Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Initial Carve

Here's the progress on the carving for the lid on the chisel chest.  As a beginner and mostly self-taught wood carver I'm never sure if what I'm doing is the correct way or not!  This is a book-matched panel, you can probably tell that by the whitish streak running down the center.  I used a technique from a carver friend of mine and routed a cove to have a positive area to end the carving.  At this point it's mostly ground out but I still need to smooth the background, the photo helps make the areas that need attention show more.  This is a tricky piece of Cherry to carve, sometimes it seems as if it's easier to use the chisels, especially a large skew, by going across the grain rather than trying to figure out which way the grain is going.  You can tell by the grain pattern that this piece has some interlocked grain so probably not the best piece to practice on -- it's all a learning experience.
     I've been splitting my time between this and cleaning out the spline and cane from one of the chairs.  Constantly putting the water/vinegar solution in the groove, letting it soak, and then scrape out more of the glue residue.  Went to Harbor Freight last weekend and picked up a complete, professional grade, Chinese quality set of 11 carving chisels for only $5.99 + tax!!!  I think they drug them behind a car to create the cutting edges on the pavement, they are rough.  But, for what I needed they work great.  I modified a couple of them so I could pry out the caning in the seat and also as a scraper to fit into the tapered groove and scrap out all of the glue.  The cane came this afternoon so may decide to tackle it tomorrow after reading up on the skills I need.  One thing I hadn't thought of is how bright and new this one chair will look compared to the others, maybe I can mix up some shellac with tints to replicate some age.
   That's what's been going on in the shop.  I didn't get the bid for the TV console table, there were some design issues with it but the time wasn't wasted and I learned from doing the drawing and research.  Something else will come along -- no worries!

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