I have committed myself to taking a fresh start and doing some more CNC work. The reason being is I have discovered some projects I want to do that will provide new products for The Hobbyist Machine Store. They will be best produced through CNC repeatability. The store has proven to me that I must produce my own product. Exclusivity is the key to success. My products may be similar to others but will never be the same.
I am doing some minor rebuild on the original homebuilt CNC gantry style engraver shown here, primarily a solid mount for the Dremel tool I already own. I am also considering making a mount for the Proxxon Professional Rotary Tool IB/E (NO 38 481). The working area of the engraver machine is 5.5″ x 6.0″ so the small hand engravers are a good match. My first projects will fit this small machine very well.
I have also ordered the basic parts for a second CNC power supply / controller. It will be set up to operate this little gantry machine. I will post that project in the THMS web site. I will use the same components as my first controller but in a different case and layout. I don’t like to mess too much with success.
Then, a new design is to build a larger gantry CNC machine that will be able to use more powerful spindle drives such as high speed routers. Table working area will be at least 12″ x 24″ and may approach the 24″ x 36″ range as anything bigger than this gets out of the reliable range for stepper drives. Extremely fast rapids are not required and I don’t want the expense of designing a servo system. Anticipated first project (product) is much smaller than the larger… Continue reading
This is my second carving of the Christmas Santa’s. This fellow has a fancier beard. The picture to the right is the finished and painted carving. It looks like it is a part of the page. (It’s the one in the middle!) You can can see I made it a bit bigger than the pattern. The second picture is the same background and was made just after I finished the wood carving work. I wasn’t real happy with the beard lines in the Santa with Christmas Tree carving so for this one I connected up the high speed rotary carving tool I bought last year. It was perfect for carving the lines. A little more practice with my CMT hands and I can start to do finer lines. This looks pretty good though. These are not kits, I started with only the drawing you see in the picture. I band-saw a 3/4 inch slab of Basswood off a big block I bought, smooth it up and lay out (trace) the carving. I think it is a great way to get started in wood carving.
Here is my Santa carving after the paint job. Perhaps not the greatest work of art but I don’t think too bad for a first attempt. That just means there is a lot of room to get better.
I want you to note there are no gaping wounds in my left hand. I know what you are thinking… at least not any that Dan is showing. Well, I did come through OK so I have no fear of starting the next project.
I did discover there is as much work in the painting as there is in the carving. I now have a better idea what I can do with paint and how to make it work with the carving. I did have some comments that it looked pretty good without the paint. The paint does not cover up errors in carving so the base has to be good before paint.
Whoa! I really got into the wood carving this weekend. In fact I kind of over did it. I think I spent two eight hour plus days doing nothing but carving a Santa. It is like a big cookie, high relief in a small 4 x 6 x ¾ inch slab of Basswood. My arms (not so much my hands) are telling me that was a bit much for just getting started. I think that means I am using the correct arm muscles and not just my hands.
Only a few drops of blood were shed when the very sharp knife point (like a pin prick) touched the back of my left middle finger. That doesn’t count so no real cuts! I have done the same or worse with a #11 X-acto blade building model airplanes.
I spent a lot of that time honing the bench knife and trying to get every tool extremely sharp. That is the secret to easy carving.
The project looks very good IMHO. A little more clean up and I will be finished with this first carving. Then I have to paint.
I like the totally free creativity in carving, so this is already habit forming. There are lots of subjects I want to carve. I have discovered another art form I enjoy. Soon every piece of wood I own is going to look like it needs a carving on it.
Here is the wood carving set I ordered from Little Shavers Woodworking Supply. The kit arrived on Saturday, which was only a few days after I ordered it. Everything you see in the picture is included in the set except the granite counter-top. My wife Gloria owns that.
The kit is ordered by glove size. Yes, realy. The glove is Kevlar and can help prevent whacking a finger or palm with the verrry sharp tools. A stab will probably still get me but a slice may be avoided. The glove will fit either hand.
The white cube at top right is jewelers rouge used to “charge” the leather strop; which is the green block at the bottom of the lid. These two items are used to keep a very fine edge on the knife and other tools. The last item in the bottom right of the lid is a leather thumb guard to help prevent the little cuts suffered when making paring cuts toward the thumb on the knife hand.
In the bottom of the box is the business card and the (to be) most used carving knife. The rest of the tools are assorted small gouges and veiners. I won’t go into detail on them. Note that every sharp edge tool includes a guard.
The nice wooden storage box is also included.
Every tool is pre-sharpened and ready to use when received. No tedious work developing the cutting edges. All IÂ have to do is maintain the edge provided.
In my opinion Rick Ferry does a great job in putting a useful set of tools into a beginners hands. The best part is there is safety evident everywhere. Don’t take my choice of the word “into” to literally. ~ Dan’l