A package arrived in the mail yesterday from Fox Chapel that could change the way I carve. I have been a devoted hand tool carver since the beginning ... no mallets, no routers, no chain saws for me.
I think in the five or so years I have been on the message board I have reviewed one other book ... this book deserves to be my second review.
The book inside the package just grabbed my attention. It arrived just before dinner and only the knowledge that you don't hold a book in one hand and a mayo-ketchup cheeseburger in the other made me wait until after the dishes were done.
"Power Carving Manual" is a new release by Fox Chapel that has stuffed into it's 150 pages 16 of the very, very, very best Wood Carving Illustrated Magazine articles focusing on power carving. Everything you could want to know, every question you have plus a great assortment of ideas and themes to carve is here.
I like that several topics as tools, carving tips and safety are repeated through the articles. Hearing this important information from two or three different authors makes it quick, easy and very understandable.
A few of the basic chapters are:
A Guide to Power Carving Tools
Choosing the Right Bit
The Basics of Power Carving
Collapsible Telescoping Rod for your shaft tool
There's a great chapter by Jack Kochan that shows you each carving bit in action. Frank Russell takes you step-by-step through how to create, layer and texture and wood burn the details of feathers. Lori Corbett follows right along with a chapter on Texturing Strategies for Bird Carvers.
And projects !!!!!
There's a classic santa, primitive loon decoy, a really great wood spirit walking stick, a painted killdeer, an American woodcock, a set of three delightful mushrooms, a whole bunch more ... and my favorite ... a whimsical house by Jim Cline! This books is just over stuffed with projects!
So how good is this book really ... I was just going to browse through it before Grey's Anatomy came on the TV ... OK??? So does anyone know if the guy with the tumor on his spine lived??? I think I missed everything but the first three minutes of the show because I was Power Carving!
I bought this book to have enough into to pursue power carving on my own. It provided detailed information on equipment and safety. The part of the techniques is reduced to a couple of pages. It invests at least 3 articles (several pages) on how to carve feathers. These chapters may be very important for someone interested in carving birds. The projects are very interesting!
Barry Black, now best known for the pens he sells through Australia's premium woodcraft stores, was for many years an itinerant demonstrator of Dremel rotary tools. He remembers a conversation with a highly accomplished woodcarver who claimed he could do anything with handtools that Barry could do with a Dreme!.
When challenged on how he would achieve a certain result that had been obtained using a Dremel, the carver said he would split the wood, make the necessary cuts, then rejoin the separated parts of the workpiece.
Barry tells the story, not to show the superiority of power carving, but simply to underline that the techniques of power carving are different from those used in conventional carving.
The tools are particularly useful for creating delicate designs and intricate details with an exceptionally high level of control.
The Power Carving Manual begins with a discussion about the principal tools that are currentl'y available on the US
market - first those with a flexible shaft,
then the lower torque but very high speed
(50,OOOrpm) micro motor machines.
There are also illustrated descriptions of burrs and accessories.
The next section deals with the actual techniques employed in power carving with special emphasis on those used to create feathers.
The remainder of the book is taken up with projects ranging from birds and a
Santa Claus to a bear and jewellery.
The projects are presented in step by step format and are very well illustrated with photos and a few drawings. Where appropriate, the authors deal not only with the actual carving, but also the finishing
(including painting) of the completed work.
Although the book bears the imprint:
Best of Woodcarving I/Iustrated, the projects appear to be original, designed specifically for the book.
The Power Carving Manual should appeal to anyone from novice to experienced woodcarver, who wishes to learn power carving techniques.