Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 47

Thread: Nameboard - chip carving advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Nameboard - chip carving advice needed

    The back rest of my Wee Rob canoe will be carved with her name. This will be done on a piece of mahogany, probably using the chip carving technique.

    Here's the thwart/backrest blank clamped up and awaiting further work:



    Here's my first attempt at carving a name board in pine using an Uncial font. The body of the letters is 1 inch high, the letters have been painted with a single coat of white (sorry, not the best pic):



    This board has since been coated with oil/turps/beeswax combo and the letters have received another coat of white. Once I am happy with my efforts, I'll move on to the mahogany back rest... in the mean time the family members will each be getting a name board

    Question time:

    • how does one stop the bleeding of the paint into the surrounding wood?
    • letter spacing guidelines?
    • any tips tricks?
    • pointers on improving my first effort?

    Lance

    PS it not too easy to see, but the last letter in an ''
    Last edited by Songololo; 03-08-2013 at 04:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    To keep white from bleeding, seal the board and the letters first. You need to keep th paint from soaking into the end grain present in the cut sides of the letters. Then paint.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    If the white is an alkyd paint, then I should then probably use a clear colored alkyd varnish? I would like to eventually paint the final mahogany backrest's carved name either white (the color of the hull) or dark blue (sheerstrake color) and then varnish using Le Tonkinois (oil based). What about sealing with coating epoxy?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,454

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    I like your alphabet choice. Your letters are very handsome and unique, giving a Celtic or Norse feeling.
    Choosing an easily carved wood is a prerequisite for success when making a name or arch board. Quarter sawn wood is preferrable to slash grain as it will lessen the chance of chipping at the edges of the copy. Eastern white pine, Honduras Mahogany and Teak are acceptable woods to work with. Oak is a challange to a beginning carver. But quarter sawn oak can be quite beautiful. Lime wood also known as Linden is the wood that was used by Grinling Gibbons for the complex carvings that decorate the interior of Windsor Castle. It is a favorite wood of Swiss and German carvers as well and is used for decorative carvings on Venitian gondolas too.
    My own method of carving incised lettering involves the use of a 45deg. V gouge. With this tool, one can carve both sides of the letter at one time as opposed to chip carving that utilizes a chip carving knife. One rule that is good to keep in mind is that when making a layout, all curved letters such as S,O,U and Q have their curved portions extending ever so slightly above and below the ledger lines. This is one secret that separates computor layout work from that which is done by eye and hand. Bleeding can be prevented by either applying clear sealer in the form of varnish, CPS or shellac to the surface prior to painting the letters. Here a sign writer's quill brush is of great help for working down into the V carvings.
    Jay

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    837

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    My 2 cents? The advice so far is good, sealing the board before painting the letters should stop the bleeding, but it may raise the grain a little, so it may require a little clean up with the knife, or sandpaper, a file or a little scraper. I've found it is a lot easier to carve if the wood has an even grain, you can get into a rhythm if the material is consistent.

    Only other thing is that the Mahogany will darken with age, the white will set it off a little brighter. Of course, it already looks like you've got a pretty good handle on what you are doing, just keep it up.
    Which comes first," someone asked Ira Gershwin, "the words or the music?" "The contract," said Gershwin.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Jay, when you say 45deg V gouge, are you referring to the inner angle of the gouge or the Sweep/Cut/Series number on the chisel. Two Cherries have a series 45 V gouge but it has an inner angle of 100 degrees. Straight or bent gouge? Most of the V gouges that I see are in the range 60, 75 or 100 degrees. Why a 45 degree?

    Here's the Two Cherries #45 cut (100deg) straight V parting tool and the #46 bent V:



    I'd like to give this method a try as using the chip carving method with a knife is fairly tiring on the hand and thumb. I also quite like the idea of a single tool approach.

    Pfeil gouges are readily available here; these seem to be the standard V gouges that they stock:

    tool length 245 – 280 mm
    blade length 110 – 145 mm







    Here's an online tutorial by OH Boyd on using a V gouge for lettering.
    Last edited by Songololo; 03-08-2013 at 04:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,454

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    I have a 45deg V sweep that has one inch wings that is similar to the #46 bent that you show in the picture The sweep allows for a comfortable two handed grip as well as single when using a mallet. The tool also allows me to work around a curve such as a Roman C or O. Slightly rolling the tool to one edge or the other favors the cut on only one side. 45deg. is the accepted angle for Roman letters that are carved allowing for serriffis to meet at the most pleasing shadow line angle. When gold leafed, the 45deg angle affords the best refraction. The wing bevel is mostly honed on the outside of the tool with only a very slight back bevel on the inner surfaces. Just enough to remove the burr. This imparts a polish to the cuts. The tool should have the wing angle set to allow a very slight entry of the upper edges when the tool in held in the working posistion. This avoids chipping of the surface grain while the cut is made. I have more than one tool with different entry angles as well as different sizes. However, all are 45deg tools. 90% of the carving of V incised work can be done with these tools. A few straights and scews are mostly all that is needed. Not having to switch tools makes the work go faster. I carved both of the the Pardey's boats in less than two hours.
    Jay

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Jay, do I understand you correctly when you say that the internal angle of the chisel's V is 45 degrees? Or are you referring to the resultant cutting angle made in the wood?
    Last edited by Songololo; 03-08-2013 at 05:00 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Green Bay
    Posts
    871

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    I like the #46 sweep as well. I hate busting my knuckles when I carve. I can't believe all the things I have carved with only 1 chisel over the years. If I could only have one, that would be it.

    Shellac would be my preference of sealers, less wood grain pop that Harbor ducky mentions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,454

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Songololo View Post
    JG - Do I understand you correctly when you say that the internal angle of the chisel's V is 45 degrees? Or are you referring to the resultant cutting angle made in the wood?
    I think there is some confusion resulting from what I said. And if you under stand what I said, it is not necessarily what I meant. Here it is, as well as I can explain. Each wing of the V gouge is set at 45deg from perpendicular . This means that the V that is formed is a 90deg. angle.
    Sorry if I confused the issue.
    Jay

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    All clear ... thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,441

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Very, very nice . Something I've never tried
    Thanks for posting

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Jay, very nice looking work:



    Do you have any more like this? Any closeups?

    Lance

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    This is the chart of London Pattern Numbers for gouges and v parting tools that I was looking for the other day:



    The V parting tool mentioned in the above posts would be a number 46.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,454

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    The #45's and #46 are the ones I use for incised letters.
    Jay

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    While waiting for the Ashley Iles No46 to arrive, I thought I'd start the layout.

    The backrest is 280 x 75mm in size and has the arched shape shown below:



    The name 'tango' has been laid out using an Uncial font, with the body of the letters 25mm (approx 1 inch) high. As the base line (here shown in black) is curved, the letters have been moved down (vertically) so that their lower middle points touch the line. The grid squares are 5x5mm (3/16 inch) in size.



    I printed out, reversed and viewed the layout from the back side of the paper in order to get a first pass at letter spacing.

    Any comments or suggestions regarding letter:

    • size vs size of backrest
    • spacing
    • orientation i.e. should I leave them all vertical or align the uprights perpendicular to the base line

    I still intend to varnish the mahogany backrest and paint the letters white.
    Last edited by Songololo; 03-08-2013 at 05:02 AM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,454

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    First, let me say again that I like your choice of alphabet. Here, I trust that my comments will be recieved without any thought other than that of constructive criticisim. I do feel that in this case, that the letters will flow better if set to being perpendicular to the base line so that the verticals are set like the ribs on a fan. On looking at the copy, the O looks a bit crowded to the G and a tiny bit small. Look at the feeling of balance in the distance the A has from the T. Also the top of the letter should curve equal to or just a little higher than the top of the G. Letters should form a visual rythm to the subconscious of the viewer. That is why the eye and not the computer can form better looking copy. Keep at it. You'll get there!
    Jay

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Jay, thanks for your input so far... all taken as constructive criticism

    I find Uncial generally quite attractive, the only negative is that the letter 't' is similar in appearance to the 'c'.

    The following changes have been made to arrive at the layout below:

    • layout lines in red dash
    • letters rotated perpendicular to baseline
    • 'o' has been enlarged
    • 'o' moved over slightly to the right




    All letters are individual scans from an example font in a book and so I can rotate, resize and position as much as is needed...
    Last edited by Songololo; 03-08-2013 at 05:04 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Chesapeake Beach, Md 20732 U.S.A.
    Posts
    26,750

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    My only problem with the letters is that at first glance the name could be interpreted as Congo then Tango....
    Wakan Tanka Kici Un
    ..a bad day sailing is a heckuva lot better than the best day at work.....
    Fighting Illegal immigration since 1492....
    Live your life so that whenever you lose, you're ahead."
    "If you live life right, death is a joke as far as fear is concerned."

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,454

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Copy looks better. Spacing could tighten up tiny bit. You may wish to experiment
    with tweaking the T a little to make it look more T, ish. Greater size or length on the cross bar may make it clearer. It might be a scosh larger as well. The only way is to draw and look.
    Jay

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    In the version below, the spacing between all letters has been decreased a bit; the 't' has been made a bit bigger. The image without the grid and layout lines give a better impression of what it would look like - the 't' also looks more t-ish. What say you?






    Lance
    Last edited by Songololo; 03-08-2013 at 05:05 AM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    I've modified the 't' so that it has a longer ascender - roughly twice as high as in the original. The width of the letter has remained unchanged:





    This looks better, no?

    Lance
    Last edited by Songololo; 03-08-2013 at 05:05 AM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Looks good, to my eye the "t" looks a little too far from the "a".

    Chris

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cundys Harbor, Maine
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    I think you have used all lower case letters. A capitol T would probably look better. Nice work!
    Whoops, the first source I looked at had caps and lower case for Unical. I am wrong..... When in doubt, go with Chris Pye!!
    Last edited by CundysHarbor; 04-12-2010 at 05:39 PM. Reason: discovered error

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    A bit of background information... (courtesy of Chris Pye's book 'Lettercarving in Wood', Wiki and other sources)

    The Uncial font or script was originally a single case font/script and although the letters appear to be, by modern standards, lower case, are classed as a capital form. Uncial is also sometimes called Celtic. Many modern versions of Uncial have both a lower and upper case.

    The specific type of Uncial that I am using comes from Chris Pye's book. This particular Uncial is similar to the American Uncial font shown below:


  26. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Here's my first attempt at a version with a custom made 'capital' T:



    Any takers?
    Last edited by Songololo; 03-08-2013 at 05:07 AM.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    This is how i generated this layout:


    • scanned the full size nameboard (backrest) template on a flatbed scanner to output an image in *.bmp format
    • scanned the font sheets from the book to output *.bmp images
    • Using MS Paint, cut out the required individual letters and saved as separate images
    • In MS Word, set up a background grid using Draw|Grid function
    • Inserted and scaled to correct size the backrest image
    • Inserted, scaled, positioned and rotated each letter image

    The above method allows one to adjust the layout of each letter and then to print out a full scale paper template for tracing or sticking to the nameboard for the carving stage.
    Last edited by Songololo; 03-08-2013 at 05:07 AM.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,454

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Songololo View Post
    I've modified the 't' so that it has a longer ascender - roughly twice as high as in the original. The width of the letter has remained unchanged:





    This looks better, no?

    Lance
    I actually prefer this to the T that does not have the ascender going through the horizontal bar. I do think that the horizontal could be closer to the height of the crossing of the A and the T could be just a smidge closer, not obviously, to the A.
    Jay

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The headwaters of the Petaluma River and up a hill. ,CA
    Posts
    3,607

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Songololo View Post
    JG - when you say 45deg V gouge, are you referring to the inner angle of the gouge or the Sweep/Cut/Series number on the chisel. Two Cherries have a series 45 V gouge but it has an inner angle of 100 degrees. Straight or bent gouge? Most of the V gouges that I see are in the range 60, 75 or 100 degrees. Why a 45 degree?

    Here's the Two Cherries #45 cut (100deg) straight V parting tool and the #46 bent V:



    I'd like to give this method a try as using the chip carving method with a knife is fairly tiring on the hand and thumb. I also quite like the idea of a single tool approach.

    Pfeil gouges are readily available here; these seem to be the standard V gouges that they stock:

    tool length 245 – 280 mm
    blade length 110 – 145 mm













    Here's an online tutorial by OH Boyd on using a V gouge for lettering.
    Those Two cherries v tools are the kind. Learn how to sharpen them yourself and you will go a long way into mastering the tool.
    Getting a good wide stance and using your body to push the tool, will help. Lock your arms with restraint in all directions and move the tool with your shoulder, kinda. One can obtain good clean curved cuts aswell, when the v tool is shimmied left and right at the handles extremity about 5 or 10 mm. Like 2 or 3 times a second. The tool uses leverage from one wing to the next on a small scale and can leave small tidy ridges in the work.
    Enormous control can be mastered with a mallet or Japanese barrel headed hammers. The differences in the striking tools appearance is surprisingly nothing like the diverse manner in which they behave.
    Keep your free hand , if there is one,behind the cutting edge.
    Don't blow the shavings. It is disrespectful to spit on your artwork or the ancestors of the entities you are endeavouring to capture in the work.
    Softly, softly catchy monkey.
    ..don't judge a man till you've walked a mile in his shoes..

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    4704' 45'' N 826' 05'' E
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Jay, if i understand you correctly, i have:

    • reduced the size of the 't' so that the right arm is just above the cap line (i.e. the top of the 'a')
    • moved the 't' a smidge closer to the 'a'




    FloatingKiwi (FiWi for short? ) - Does the shimmying technique give a textured look to the letters? By 'free hand behind the cutting edge', do you mean holding the blade so that you can add extra control or braking if needed? Something like this (from Boyd's online tutorial):



    Lance
    Last edited by Songololo; 03-08-2013 at 05:10 AM.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The headwaters of the Petaluma River and up a hill. ,CA
    Posts
    3,607

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    By the free hand I meant a hand that is, say, holding the piece of wood you are carving. The work should always be secure, ideally, but sometimes it isn't. The photo of the tool hold is a good way to hold it, for some applications, for sure. Good control is paramount. The tool won't even move with out you touching it so you are resposible for every move it makes.
    Most damage to cutting edges is done while putting them own or away or transporting them, so make provision for the edge to remain untouched by anything at all times.
    "Softly softly catchy monkey ", is something my carving teacher used to tell me all the time.It wasn't until I learned how to do it, that I knew what it meant.
    BTW, my name is Kerry.
    I carved wood a lot in my time. Learned when I was 11 years old and have done it professionally for a number of places.
    If you make a mistake, it is only a mistake too you, it can be carved out.
    Leave out detail until the overall shape has come to be.
    When you get tired or tired of it, put it down and walk away. You'll be back.
    Ron Diefenbacher is a good place for tools. He can manufacture handles to your liking etc, and the website is full of goodies.
    http://www.diefenbacher.com/

    BTW, the small ridges produced when moving the tool side to side is not necessarily an effect one might want to leave there. I mentioned it to help describe the movement.
    A good solid mallet used gently can deliver a surprising amount of control in almost any move you make, without risking slipping through your work or worse, into the edge of your hand, across the tops of your knuckles, and out the other side. I did this whilst carving a walking stick and showing off, at school. I just sat there looking at this unusual sight, not sure what to do. My mate grabbed the handle and ripped it backward, out of my hand, and when he did so, the blood squirted, quite copiously, over the body and face of a girl whom I was attracted to at the time. We both went to the Doctors office.Or the Sick Bay as it was oddly called in New Zealand. Sheez.Needless to say, it kinda blew my chances of getting anywhere with her that day, however it did lay the foundation for a friendship. Now gimme my blood back if you aint gonna use it for something.
    Last edited by floatingkiwi; 04-12-2010 at 07:52 PM.
    ..don't judge a man till you've walked a mile in his shoes..

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,454

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Songololo View Post
    Jay, if i understand you correctly, i have:

    • reduced the size of the 't' so that the right arm is just above the cap line (i.e. the top of the 'a')
    • moved the 't' a smidge closer to the 'a'




    FloatingKiwi (FiWi for short? ) - Does the shimmying technique give a textured look to the letters? By 'free hand behind the cutting edge', do you mean holding the blade so that you can add extra control or braking if needed? Something like this (from Boyd's online tutorial):



    Lance
    I would say, that if you like it, this one is a keeper!
    As they say in the San Fernando Valley, "Van Nuys"!
    Jay

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    11,454

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Something else. When using a V gouge to make big cuts. I use a steel Japanese hammer or a round brass mallet.
    Jay

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    The headwaters of the Petaluma River and up a hill. ,CA
    Posts
    3,607

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    My favourite striking tool is indeed, a Japanese white oak,steel ,fat barrel headed mallet, that in the 3 years I have had it, I have NEVER hit my hand with it. I believe it is the shape of the thing that is responsible for this.
    If I use anything else similar, whack.
    ..don't judge a man till you've walked a mile in his shoes..

  35. #35

    Default Re: Nameboard - chip carving advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Songololo View Post
    • moved the 't' a smidge closer to the 'a'
    That definitely looks better

    You've inspired me to have a go at something myself

    Chris

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •