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Carving Hand Tools

What may perhaps have started out as an interesting pastime while carving pumpkins for Thanksgiving may develop into a passionate hobby or vocation for people interested in carving. Besides providing hours of patient industry it can also be a lucrative and rewarding task. There is a lineup of hand tools for carving designs that help do the job skillfully.

Carving tools come in different styles depending on shapes, uses and sizes. It is good to know about the different kinds of tools used for particular jobs. Before you decide on what tools to acquire you need to pay attention to surfaces on which you would be carving. Woodcarving remains the most popular that includes fine detailing work like letter-carving, relief carving or figurine carving.

Several types of tools would be needed to cover the different fields of carving like wood and stone and so on. Carving tools are by necessity designed for specific applications. For instance parting tools in V shapes are narrow and smaller in size. The cutting edge is either 40 or 60 inches and almost always they are used for edging or corners that need finishing off.

Veining tools are usually in U shapes. They are small in size and used for making grooves and rough lines. Flutes are larger in comparison and largely used for making surfaces smooth for perfect finish. Chisels range from narrow sizes to the widest size. They are used for flat-cutting of edges and making appropriate finishes for the sharp edges.

Skew tools are like chisels to be used for straight cutting of edges occurring at 45 degrees. Depending on type of cutting they give the left skew or the right skew. Long bent gouges are best for making concave curves and to make hollows. Spoon gouges in concave shape with straight shanks are used for gouging. Back bent gouges having convex-shaped curves bending backwards are for working from the undersides.

The size of curved carving tools determines the radius of the curves. And so tools with low size numbers are mostly used for finishing. Conversely hand tools having larger curvatures have big size numbers suited to making deep cuts. It is best to have a good carving tool set that is a great investment for hobbyists or DIY's involved in home improvement jobs.

Since carving tools cover the majority of projects that may be undertaken, normal carving work would require apart from individual tools and sets certain carving accessories like carver's clamps and mallets too. Chip carving knives and whittling knives are really the primary tools needed to make a start on this fascinating hobby and are both simple and inexpensive.

Miniature carving tools can be handled by kids wanting to learn the craft. They are not children's tools but are simply smaller in size making them handy for kids to work on the surfaces under hand pressure. Well known manufacturers like Robert Sorby, Hamlet Craft Tools, Henry Taylor and Flexcut offer quality carving hand tools and whittling knives.


Cutting Hand Tools

Cutting hand tools are a common requirement in home improvement projects. Many simple hand tools cut wood and other materials by using physical force for undertaking such tasks. A handsaw is the most frequently used tool for cutting wood, There are different kinds of handsaws to be used depending on type of cutting job.

Ripsaws, big solid hand saws with teeth are designed to cut along the grain of wood. While crosscut saws have teeth designed to make cuts perpendicular to the grain of the wood while maintaining a clean cut. Bow saws have long thin blades connected by bowed metal frames allowing it to cut through. Coping saws are small and used for detailed wood cutting.

Axes used for splitting wood are used as an alternative to chainsaws for felling trees or chopping firewood. They come in many different shapes and sizes. Some axes have only one blade, while others have blades on both sides. Small hand axes are called hatchets. A maul may also be used to chop wood and having a broader and heavier head with a sharp edge makes for a nice tool.

Hedge trimmers are a type of hand tool used to cut small branches. Looking like large pliers with two long handles they are useful for cutting pieces of wood that can fit within their jaws. Chisels are sharp metal tools used along with a hammer to cut, split or shave wood. A chisel is basically a metal wedge that can be driven powerfully by using a hammer.

Modern cutting hand tools make it possible to cut through stone and tile. It may not be your everyday project and would require some amount of expertise. Drills, hammers and cutting tools make it quite daunting. A set of stone and tile cutting tools include coring and hammer drills, grinders, and a variety of saws.

Most wood cutting tools have at least one bevel. This is the sloping surface coming off the edge. But it's more than just a sloping surface. It's actually a cutting angle. With the bevel supporting a specific cutting angle, it determines how the tool can be used. Experienced people know about bevels and how they affect cutting efficiency.

The cutting angle of your carving tool or length of the bevel determines the strength of the wood you cut. The greater the cutting angle the steeper and shorter the bevel. If you're going to cut soft woods, you'll want a small cutting angle on your tool's edge. If you're going to cut hard woods, you'll want a large cutting angle on your tool's edge.
An important point to remember is the size of the cutting angle on the edge that determines how much control you'll have when cutting. When you know the fundamentals of how cutting angles on beveled edges affect cutting efficiency you will learn all about any cutting tool you hold in your hand. You will thus avoid simple mistakes and become a skilled cutting tool user.


A Tool Cabinet for People Who Have More Tools than will Fit in a Tool Box

Where do you keep your tools if you have so many (either for your work or just because you are obsessed with tools) that two or three tool boxes just are not big enough? A tool cabinet. Though it sounds fairly basic, even a tool cabinet is more than it sounds and can come in a variety of sizes, configurations and materials.

First there are the obvious cabinets that hang on the wall with special storage options specifically designed for tools. One tool cabinet that I have seen is made of metal and has a work space that folds down. This is really nifty. To see it hanging on the wall, it looks like a regular cabinet with two handles to open the doors, but instead of opening doors, you use the handles to pull the front of the cabinet down. The "bottom" of the cabinet lies flat against the wall and the "door" becomes the work area. Even niftier, is that the back and bottom of the cabinet is a pegboard, with two small shelves and plenty of space to organize a large variety of tools. Another really cool feature is that if you want to have a vice or other tool attached to the bench top, you can leave it in place when the cabinet is folded closed. There are also detachable legs that can be used to offer more support when working on heavy jobs.

Many tool cabinets come on wheels so that you can move them around your shop or garage to where the work is, instead of having to continually move back and forth to your tools. This helps keep your tools better organized because there is less chance that you will just leave your tools lying around to put away later. Most of these cabinets have a multitude of narrow drawers, though others have an actual cabinet plus drawers. These come in many sizes, with varying heights and widths.

Some of the wider ones I have seen are quite deluxe. They have a hinged lid and drawers are of varying sizes. Plus there is a small locker that can be mounted on either side of the cabinet. These are for the serious tool jockeys!

Some of the roller tool cabinets come in two sections, with the top part being a detachable tool box. This is handy if you do most of your work in one place, but occasionally do need your basic tools for other jobs. You can simple detach and carry the top box to wherever you need it.

The last main type of tool cabinet that I have seen is similar to a tool box in that it is smaller, but it is designed to be used in one place. It is set on top of a counter and has multiple drawers. It is different from tool boxes because it does not have a carrying handle and does not have a hinged lid.

Two nice thing about almost any tool chest is that it is lockable and they are heavy duty - usually made of metal. So if tools are your thing, whether by necessity or choice, then you may need a tool cabinet to hold all you tools. And as you can tell, there are a variety of options for you to choose from to find what will work best for you.


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