Wood carving is a craft one must put time, effort and heart into. Shaping wood to create a form that exudes art and beauty is no easy task. To succeed in such field, wood carvers take utmost care of their artworks, especially in the process of forming their pieces. Care and ease must be put into each project; speed is not a criteria. And not only is care needed by the art piece alone, but also by the tools used to make the art form possible.
Carving wood, in the first place, won’t be possible without the tools. Any wood carver must recognise the significance of taking care of their tools. They can’t work well without their instruments or if they are using damaged and broken tools. Their safety and the quality of their pieces will be jeopardised.
Wood carving tools must be put under constant maintenance so they can remain in excellent working condition for long.
Here are simple and easy ways to take good care of wood carving tools:
Keep Your Knives and Chisels Sharp
Forcing a blunt knife isn’t only hurtful for the tool itself, but is actually more hazardous to the carver compared to knives that have undergone enough sharpening. A dull knife requires you to exert more force, increasing the possibility of breaking its handle and ruining the art piece before you have even gone halfway. Dull knives may slip easily as they don’t have better grip on the wood and this can cause more accidents.
Make sure you sharpen the knife properly. As much as possible, stick to one method so you can maintain the knife’s sharpness and angle. Ceramic stones are highly recommended as sharpeners for they are handy and they don’t have to be lubricated.
Proper storage isn’t only for the purpose of helping you easily find your tools the moment you need them. Apparently, proper storage is highly needed for their preservation. When exposed to too much rust-causing moisture and other natural elements that cause wear and tear, your tools will easily deteriorate. Wooden boxes can serve as excellent storage as they are great at protecting tools from humidity.
Hold Your Tools Properly
Holding your knives and chisels properly is not just for your safety, but also to keep yourself from easily ruining them. There are erroneous ways of handling a knife or chisel that can put too much pressure on them, increasing their chances to break during rough work. Make sure you hold the knife with your dominant hand and hold the piece with the other hand.
ALWAYS Clean As You Go
After you’re done putting the last finishing touches on your wooden rocking horse or any carved masterpiece, always clean your tools, especially the blades of your knives or chisels so dust and rust won’t build up. You can use just enough lubricant to keep them smooth and shiny and wipe them with a soft cloth or scrub. Clean your other tools as well and make sure your working area is neat and organised before you leave.
Read and Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions
If your tools come with a maintenance manual from their manufacturer, then follow what’s instructed. Since products differ in specifications, some really need certain maintenance requirements. Always read and follow the manual if there’s any. Know about the tips to fix wooden furniture issues.
Inspect for Damages before Using Tools
Before starting your work, check first if chisel handles are cracked or broken and make sure your other tools are not damaged. By doing so, you can avoid using them, and you can have them fixed before the damage gets worse and they become totally unusable. This is also crucial for your safety.
Use the Right Tool for the Right Technique
There are certain wood carving techniques that need a certain kind of chisel or knife. Use the right chisel recommended for a certain technique so you won’t force your tools into performing over their expected maximum capability. Using the right tool helps you produce the right strokes and create quality wooden art pieces.