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Thread: Ship Carving and Lettering

  1. #71
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    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I often practice in Basswood as it has virtually no grain to fight and carves like butter.
    Honduras Mahogany and Teak are woods of preference for carved arch and quarter boards.
    Jay
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    A note on carving V bottomed letters here is: Do all of the serrifs first. Then the verticals followed by the horizontals. Then carve the round and curved forms also with the V gouge. Ninety percent of the letters can be carved with the V gouge with very little clean up needed. The serrif is just a triangle that is made with a cut from two sides. Start the vertical letters in the center of the form and carve first up into the serrif. It is then entered by the V when cutting the verticals. So be carfull not to allow the V gouge to damage the face side of the serif that it leads into. If the work is done in this manner almost no cutting from the sides to deepen or widen the V shape is necessary.
    Jay

    Thank you you for the advice. It is time to get some basswood and sharpen my v-gouges.
    Steamboat

    I get by with the judicious use of serendipity.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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    1,929

    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    A note on carving V bottomed letters here is: Do all of the serrifs first. Then the verticals followed by the horizontals. Then carve the round and curved forms also with the V gouge. Ninety percent of the letters can be carved with the V gouge with very little clean up needed. The serrif is just a triangle that is made with a cut from two sides. Start the vertical letters in the center of the form and carve first up into the serrif. It is then entered by the V when cutting the verticals. So be carfull not to allow the V gouge to damage the face side of the serif that it leads into. If the work is done in this manner almost no cutting from the sides to deepen or widen the V shape is necessary.
    Jay
    Jay, that sounds exactly like the technique shown in the off center Harbor video.
    http://fairmaid.blogspot.com.au/

    "It's dawning on me that I should have worked out the tumbler details more in advance, rather than rely on bluster and over confidence. But that's just silly." Jim Ledger.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    136

    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    Thanks for the v-gouge and gold leaf methods Jay. That Gold Leaf sounds way above my patience level. But I’ll give the lettering a go. Got just the wood for it too.

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Port Townsend WA
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    12,814

    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    I didn't mean to discourage you Andrew! Heck, if my wife, Annie and Linn Pardey can put leaf into carved letters, so can you! Gold Leaf really looks good and is not all that hard to do once you know how! However, it is a bit of a hassle to explain how to do it. The main thing is that you need to produce a smooth surface to lay it on to. That is the reason for the primer and glaze for holes. Once the process is understood it is no longer a mystery! The main thing is to let it be fun to do!
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 07-15-2019 at 12:59 PM.

  5. #75
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    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    Another tip is that a leather strop is not needed for sharpening gouges unless you are working in very hard wood as a strop tends to blunt the edges. A water or oil slip stone is better for dealing with woods such as mahogany, teak, and basswood. Rounding off the cutting edge must be avoided for clean cutting.
    Jay

  6. #76
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    Nov 2004
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    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    If you prefer, oil stones over water stones, finish using stones and slips made of white Arkansas stone followed by a final polish using hard black Arkansas stones. This allows keeping the cutting edge bevel at the optimum angle.
    Personally I prefer water stones as there is no chance of getting oil on the wood being carved. That can be kind of messy!
    Jay

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ronneby, Blekinge, Sweden
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    867

    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Another tip is that a leather strop is not needed for sharpening gouges unless you are working in very hard wood as a strop tends to blunt the edges. A water or oil slip stone is better for dealing with woods such as mahogany, teak, and basswood. Rounding off the cutting edge must be avoided for clean cutting.
    Jay
    This makes no sense to me.
    If a leather strop blunts the edge, why would it be good in any circumstance?
    (A bit of Swedish for you that not many native speakers know "strigel")
    The way I use it, though I don't use leather, is it glued to a flat surface, so it's like a sharpening stone with a very fine grit.

    /Mats

    Elected Swedish Yourneyman of the Year 2019

  8. #78
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    Nov 2004
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    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    Good question Mats,
    In truth, most carvers, including myself, use a touch of razor paste rouge on their "strigel" when carving very hard woods. This produces a polished edge to the gouge or chisel. But at the same time there is a micro rolling of the edge that does not cut as well on soft woods as does a tool that is honed on a very fine stone as it slightly blunts the edge. If the tool is made of steel that is slightly soft in its temper. However, this slight roll over of the edge allows the polished edge to be more effective on hard woods such as Rose Wood, Cocobolo or Osage Orange or other similar dense woods. On such woods, the polish left by the tools is very obvious on close inspection. The mermaid was carved from rock maple and the chisels were stropped for that job. Mind you, this is a point that has been argued among carvers for many years and some craftsmen will say that it does not matter. The truth is actually in the feel of the cut as it is made and it is merely a personal preference on my own part. Incidentally, those of us who shave with a straight razor swear by stropping as the polished edge is more comfortable to the skin.
    Jay
    Last edited by Jay Greer; 07-16-2019 at 08:56 PM.

  9. #79
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    Nov 2004
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    Port Townsend WA
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    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    Here is a close up of the transom pictured earlier. The S was distorted to widen the copy and allow the length to match the other side.
    The E was made a bit wider for the same reason.
    Jay

  10. #80
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    Taleisin has the sexiest stern/transom. I could look at it all day. Nice lettering too Jay

  11. #81
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    Port Townsend WA
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    Default Re: Ship Carving and Lettering

    Thanks for your kind words Andrew! That carving was done nearly forty years ago and has weathered a bit. Lynn always kept the gold leaf up to snuff over the years. The bead on the planking was done by Larry using a tool that consists of a flat head screw set into a wooden block. The screw has part of its head flattened on one side of the chamfer allow it to form the bead as the block is pulled along the edge of the plank. This allows the bead to die into nothing at the hood ends of the planks.
    Jay

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