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3 Tool Selection


| 29 December 2020 01:13

Hi Chris,

In my previous post, I should clarify that the largest #1 sweep I have currently is 35mm. I know there are larger ones I could buy :)

| 29 December 2020 00:49

Hi Chris,

If I'm working on letters where I have straights that are about 2.25 inches, is there any special technique on carving those when the largest #1 sweep is 35mm? Do you recommend on using mainly larger tools or is it appropriate to do just knowing I will have more cuts?


| 10 September 2020 08:44

Imran - To some extent, yes, there must be a correlation: You have to get down to the deep point in the serif while cutting along the top edge of the serif so the tools can't be too narrow. Much bigger letters than here would likely mean wider tools; and at some point with smaller letters the bevels of the tools are too fat and damage the walls, and smaller tools would be better.
This size and sweep of FT tools here seems to cover most of the lettering I do. Having said that, while you can manipulate the gouge into some different curves, you may need change the sweep for particular serifs.
You always want to try a few letters in spare wood first and - here's a good tip - you may need to adjust the lettering to fit the tools you have.

| 10 September 2020 01:18

Hi Chris. Regarding the fishtail gouge and fishtail chisel used for cutting serifs. Does the size of these 2 tools correlate to the size of the letter? Does the 13 mm FT chisel and 16 mm #4 FT gouge carve Serifs irrespective of the size of letter being carved? Thanks

| 01 January 2013 20:48

Susan - The content of this DVD, which you see here, complements my book, 'Lettercarving in Wood'. In that book I give a full layout of the Roman letters I show you how to carve therein, and which are the basis for what I show you here, along with a tool list. I strongly suggest you use the book and these videos together. You'll need to buy the book to get all the letter layout - I cannot, for copyright reasons, give them here. However, the basic set of carving tools for the letters in the book and the size I'm working with in the DVD are: Chisels: (#1) x 1-3/4, 1-1/4, 3/4, 1/2, 3/8in. Gouges: #4x5/8, #5x5/8, #6x3/8, #6x1/2, #7x3/8in. Fishtails: chisel x 1/2in, gouge #4x3/8in. Do realise that what tools you need for letters depends on the style and size of what you are carving and this set is designed to be used with the particular 2in. Roman font in the book. I hope this helps. All the best for 2013!

| 01 January 2013 19:08

Susan Musgrave
I would like to know what size ( two sided chisel) and fish tail chisel would you choose to begin learning lettering? You have already answered about the size of the fishtail gouge.
Thank you for your wonderful vidieos. For a beginner they help so much!
Happy New Year of Carving!!!

| 28 December 2012 16:32

Alan - In general I tend to use a #4 (sometimes a #5) for serifs. Here it'll be 3/8in. (10mm).

| 27 December 2012 20:36

Hi Chris, could you please tell me what the sweep is the fishtail gouge for the serifs?

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