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3 Bosting in

Separating the 4 elements: 3 petals and the band, while keeping an eye on the overall flow in the carving.

Apologies: It's not you... There's a little bit of bench wobble in the first 4 minutes of this video. I never noticed it myself whilst I was carving.

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| 21 May 2021 16:19

Thank you Chris, I shall apply your 20/20 system at the high end of my keyboard...

| 21 May 2021 08:45

Christopher - It's a good question but not too easy to answer: Any cutting edge will become dull but the speed and amount depends on how you use the tool (levering chips out instead of cutting through is a good way to blunt a tool); the quality/hardness of the steel; the hardness of the wood (or calcium inclusions, say, in the fibres); the bevel profile - a lot of factors!

But, what to do?
1. See the metal removal - the sharpening equipment - as a spectrum of notes, like a piano but from very coarse (grinder) to very fine (stropping). You can work up and down the keyboard depending on what tune you need to play, what the tool needs.
2. Assuming your tool is properly sharpened/commissioned, with the correct bevels etc, be very mindful of how the cutting feels. If you even *think* the edge feels a little dull, strop! Keep that handle low as you do. This is using the upper notes of the piano.
3. As a rule of thumb, in limewood or similar I've given students a 20/20 rule: 20 minutes carving, strop 20 times.
4. After commissioning your carving tool, you need never go back to the grinder, the lowest notes of the piano, unless you have broken off the corner or need to change the bevels.
5. If you see 'snail tracks' in the facet, look at the cutting edge and you should find a spot of light where the edge is damaged. You can't strop this out; you'll need the fine stones, the top to middle notes of the piano, to deal with that. We are talking a 'touch up', nothing substantial.

I hope you find this analogy to the piano useful. Just keep mindful of how the carving tools are cutting and make a choice as to what needs to be done to keep that tune sweet and happy.

All the best with your carving!

| 20 May 2021 15:21

Hello Chris, Thanks for this exercise and your excellent demonstrations.
I just wanted to know: When you sharpen your tools, how often do you take them back to the slipstones and how often do you simply strop them? I don't suppose you get them back on the grindstone so often - unless they are damaged - but what would you say would be a reasonable regularity for slipstone and/or strop?


Christopher Pearson

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