in Japan) for the finish work. I've expanded my arsenal of scrapers and thought I would share the basics,

 

Scraping to finish carving in both wood and metal is extremely satisfying. There is nothing quite like making the perfect tool for the job. I've found that with the few tools shown in the first pic that I can refine an extremely wide range of forms. In a hard,dense wood like Ebony you can even scrape against the grain very effectively, something not possible with chisels.

 

left to right:

 

1. sharp point for lines and undercutting made from a triangle needle file.

 

2. small round point for shaping and texturing made from a riffler (the scrapers made from files and rifflers were tools that went through a shop fire I had a few years ago and were no good as files).

 

3. small flat square made from pillar needle file for smoothing small flat background areas

 

4, 5, 6 are different sizes and shapes of curves again for refining shapes and texturing. 4 from another needle riffler, 5 from a Japanese hisage(scraper) blank, 6 from a reshaped burnisher.

 

7. a straight edge set at an angle for fast removal and for flattening background. The second pic shows this on a side view. Ruler is metric. (sorry mah fellow Americans but it's what I use)

 

The rounds all have hollow faces to speed sharpening. When these are sharp, they are a joy to use. We all know that feeling.

 

The third photo shows the flat at work leveling background working from right to left. I'll try to add more pics as I finish this piece up.

 

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Edited by Jim Kelso
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AAHHH! Metric System, I can feel myself being sucked in!!! HELP!!!! :P

 

But on a more serious note, I've been thinking about doing a few simple (and easy) woodworking tools, do you know anything about using masonry nails for simple gouges and carving knives? (I heard they were made with high carbon steel, true?)

Edited by oldanvilyoungmsith

 

 

Eagleeyeforge.com

 

 

EagleEye_transparent_SM.png

 

 

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Jim ,

I'm looking forward to seeing the end result of the partial picture tease you showedlaugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

 

those are nice looking scrapers ... did you heat treat them ? the ones that went through the fire ?or leave them as is?

Dick

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Thanks for the comments guys.

1) OldYoung, I haven't ever tried masonry nails. It's worth a shot. Old dental scrapers work well too, I'm told. I like the heft of a larger tool for the broader faces. Less chattering.

 

2) Dick, some needed heat-treat and some didn't. Local hot-spots in my shop fire I guess.

 

Sorry to be such a tease, but I want to get this finished :rolleyes:

 

Jim

Edited by Jim Kelso
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This is great, and timely. Jim, are you just using a round burr to hollow out the faces of the rounds?

 

I've played with making gravers from masonry nails, and the ones I tried were certainly hardenable.

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This is great, and timely. Jim, are you just using a round burr to hollow out the faces of the rounds?

 

I've played with making gravers from masonry nails, and the ones I tried got very hard, at least as judged with a file.

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I've played with making gravers from masonry nails, and the ones I tried were certainly hardenable.

 

Good to know, when I have enough money I want to get some masonry nails and attempt to make some woodcarving tools and small gravers. Don't worry, if I try it, I will post pictures and the process I used etc. Might even do a wip.

 

 

Eagleeyeforge.com

 

 

EagleEye_transparent_SM.png

 

 

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This is great, and timely. Jim, are you just using a round burr to hollow out the faces of the rounds?

 

I've played with making gravers from masonry nails, and the ones I tried were certainly hardenable.

 

Matt, I use small "heatless Mizzy" wheels (silicon-carbide which cuts hardened steel) in the flex-shaft to rough the shape and the hollow. I finish the shape with rubberized abrasives wheels,also in the flex-shaft, and sharpen on stones. You could file to shape and finish with paper and stones if the material was annealed. I'll have to try masonry nails.

 

You may be able to get free dental scrapers from your dentist.

 

Jim

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Good to know, when I have enough money I want to get some masonry nails and attempt to make some woodcarving tools and small gravers. Don't worry, if I try it, I will post pictures and the process I used etc. Might even do a wip.

 

Cool!!

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I also wanted to mention that the round scrapers are sharpened up a ways so you can get different curves cutting the work depending on the angle it's held at. Hope that makes sense. :unsure:

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Here is the #4 tool above in action, both shaping and texturing.

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This appears to be quite a large scale item. I look forward to seeing the whole thing. Appreciate your scrapers. I find them invaluable to my work. They play a large role in the sequence of steps for my metal carving. I am partial to the hisage for metal work. Before that the Triangular version was my tool of choice.

I will share pics of mine when I post my next project.

patrick

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Thanks Alan, glad it's useful. I'm sure you could put them to excellent use!

 

Thanks Patrick. I'll look forward to seeing your scrapers which clearly you have bonded with. :P Yes the hisage (as in #5 above) are quite fine to work with.

 

Like gravers, scrapers need to be shaped at the working end depending on the task at hand. The requirements of the steel would be similar to knife steel in a shape suitable to your end need. Someone could probably develop a tidy little cottage industry making these blanks along with Japanese style tagane (chisel and punch) blanks.

 

Here is a photo of # 6 above at work on the iron tsuba from last fall. Also two pics of the piece with the carving nearly finished and after patination.

 

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Edited by Jim Kelso
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  • 2 years later...

Thanks showing pictures of all the scrapers that you use. I am just starting out carving knife handles and sheathes and I really wasn't sure how to achieve a finer looking result using only chisels. So thanks again for sharing your expertise.

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Jim, thanks for this little glimpse into your use of scrapers. The more I use mine, the more I like them and the more uses I come up with. I even tried using a little end scraper in my pneumatic engraver the other day - it took off a surprising amount of metal, and pretty smoothly. I've got to experiment a little more...

 

I'm looking forward to seeing this intriguing thing you're teasing us with.

 

Tom

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Jim, you sir are indeed a master of your craft!!! That is so well executed, it is unbelievable!!!

An artist is never ahead of his time. He is his time. The others are just behind the times.

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