Getting started carving

I'm looking for suggestions for wood carving hand tools for somebody just getting started. I've poked around online and the price ranges vary greatly. I'd like to give carving a serious shot, but I'm not sure I'm ready to dump $200-$300 on gouges. I'm looking for something mid-range, and some suggestions on what sort of sizes I should be picking up.
Thanks in advance - d
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

I'd recommend getting a good pocket knife and starting from there. You'd be surprised at some of the stuff people come up with using nothing but a pocket knife. From what I've read/seen/heard, you'll need one with two blades. A short blade that's about 2" and a long blade that's about 3. You should be able to find them for about $20 at a hardware store. (Don't buy any knives you can't hold first. If they don't fit your hands, you won't enjoy the hobby.)
For the record: I'm not a carver. My experiences in other areas just tell me that this would be a good way to start out.
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper wrote:

One step up from that would be chip carving. Only needs two or three knives, depending on which expert you listen to. Easy to learn, but complex patterns can still be quite challenging. Take a look at:
http://www.chipcarving.com /
-- It's turtles, all the way down
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Good luck buying a pocket knife with decent steel for $20.00.

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I suggest you stick to dropping pucks.
wrote:

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On 22 Mar 2007 07:36:16 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I would advise against purchasing a set. Look at this site for some really good info:
www.norahall.com
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On 22 Mar 2007 07:36:16 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I'd recommend a couple of knives similar to the ones shown here to start with:
http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/product_info.php/cPath/1_7_354/products_id/2149
and maybe a set of palm chisels soon thereafter such as the standard set for $32.00 shown about half way down on the left on this page:
http://www.qualitycarvingsupplies.com/store/page10.html
Once you have gotten your feet wet, you can decide which direction you want to move in and start buying full size gouges or smaller sets of chisels. I've bought a few individual gouges and they do pretty much all I need.
I've been carving small figures (4-10" high) and some relief carving off and on for about 20 years and I've made my own knives similar to the ones noted above. Those knives and the palm chisels are my most use carving tools (along with a band saw).
HTH and Good Luck Bill
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I highly recommend the below site. It has lots of info for new carvers, including free projects to learn on with a recommended tool list. I found it very helpful.
http://www.2carve.com/welcome.shtml
-roger-

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Look around your area for a carving club. go and talk to the members. There is 3 magazines on the the news stands that give out a lot of info. If you live close to a Woodcraft store, there is usually someone there that is in to carving.
On Mar 22, 7:36 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Thu, Mar 22, 2007, 7:36am (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com doth mumbleth: I'm looking for suggestions for wood carving hand tools for somebody just getting started. I've poked around online and the price ranges vary greatly. I'd like to give carving a serious shot, but I'm not sure I'm ready to dump $200-$300 on gouges. I'm looking for something mid-range, and some suggestions on what sort of sizes I should be picking up. Go to your local library, borrow a book or wo on carving. Than, like you've already been advised, and if you don't already have one, go to your local hardware stre and pick up a decent pocket knife. Might want to pick up a sarpening stone too. Then ge som chunks of 2X4 or similar wod. No prob.
JOAT Custom philosophizing done. No job too small; must be indoor work, with no heavy lifting.
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On Fri, 23 Mar 2007 22:48:16 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

I'm sure I'll get some flak for saying this, but I don't like and would not buy a pocket knife for carving. Most of the ones I've seen or used don't fit the hand comfortably for extended periods of carving. Secondly, the handle to blade length is not well proportioned (look at any professional carving knife).
I bought a set of folding carving knives - essentially pocket knives with short blades, and they've been sitting in my tool cabinet for about fifteen years (probably ought to dig them out and take a look).
That said, if you do decide to buy a good pocket knife, make DAMN sure that it has a securely locking blade.
Bill
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Sat, Mar 24, 2007, 9:48am snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net (remove) doth ssayeth: I'm sure I'll get some flak for saying this, but I don't like and would not buy a pocket knife for carving. <snip> I bought a set of folding carving knives - essentially pocket knives with short blades, <snip>
I made up a batch of short bladed carving knives from short lengths of bandsaw blade. Glue into slitted handles, then grind to shape - and sharpen. You can shape the handles as you want. Not fancy, but free, and works.
JOAT Custom philosophizing done. No job too small; must be indoor work, with no heavy lifting.
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On Sat, 24 Mar 2007 12:49:33 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

I do the same thing. After a few earlier attempts, I have a pattern for a handle that fits my hand very well. I even have a couple of blanks on hand that were cut to rough shape on the bandsaw for future knives.
For blades. I like the large industrial hacksaw blades when I can find them for the beefier blades, Standard hacksaw and bandsaw blades work well for me for smaller detail blades. They flex more and just seem to feel right.
You are right about the cost. With scrap lumber and scounging the steel, they only cost a few cents for the glue. However, I like the current set I have better than a couple of knives I bought for around $20 ea. and they look a good as any of the ones I've seen posted on the web.
Bill
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