Tuesday, November 14, 2017

One-handed Woodcarving

One-handed woodcarving - a few thoughts about tools and techniques that could help people with the use of one hand only


By Alistair Park, Bristol, England  Web link for more stories CLICK HERE 

Recently, someone contacted me with a very interesting question. This person had suffered a stroke a year ago and was now confined to a wheelchair, having also lost the use of their left hand. They were previously right-handed. 

The question was simple: did I think that a person with the use of only one hand could carve?

I sent a reply and, after some thought, realised that it may also be of interest to others who are temporarily or permanently in a similar situation. Although I currently have the use of both hands, I have experienced periods when injury has brought such considerations to mind.

The answer that I emailed back is reproduced in this post, with some alterations, extra images and information:

Can someone with the use of only one hand carve? My answer is a very definite yes!
I'd say that the question might be: what would you like to carve and which tools and techniques will enable you to do it?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mysterious Tree Carvings of America’s Basque Sheepherders

Some Americans, to learn about their ancestors, can dig through documents detailing when they passed through Ellis Island or flew in or got married, or where they lived at the time of a census. But for some Basque families in the United States, the only record they have of their immigrant ancestors is carved into trees in secluded aspen groves throughout the West. Names, dates, hometowns, and other messages and art scar the pale bark of aspens where Basque men watched over herds of hundreds of sheep from the 1850s to the 1930s.

Friday, October 6, 2017

A Beginner’s Guide to Pyrography, aka Woodburning by Jeremy Anderberg (

Pyrography — derived from the Greek pur (fire) and graphos (writing) — has been around since fire itself. While there isn’t hard evidence, it’s quite likely that cavemen etched the walls of their caves with fire sticks. While today it’s primarily done on wood with a heated pen, it’s been done (and continues to be done) on leather, clay, and even gourds.

Historically, it was used to decorate and brand various tools and musical instruments. Kitchenware or folk guitars were marked with a little bit of art both to convey the owner’s personality, and to distinguish their stuff from other people’s. It wasn’t really until the late Victorian era that the art form was taken up in earnest, and done on blank “canvasses” of wood and other materials rather than being a decorative embellishment.

In the early 20th century, soldering pens were developed, from which today’s woodburning tools were derived. This is a fun project for men, women, and even kids

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A stress-free beginner’s guide to choosing tools by Bob Duncan

Beginning carvers often buy a set of carving tools and end up with an assortment of tools they will never use. Instead of paying for tools that don’t fit your needs, buy tools à la carte and create your own ideal collection. Our guide to the most useful gouges for general carving will help you get started.

Read here   > ))) ' >

South Mountain Fairy Trail

Intricate little fairy houses, made mostly of natural materials, line a stretch of trail in the South Mountain Reservation park near Millburn, New Jersey.

These minute birdhouse-like creations feature teeny chairs made of acorns, ladders made of twigs, beds made of moss, and roofs made of tree bark. Walkers can expect to find them tucked within the tangle of trees along the trail’s edge.

Read more, click here

Balloch Park Fairy Trail A local tree surgeon has created a whimsical walk full of carved tree stumps near Scotland's Loch Lomond. 

Patrick Muir, a local tree surgeon, has carved fairy houses and other fun things from the stumps of diseased trees within Balloch Castle Country Park in Balloch, Scotland. Using a chainsaw, he has created a variety of carvings ranging from a simple face to detailed fairy houses and a majestic dragon. Read the rest of the story...CLICK HERE

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Interesting New FREE Website

Plastic Nails and Staples

Well, to begin with, composite (plastic) fasteners can be routed and sawn, so they're ideal for holding work to a CNC spoilboard. They are also great for running manual jigs through a table saw, or across a router table. The opportunity to replace clamps, vacuum pods or other devices on a CNC means that spindles and aggregate heads will have more room to move around with hitting something.
Losing C-clamps or similar mechanical devices on manual jigs makes them a lot less cumbersome, and often a lot safer. Ever clip a clamp with a bit or blade? Plus, the work is more stable when permanently nailed than temporarily clamped. Composite fasteners don't rust, so they're ideal for boats, outdoor trim, and even tagging the ends of boards at mills or lumberyards.

For the rest of the story: