Saturday, 16 February 2013

Carved Engraving

I mentioned in a previous post that i recently managed to get a copy of Swedish Carving Techniques by Wille Sundqvist. One of the things that he teaches in the book is a decorative technique which he calls Carved Engraving. It basically consists of incising a design by making two angled cuts that meet to create a V groove. i decided to have a go at carving my initials using this technique.

I decided to try a few different knives to see what worked. The first knife I tried was a chip carving knife.

The technique for using this is a little bit different to the knives shown in the book, but I'm quite used to using this knife so that's what I picked up first. You use your thumb to steady the knife on the work and also to help maintain the correct angle.

This worked quite well, especially for the chip cuts at the ends of each line. My knife is made by Kirschen and is available from Axminster for about £7.

The next knife I tried was a small pick knife by Ben Orford. This is a lovely little knife that is really well made like all of Ben's tools.

The back is nicely rounded, which makes it really comfortable to use. Unfortunately the blade was a bit thick for the fine design that I was trying. I think I'll have to experiment with this one a bit more.

I then had a go with a Frosts 106 carving knife. It was a bit scary at first holding the knife by the blade, but I actually found this to be the most effective method. Holding the blade like a pen gives a lot of control. 

The book shows Wille using a knife with a straight skewed blade, so I thought I would try a similar knife, also by Kirschen.

This is sold as a chip carving knife and is also known as a stab knife. I found this really easy to control, but the bevels are a bit convex and so it didn't seem to slice through the wood as well. I think that with a bit of work on the bevels this could be a really good and cheap option.

Finally i tried a modified craft knife. I snapped off the tip and sharpened it to create a sort of skewed edge.

This sliced through the wood really well and worked great for fine detail, but the thin blade was prone to following the grain.

For the moment I think I'll stick with the Frosts 106, but would like to have a go at making a knife similar to the one in the book. You can buy knives specially made for this type of carving from Svante Djarv and also from Del Stubbs.

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