Hot New Tool Issue 67

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carving tools

A smart way to start carving

Many woodworking projects can benefit from carved details. But getting started as a carver can be challenging. What tools are required, and what basic techniques should you practice? Well-known carver Mike Davies has collaborated with Record Tools to overcome these barriers.

The Record 12-piece Carving Chisel Set that Davies helped to develop can truly be considered a “no-excuses” package for anyone who has hesitated to get into carving. The selection of gouges and chisels provides you with a wide range of carving capabilities. Unlike some “starter” tools, these are premium quality, full-size, lifetime tools that a professional woodworker would be glad to own.

The wood handles are comfortable in the hand but also substantial enough for mallet work. Unlike many edged hand tools that require honing before they can be used, these tools are ready to work. A dozen top-notch carving tools for $140 is a good value. But the deal gets even better when you consider the carving course that’s also included. Davies has created a Foundation Skills DVD and booklet based on his popular Carving by the Numbers program. This expert instruction provides an enjoyable introduction to carving.

Record has two other products that are worth considering if you’re serious about carving. The fully articulated Carver’s Vise excels at holding small and medium-sized blanks in optimum position for carving. The vise will mount on a workbench up to 4" thick. Once you’ve screwed your workpiece to the mounting plate, you’ll be able to spin it 360° and also pivot the attached rod to tilt your carving angle. A single lever locks both adjustments firmly in place.

A good mallet is also essential for many chiseling and shaping jobs. Record’s 15 oz. Carver’s Mallet has the heft and size to handle delicate carving as well as heavier shaping and roughing work. Made from beech, it matches up well with the 12 tools in the carving set.

—Tim Snyder

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