|Ms. Mary May Showing Everyone How It's Done|
|Partially Finished Ball And Claw|
Several months ago, a trip to my local woodworking tool retailer resulted in me spending some money on a set of wood carving tools. Don't worry, I paid with a credit card so that my purchase could be tracked by that bored agent. I have been wanting to try to carve a ball and claw foot since I sat in a class given by Ms. Mary May at the Woodworking In America conference in 2012 (photos above). If you have a chance to take a class with her, or are up to ordering one of her DVDs I would recommend you do so. She is an excellent teacher and has an amazing amount of skill. During the class, she made it a point to mention that she didn't start with many carving tools and that, like many other tools, experimenting with the tools opens many avenues to skill and creative solutions. So, I thought, I'll start small (I always tell myself that but it never ends well). The set of carving tools I purchased are made by Pfeil and came as a set of six different tools. Pfeil offers several variations of the set, each with a different six tools. I purchased the one that looked like it had the most variety, partly because I had no idea what I was really looking for. This turned out to be a good decision...at least I think it turned out to be a good decision.
Not being one of those people with "patience" when it comes to testing out a new tool, I got the set home, grabbed a scrap piece of wood, and started hacking. I have been working with this set of tools on occasion (not regularly) for the last several months and I must say I am very happy with my purchase. I feel like there is a lot I can do with these, they hold their edge very well, and they are comfortable in my hand. I like the octagonal handles as they don't tend to roll off the table and they are easy to grip. They have taken a beating from my poplar mallet and yet they are easy to guide with my hand through some rather tricky grained wood. I haven't tried the ball and claw foot yet, but I have managed to get my hands on a large piece of balsa wood which I plan to carve into a practice piece. Ms. May recommended a soft wood like balsa to practice in so I thought I'd give it a try after I have been relatively successful at hacking away some bubinga (a scrap from a saw tote I made a while ago).
|The Skull Is Screaming "STOP RUINING THIS WOOD |
So, until the Federal Government comes and drags me off for poorly writing articles on the best ways to destroy a nice piece of lumber, I will keep trying to learn to carve (along with the endless list of other skills that interest me and frustrate my wife). More to come...