Sunday 21 February 2021

52 Weeks Of Carving - Week 7 - Second Drawer Front Started

 So the first drawer front is finished! 

I added a very simple border on the top and bottom just using the V tool and a shaped punch. I think it offsets the main carving quite well. I then gave it a coat of boiled linseed oil for a bit of protection. 

Once I had fitted this I then started machining up the second drawer front from the same slab of lime that the bottom drawer was made from. 

This time I'm going for what is called strap work. With struck lines, not carved with the V tool. The idea being that you use the chisels to dictate what the curves will be. 

Laying it out took a fair bit of time (and head scratching). Everything was divided up evenly to try and make it look right and symmetrical, although it will never truly be as it's carved by hand, but the eye wants it to be!

Once I got it laid out I then started to strike the lines with chisels and mallet blows. I plan to leave the lowered areas with the tooled marks on this one as I think it will be hard to get it to be a clean background. 

Watch this space to see how this one progresses! 

Sunday 14 February 2021

52 Weeks of Carving - Week 6 - 17th Century Style Drawer Front - Part 2

This week I managed to spend a few evenings carving in the workshop. Was nice to lay out all the chisels and chip away, I also had a great audio book I was listening to so the perfect combination!  

I just worked on this one in a systematic way, making the curves fit the tools I have. 

I did make a few things difficult for myself, I shouldn't have left such a tight gap around the leaves - made it very difficult to tidy up. 

I added a bit of shape to the leaves before carving the veins into them. I think more practice with this type of shape and curve would be great. 

I then added detail to the two centre circles, I decided to make them rosettes like I had previously carved for practice - smaller so used a different range of chisels. 

Next I need to carve a decorative band top and bottom to finish this one off, but I have a feeling it will be simple as there is already a lot going on!

Anyone else carving much at the moment?

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Building A Paulk Smart Bench

 For years I've looked at building a Paulk style workbench. He has a few different designs and I always thought they looked well thought out and ideal for the types of carpentry I do. 

And for years I've kept working off a couple of trestles with some cls on. It's been fine, it means I can cut into the timber, replace them every 6 months or so but they don't stay very flat and it doesn't give me a great worksurface. 

Monday 8 February 2021

52 Weeks of Carving - Week 5 - 17th Century Style Drawer Front

 So leaving my last project on the shelf for a few weeks I decided it was time to crack on with something else. 

My sharpening station is useable but still incomplete. When making it I thought that carved drawer fronts would work well with the carved legs and it has been my intention to make some that will work with it. 

As the legs were a 17th century style I decided to stick with this for the bigger drawer front (not sure if the smaller ones will or not). I like the "busy" style where every space is filled up. 

Although I know most were probably done in oak or walnut, nothing I had was suitable so I decided to go for [easy to carve] English Lime again. 

The plank had a fair bit of twist so I surfaced it and then ran it through the thicknesser. The max width of my machine (305mm). 

I then started to lay out the design, again the most important bit. A geometric design so it's essential to get this right, the smaller circles echo what's on the legs of the workbench. 

Simple work holding this time on my new MFT bench - just four dogs and some folding wedges. 

Lining in is mainly with a v tool, so doesn't require much force with this wood. Hard to get the curves looking even but quite a nice job to do in sequence, carving all the similar lines. 

By the end of yesterday I had a rough layout lined out. I'll now start to lower some other areas around the circles before working on the leaf pattern in the middle and adding detail. There will also be two decorative borders (top and bottom) but not sure on the design of these yet. 

Probably a bit much for a workbench - but great practice! 

Monday 1 February 2021

52 Weeks Of Carving - Week 4 - Muffin Box Lid

It's air to say I'm not 100% happy with this. It looks a bit messy and there is a few things I'd alter about it if/when I do it again. But it works well as a practice piece and it's good to see it through. 

The base of the cake I made a bit of mess by crossing the lines over. I think I hit the mistakes but no that well. The piping on the cake should have curved more as well. 

I decided to texture the background with a stippled punch I have. I might stain this area darker and if I do it should pick up the punch work really well. 


So now I'm not sure if I should colour the wood or not to make it brighter. Maybe on a test piece. Of course now I have to build the box for the rest of the game I'm making the or the children - when that will happen is anyone's guess! I might completely remake the piece yet as I'm really not happy with it and know that the little things will bug me if I don't sort them out, if that is the case then I will use this one to experiment with colour - I have a set of bright wood dyes in a tool box that hasn't been used for a long time. 

Not sure what this next weeks carving work should be. Maybe a small sample piece, like Celtic knot work, or maybe to start to lay out the drawer fronts to my sharpening bench, which I plan to do in a 17th century style much in line with what Peter Follensbee does (although not as good obviously)! 

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