Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New golf ball carving book cover photos.

Okay everyone, here are the front and back covers for my new book due in June. This book will be printed in the 5.5" x 8.5" format for easy storage in your carving tool boxes and back pockets. Get yourself a Flexcut travel kit and a handful of golf balls and go camping!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Carving Golf Balls

Thought I would upload a photo from my upcoming 3rd book "The Little Book of Carving Golf Ball Buddies" coming out in about a month (if all goes as planned). There just isn't enough information out there on the subject so I thought I would throw my two cents in and write my own book. Golf balls are a blast to carve. Since I carved about a hundred of these by now, I have a lot of pictures for the gallery portion of the book. I'm going to step up to the plate on this one and get an ISBN number and bar code to keep the bookstores happy. I'm also hoping to finish my 4th book this summer.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Just finished new carving

Thought I would upload a picture of my latest carving. I turned an 18" baseball bat out of basswood. This little fellow is named "BlackJack". I have a couple more named "Billy" and "Mace". Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tool Identification while carving

I bought a couple of 12" and 18" magnetic strips used to hold a set of knives in a kitchen. I think they were $8 or $10 each from Woodworkers Supply. I mounted the long one to the edge of my carving table and one on the inside of the lid of my carving box. When I'm carving next to the table I keep the tips up where I can see them. They snap on and off the strip instantly, are held in place very firmly, and now they don't roll off the table or get jumbled in a pile anymore as I speed carve (LOL). When you get 20 or 30 tools all over the table it gets crazy-frustrating. The strip in the lid is for traveling, shows etc... I use mostly the interchangeable Flexcut tools in my kit. As I carve I can toss them on the strip and even close the lid quickly if needed and not drop them all over the place. As far as marking them, I engraved all the Flexcut tools with the catalog number to identify them. I am a Flexcut dealer and have most all the profiles in the shop. This way a customer can try the tool before they buy and I can instantly identify the number so that they get the right tool off the rack. "Letterset" makes sheets of dry transfer letters and numbers that could be put on the handles. They transfer from the sheet by rubbing with a small stick. You can then cover with a little clear spray etc... They could then be removed later if the tools were going to be sold. I used this technique several years ago before I started using the engraver.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sealing wood ends to prevent cracking.

As you all know, shortly after cutting any type of wood, it will begin to crack. If you store your wood in a place where it is at all dry this can happen overnight. Apple and Cherry will crack in just a few hours indoors, sometimes the ends will split several inches and ruin the whole piece. There are several ways to slow this down and sometimes prevent it from happening. In the past I've melted wax in an deep electric skillet. Then I would dip both ends of the piece. This absolutely works great, but you have to have a goodly supply of wax, candles etc... around and it really only works for the ends or small (whole) pieces. About two years ago I switched to a product called Anchor Seal. It is a liquid wax that air dries in an hour or so, sometimes shorter depending on the storage facility. The advantage over melting wax is that you can brush it into hard to get at places. This is especially good for coating all the small branch ends cut off of a walking stick. I will cut 20 or 30 walking sticks in a weekend and immediately coat both ends and any branch cut offs and put them on a drying rack. Sometimes the ends will drip if I put too much on so I put a couple of sheets of newspaper on the floor under each end. When I get ready to carve, the wax can either be scraped off or the ends can be put into warm water for a minute or so and most if the wax will wipe off. Also if I am carving wood that is still green, I will coat the carved area with the liquid wax if I cannot finish the piece in one sitting. I've had noses and beards split too badly to be repaired letting wood dry too quickly.