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4-2 Running Cuts

There are many different types of cut in carving. The 'running' cut is one you want to practice swapping hands right from the start.


| 17 December 2021 09:51

Thanks Chris for the update.

| 17 December 2021 09:46

Veronica - Unlike, say, a 5-string banjo, carving tools are in themselves neither right or left-handed. With the low angle grip - the commonest that we use and which I demonstrate - it's quite desirable to be able to switch hands and approach work from the opposite direction anyway. So there is no problem carving if you are left-handed.
My experience is that left-handed people are very good at 'mirroring' whatever right-handed people demonstrate, so that's all you need to do...

| 15 December 2021 14:24

Hi Chris, this is really good but I’m just thinking how easy is it if your left-handed because I believe these actions are demonstrated by someone whose right-handed.

| 14 August 2020 09:26

Thanks Chris

| 14 August 2020 08:25

Sean - The V tool is that it's made of 2 chisels. This means that when, say, you are making a diagonal cut like the picture above, when one side cuts WITH the grain, the other cuts AGAINST it. The impact, what tearing of the wood fibres that results, depends on the integrity of the wood (how tight the fibres), the sharpness of the tool and how deep you sink the tool into the timber.
If you look at 5-1 in this Beginner's section, you'll see us take this fact into account in a preliminary (low relief) stage called 'lining in' and you always need to bear this in mind as you work.
Try lighter cuts - very light - first, and gradually deepen them. See what happens as you get deeper. Sometimes we need to reverse the V cut on side that is tearing to clean it up, often going backwards and forwards to end up cutting a trench with 2 clean sides.
The V tool is a great one to have in your arsenal and as you experiment you'll soon come to know it's quirkiness.

| 14 August 2020 07:40

Hi Chris, OK, I tried my first running cuts with the V tool. Generally, all went well but I did find myself waving off the line when cutting with the grain. Cross grain cuts were straight but a few of the cuts with the grain strayed. I was wondering if the grain/wood sometimes wants to dictate the line or if it is 100% user error? Thanks Sean.

| 16 April 2018 13:22

Thanks a lot Chris. I'm going to get a fine bench stone and try that first like you said. I also started watching some of the sharpening videos, and plan to watch them all. It seems like a daunting thing to me as a beginner, but I know you're right that sharpening is something that has to be learned and that I might as well start now. I was just sad that I had to start learning this before really having fun with some basic carving. --Also, I saw a little clip you posted about how a widening keel on the v-tool makes it harder to cut. I think this might be the problem with my tool, as the keel appears to widen some on it. Thanks again so much for the videos, and the responses.

| 16 April 2018 09:02

Sam - I'm pretty sure your tool is tearing the fibres because the cutting edge is dull, though it might also be because the bevels are a bit thick - and that's what makes it hard work. For now, if you can touch up the edge on a fine benchstone, you should should be able to at least compete the exercises.

Sharpening tools is a big issue and unsharp tools are quite frustrating to use - as you know! The tools you get from a factory are usually given see sort of cutting edge but do need additional work to get that to their most efficient. Sometimes, however, the edge has been dinged in some way, or isn't as keen as it could be. I wish there was some magic cream you could rub on a gouge to make it not only perfectly sharp and cutting well, but let it remain so. Of course there isn't, and sharpening has to be something any serious carver needs to tackle. It's not that difficult once you know what you need to do and what the tool should look like, and it's so much easier than carving itself.
There is lots about sharpening on Woodcarving Workshops, including V tools, and if a simple touch up isn't enough to get you going again, then you'll need to look at more serious sharpening - which you'll need to address any way one day.

| 14 April 2018 03:48

I just bought the Auriou 60deg 10mm v-tool from the class list and am trying to follow the lesson. When you do the first parallel cuts you are cutting against the grain and it looks like it cuts easily through the wood. However, when I do the same thing with my new v-tool, I put a lot of pressure and the tool barely will go into the wood and just tears the fibers. The edge of wear the tool cut into the wood is ragged, and not smooth like yours. I'm using basswood. Do you think this is because my tool is dull? Also, I've heard some new tools have some sort of film on them that needs to be washed off before using them. I'd love to know what you think. Thanks a lot. --Also, when I cut with the grain it seems to work more like what you did.

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