At Odds

Mother Nature and I seem to have been at odds for at least a week. Rain, rain, and more rain. I know we need rain, but enough is enough! I did, however, manage to squeeze in a couple of hours of shop time, between downbursts, to complete the carving on the sides.


I am so glad I decided to buy the 6mm #3 gouge. This strapwork would not have been possible with it.


With rebates cut and the carcass fitted and squared, I formed the pintles for the hinge cleats.


I’ll get the bottom and lid installed once I can get back into the shop.

17 thoughts on “At Odds

  1. Dave Polaschek

    Good work getting it done in spite of weather that wouldn’t cooperate.

    I made a couple more stacked birch bark knife handles, and started on the first of the boxes for my carving tools. Blew out a dovetail in some American chestnut, but managed to glue things back together, and the blowout will be hidden in the joint, so I think all is still well.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Salko Safic

        I don’t know the name of it but it has lunettes that go over and under and in the centre of the lunettes are florals. What makes it hard is that I’m trying to carve it in a 2.5 inch width of space. Getting the chisels in there is the hard thing. Still even then leveling the background without it looking like a dog’s meal is a challenge.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mark Dennehy

        I think the biggest thing for me that made things easier was taking every single tool to the grinder and then to the stones and getting them all sharper, and at a lower angle (I think I’m somewhere around 25 degrees or so). The edge doesn’t last as long even when stropping every ten minutes or so, but the results are better.

        The second biggest thing was trying to not carve patterns into a space too small for the material. You can’t really carve a full pattern into a 2.5″ space in kiln-dried oak for example unless it’s something simple like running cable; certainly nothing like the lunettes pattern. Or at least I couldn’t when I started and can’t now; maybe someone with a decade of practice could, but it’s out of my league. But when you have more space, it becomes a more forgiving process, which is counterintuitive – you’d think a larger piece would be more demanding but it’s not (at least not in the carving; the joinery and designing around wood movement is another matter; find the happy medium 😀 )

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ron Aylor Post author

        Mark, I may have asked before, but what tools are you using? My Hirsch tools have yet to see a stone. Much less a grinder. I strop at the beginning of a project and they stay sharp all the way through. They have seen red oak, walnut, cherry, ash, maple, poplar, and pine.


      4. Mark Dennehy

        A small array of second-hand ebay specials Ron, most of which are pre-war and at least one is from the late 1800s. None are shiny, all have had much more skilled owners before now 😀
        On the upside, every last one came from sheffield; they’re a mix of names like ward and marples and taylor, but the steel is good in all of them. I do miss not having a complete range of sweeps though – most of the variation is on size instead and I keep an eye out for shallow #3 types and veiners (I finally have two decent V-tools after a year of waiting).
        I have a few in-canel gouges as well which were mostly either part of job lots or which I got for joinery work (shallow cranked patternmakers gouges are particularly useful for some work), but I’ve tried to use them here and there for carving as well; they’re sometimes useful where you want a nice crisp edge, but you have to watch which way they’ll try to jump because of the wedging action.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Mark Dennehy

        For some reason do, a lot of them had less acute angles of 30 degrees or more. I guess prior owners could do work that way because they knew more, but I find a shallower angle helps. It may be cheating but I’m okay with this kind of cheating 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous

    The link you posted above on various carving patterns was very helpful. Thanks for putting that up! Although I don’t leave a lot of replies I do follow what you are up to and somehow I missed that one . The box looks great by the way. On a side note I was working with a piece of ash yesterday for a small project, a leftover scrap from a counter top island about 6 months ago. It was fine to work with at the time , but this scrap was like cutting iron, Have you had any experience with ash like this? Thanks Jim

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ron Aylor Post author

      Thanks, Jim. I’ve carved a lot of ash. Yes, it hard as a rock. I like to wet it with a 50:50 solution of alcohol and water. The key is sharp tools.



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