Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Here we go on to carving the body of the polar bear. I think I need to clarify what I said earlier about some carvers working the entire carving. Once I have the head of my carving done and have moved onto the body I do work the entire carving at once. Here are some pictures of my progress so far.


As you can see by the third and fourth picture whenever I carve the center line off, I draw it back on asap. This way I can keep the carving symetrical, I maintain the center line throughout until I have finished the texture.
Now I'll talk a little about the bits I use for carving. The bits in the top row are Saburrtooth bits and are really aggressive. They leave a rough finish on the wood. The one on the left is the 1/4 inch size that I use in my Foredom, it is super agressive and nasty when you bump it against your hand. Whenever I use this bit I wear leather gloves on both hands. The smaller bits 1/8th and 3/32 are also aggressive on the wood but don't remove as much meat when you bump them against your hand. I usually don't wear a glove when using these.
The bottom row of bits are Karbide Kutzall bits they aren't as aggressive and leave a smoother finish on the wood. I will start out with the Saburrtooth, then go to the Karbide and finally use ruby and diamond to smooth the carving. This is a flame tip and the one I use the most, but there are many other shapes available.

One last word for today. I have a room in my basement that is dedicated just for my carving. Power carving creates a lot of sawdust, some course and some a very fine dust. For health concerns I think it is imperative that a dust collector of some sort is used. I have a dedicated dust collector just for my carving area, and even with the collector I still end up with a fine layer of dust on the desk and other things. This was the biggest reason I have a room that I can use just for carving. The use of a dust mask is also a must in my opinion. I use the disposable ones at about a buck a piece. I usually wear the same one for 3-4 carving sessions.

Well I'm off to finish up the carving of the body of our polar bear. Next time we will see the carving completed and the bear ready for texture.

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