The Flintlock Shop
Carving Part 2

With the design all stamped in we are ready to lower the background. While cutting out the background you find that the plunge cut is not deep enough, simply re-cut the area that is not deep enough so that the wood is coming out clean next to the cut. Some carvers like to remove the wood next to the line first and work away from it to the center and others like to start at the center and work over to the line. I do it both ways. Use a gouge the correct width with a fairly flat radius to cut out the background. You probably think that a flat chisel would work better but it will not.

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For your tight corners a pointed double cut flat chisel works best.

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Use your flat chisels to scrape the bottom flat after using the gouge.

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I used all four of these chisels to get this far. How many chisels and gouges are enough? You tell me.

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The little carving knife works very well in many places. The curved bottom makes very smooth cuts. You will find many uses for this knife.

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Notice all the cuts have round bottoms, no torn wood.
This tool is my favorite for removing background, it is a number 5 radius palm gouge.

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Notice all the cuts are across the grain.

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If your cuts are not coming out this smooth your gouge is not SHARP!!!

The carving knife works great for cutting your moldings.

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The straight line was cut with a straight knife. Use your flat chisel to scrape the bottom. These must also be very sharp.

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Again the carving knife with its fine point gets into tight corners nicely.

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Notice the smooth cut......SHARP

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This flat double cut chisel works well in areas where you cannot cut across grain.

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The background has been cut away and is ready for scraping.

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I am using a regular 5/8 flat chisel(very sharp)to scrape away the high spots left by the gouge.

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Now a smaller double cut chisel is used. Basically anything that will scrape will work.

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This double cut chisel is getting used to cut rather than scrape in a pointed area.

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The background has been scraped and a narrow piece of 220 sand paper is being used. It doesn't take much sanding. some builders like to leave the scraped finish. I don't. If you like the look of it leave it.

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The sandpaper I use has a very hard back, which when folded properly works very well.

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After sanding I use 0000 steel wool to get the final satin smooth surface.
It is important to do this before the carving has been sculptured so that you don't loose the definition of the carving.

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Dust off the steel wool particles with a soft brush. A lot of builders will not use steel wool because they say that the steel wool gets stuck in the wood grain and turns to rust later. I have never experienced that problem.

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Has anyone noticed the two small leaves that I added?
They are just under the right edge of the brush, I thought it needed something more. All of the background has been removed

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Carving Tutorial Part 2