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2 First Cuts

Reference points.

What exactly do we mean by that? A reference point is something fixed, dependable, from which we can judge or measure something else. It's a really important concept in woodcarving and you can see me working from them all the time in other projects on our site. Here, right from the start, we have two. Any guesses?

The first reference point, which we look at in this lesson, is one that will never change throughout the carving...

Subscriber download: Gloves & Book (PDF)


| 25 August 2014 07:14

Paul - I have heard that rule but I thought it applied to metal files, which are a different beast with fine ridges rather than teeth, working on much harder material. As you say, I do leave the rasp in contact with the wood, but ease off on the back stroke. Michel Auriou, who makes rasps, uses the same technique without worrying about wear. You are right: the rasp doesn't cut of course going backwards, but then it doesn't if you lift it off the wood either. I don't think myself it wears the teeth myself; if anything, it clears the swarf. There you go, arguments both sides!

| 24 August 2014 00:33

I love your videos, but I'm scratching my head over your rasp technique in this video. I was taught to only press the rasp into the work on the push stroke. Working it back (not forth) is only dulling the teeth of the rasp and not cutting at all. Or is there something I am missing?

| 21 August 2014 07:45

Leon - I absolutely agree and, to let you into a little secret, I did allow extra thickness of wood at the ends of the fingers as they overhung, even as I sit them on the book at its edge. In the real gloves, the seams are skeletally strong so the fingers only sag a little with gravity, about 1/8" at the tips over the side of the book, less to its end, but I did add the slight curve you mention later on. Subtle, as you say and, apologies that I can't show every little detail in these projects. I hope you have a go at the project youeself, sounds as if you have a great eye for detail, and we see your own take on this project in the gallery!

| 20 August 2014 16:29

for me, the difference between static carvings and true life carvings is the subtleness. i would have liked some overhang of the fingers to curve just slightly over the edge of the book instead of being perfectly flat.

| 19 August 2014 16:05

Chris, the concept of reference points is very clear here and an important lesson in any context. Thanks.

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