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3 Lettering part 2

In this lesson I finish off my overview of lettering with the curves. Many beginners to lettering find the curves intimidating but when you master the slicing cut, they can become a real pleasure.

There's a video on choosing gouges for cutting curves here.

For more about carving letters in wood, see my book: Lettercarving in Wood - a Detailed Course, and my DVD: Letter Carving, which is on this Woodcarving Workshops site, here.

Subscriber download: Cavo-Relievo Flower Working Drawings (PDF)


| 06 March 2012 06:47

Jon - Your narrow #3 might suit the curve of the serif but not be wide enough to reach from it's lowest point out beyond its extremity. I'm afraid it's a question of 'suck it and see'. Even when I say, '#4', not all manufacturers agree what this is exactly; and the shape you need does depend on the curve you want to cut in the letter style you've chosen. So, have a go with what you've got and, if it's not doing the business, try and work out what would. Then pick the sweep and width that you need from a manufacturer's catalogue. You'll have to work with the tools for curves in this way too when you change size or style of letters. But you shouldn't need too many as these gouges can be made to do a lot of work. Best of luck!

| 05 March 2012 19:29

Chris, great lesson! I am working on lettering in general and have purchase both your CD on the subject as well as your book. As I work my way through the lessons in the book, I am presently struggling through serifs. In the book, you mention a #4 fishtail gouge. I have a somewhat narrower #3 fishtail. Is this close enough or should I try and acquire a #4? Thanks again for these lessons - they are very helpful!

| 09 January 2012 16:41

Thanks Chris, that answers my question.....fantastic exercise and fantastic clarity....these "lectures" are certainly better than any book!!!

| 09 January 2012 16:13

Mario - You mean about 3:50? Sorry if I wasn't clear. Yes, it's a fishtail chisel, about 1/2in. 14mm. All carving chisels have an equal bevel on both sides, which means a symmetrical blade in all directions. (Fishtail gouges on the other hand follow the normal configuration for gouges: long 'outside' and shorter 'inside' bevel.)

| 09 January 2012 09:35

Hi Chris, Just question about the fishtail you are using to cut in the serifs, I heard you say it is a fish tail but is that a double beveled tool (sorry if I sound silly) or just a No. 1 fishtail?
Many thanks,

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