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The Cut of the Carver

An interesting expression!

And I'll cut to the chase: What's the 'cut of the carver'?

It's slicing.

Elsewhere on Woodcarving, I've described and named many of the cuts we make as we carve: 'stop cuts', 'running cuts', 'stabbing cuts' and certainly I've mentioned 'slicing cuts' - so why pull out 'slicing' for special celebration here?

Because, more than anything, slicing is so fundamental to being able to carve well and efficiently, and appears in so many guises.

I first heard that 'slicing is the cut of the carver'' from my mentor, Gino Masero, some 45 years ago. I didn't understand what he meant at the time but, with experience, the meaning dawned on me. The phrase has been my byword and an essential part of my technique ever since.

So what does it mean? What makes slicing the cut par excellence.

Well, it's not so much a particular 'cut' as the way of cutting: Carvers slice their cuts.

The thing about slicing is that, geometrically, when you slice you effectively lower the cutting angle.

In other words, you carve with a more acute bevel, ie. a thinner 'wedge' of bevel and - get this! - without losing any metal and thus strength.

So, a keener, more efficient tool without doing a thing - except slice...

Really? Yes!

We have a video explaining and demonstrating how slicing produces this effect here.

It's a workshop that's a bit hidden away, but a real gem. Do check it out, and if you are not sure what slicing looks like, put 'slicing' into the video search box.

It's so important to develop the habit of slicing your cuts whenever you can.

It's what carvers do.

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