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by Steven D. Johnson
Racine, Wisconsin

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Wood Carving – Follow-Up

Click on any picture to see a larger version.

First, thank you! Not one woodworker made fun of my fledgling attempt to carve (last month's Highland Wood News Online) , and in fact, I got numerous encouraging emails from experienced, accomplished carvers, all nice, all recommending practice, practice, practice.

And practice I have… There are always plenty of scrap pieces of wood in the Down To Earth Woodworking shop and I can practice to my heart's content. The worst outcome is a little extra firewood and the best thing that can happen is that I learn something in the process.

Figure 5 - Is this the right slip stone set
for a neophyte carver? 

The learning curve is enormous. Not only must one learn to actually use carving tools to translate a mental image to wood, one must also learn to sharpen those same tools. Sharpening gouges, v's, spoons, and skews is nothing like sharpening a plane blade or chisel, even with the vaunted Tormek System. And, at the risk of starting some sort of woodworking holy war, I can push a not-so-sharp plane through a cut, but anything less than "perfectly sharp" is unacceptable, and frankly, unusable, when it comes to carving. I think I need to get a set of slip stones like these , so I can touch up my carving tools without firing up the Tormek. Will someone let me know what would be best to use?

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