Highland Woodworking Wood News Online, No. 177, May 2020 Welcome to Highland Woodworking - Fine Tools & Education Learn more about Highland Woodworking View our current woodworking classes and seminars Woodworking articles and solutions Subscribe to Wood News
Here's My Woodcarving!
By Chris Herald
Reno, NV

I am an amateur woodworking enthusiast from Reno, Nevada. I'm sharing some photos of some wooden knots I carved. My work as a mathematician involves chalk board drawings of many geometric objects, including knots (loops in space that are knotted), so rendering three dimensional models appealed to me from the start. The design aspect of starting with a pleasing 2D top view (which I am accustomed to drawing) and then developing a pleasing 3D model that looks nice from all different angles was really interesting to me. The carvings shown here were done by hand, without any 3D modeling software, about 20 years ago.

These knot carving projects began when I was traveling overseas for work, without access to tools or any of my other usual pastimes; looking for a very portable hobby, I picked up a knife, a sharpening stone, and a block of wood and set about learning to carve (and, in the process, learning to sharpen). In fact, the first of these was completed with no other tools such as a drill or saw to remove extra waste. After the first one, I was really intrigued by the process and did the remainder over the next few years. The later ones benefitted from more planning for systematic roughing out the blank with a saw and drill. Power carving equipment would certainly speed up the process, but I thoroughly enjoy the time spent carving with a knife. I have included a few pictures of the final one I carved, known as the True Lover's knot. In this case, with the experience of several earlier carves, I used a drill and coping saw for some roughing it out. There was some suspense right down to the final stages about whether it would really be possible to get a knife into the tight areas to finish it. Sanding out the rough spots after carving is pretty challenging in the tight spots, which has led to my procrastinating on getting a finish on this one; it is currently unfinished.

My current projects include some wooden hand planes and a turning saw kit. I would also like to get back to some carving one of these days, especially as I now have a more complete toolkit of chisels and layout equipment.

Chris can be reached directly via email at herald.chris@gmail.com.

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