Monday, March 4, 2013

Off-Label Wood Carving Tools

Wood Carving Tools

Wood carving is a noble craft that is as old as civilization.  There are many tools used to make a wood sculpture like this one from the Renaissance.  These include chisels, gouges and sanders.

Some of these are easily adaptable to reed making.

Several years ago I developed an interest in wood carving, bought some tools, but never followed through in learning how. The tools stare at me from their perches above my work bench in the basement.  I felt bad about spending the money and never using them.

Could I use any of them for reed making? 

This is a gouge I use for chipping in the collar on my reeds.  The curvature of the gouge matches the curvature of the shaped/profiled piece of cane perfectly.  About 1" in diameter.  It's incredibly sharp and you can chip in a beautiful, straight collar with just one cut.

First score the collar mark with a razor blade or other sharp knife. (Notice the radiator hose clamps!  Another off-label use!)

Then chip in the collar with the gouge.

This gouge is expensive--about $50! So it's pretty impractical to buy one just for this step in reed making.  I include it as an example of what you might find laying around your house that could be used for reed making!

This next tool, used in wood carving and related crafts is a sanding stick.  They are VERY cheap and practical.  They can be ordered with sanding belts of varying coarseness (120-600). 

The stick is spring loaded.  You compress the stick to fit the belt on and let go to put it in place.  You slide the belt on the track when the nose becomes embedded with sanding dust to find a clean spot.

These are great for those who don't have a fancy profiler and need to remove a lot of excess cane from the blank when starting finishing work.  I don't think it's a great tool for fine tip work, but it is really fast and easy for working on the rails, heart, collar area and getting a very thick tip down to close to finished. You hold it like a pencil.  Use with a cutting block and plaque for support. Here's a short movie.

I ordered my sticks from Klingspor's Woodworking Shop. A set of three sticks goes for $9.45!



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