Tools I Can’t Live Without
Tools I can’t live without. Because I make my living with them.
I’ve been contemplating this topic for some time. After reading some posts on other sites, reading inquiries by new carvers as well as seasoned veterans I decided to list my favorites.Those tools necessary to produce the widest variety of carvings such as those you see in my gallery and on my site. I’ll list the tools I use consistently to produce those very carvings. Sort of “If you were stranded on an island what tools would you want to have?” Well these are those tools. Actually they are the ones I’ve built my business on and have used almost exclusively for the past 20 yrs. Actually for the first 5 yrs or so, this collection was essentially half of what it is today. Basically 12 tools kept me in business carving happily away and producing an income. Now I’m up to 25 or so that I normally use. Do I have more than this? Sure,, I’m a tool-a -holic. Aren’t you? But it’s quite easy to use just this limited number to carve most anything I care to carve and they have carved 99 percent of the work you see. Hundreds of chisels are nice,, but not necessary.
Now if you’re a whittler you can stop reading right now. If you’re a fan of palm chisels you too can stop reading at this point.The rest of what I have to say will only annoy you to no end. I have nothing against whittling with a knife. My first carvings were done with a knife (many I made myself) and on occasion while wandering along a path I’ll pick up a stick and whittle with my trusty pocket knife that is always in my pocket. Many people do wonderful work with a knife. I enjoy seeing the work done. But to me, there are inherent limits to what a knife can do. I need to have tools that can do the most amount of work to carve the pieces I need to carve. A knife, regardless how good you might be with one, cannot do this range of work.
And the same thing goes for palm chisels. I had a set at one time…LONG AGO…and now they are relegated to use when stripping furniture and getting the gunk out of the nooks and crannies. Quite simply I have no use for them. See, I told you I’d annoy you.
Now rather than just throw out a statement to annoy whittlers and palm tool users I’ll give my reasons why I choose not to use them. Quite simply I’m not a whittler nor a hobbyist carver. I’m a full time wood carver. I need to produce carvings in the widest range of styles. This to me says it all, but it needs some clarification I’m sure. Really,, I can’t go around annoying everyone without some justification of my beliefs , ,,,can I ?