Friday, April 6, 2012

Gothic Chippendale chair: Carving the Back Splat

When I started planning making this chair, I never realized that there was quite a lot of carving on this chair, the photo in my book is not all that clear. It is only when I did some internet research that I noticed that there was more carving detail on the back splat than what I thought. I realized that I jumped in at the deep end and will have to learn to swim fast since I haven't really done any carving before, some things that Casey and Debora has mentioned on their blogs regarding carving has stuck in my brain and I got out the craft knife and gave it a go. The chair back on the right is done, well, not quite, I see a few things in the photo on it that needs fixing.

I used a combination of diamond bits on my Dremel, my craft knife, scalpel and some very fine cut 6 jewelry files from Switzerland to do the carving with. I recently found some diamond bits and cutters from a new company in Italy, PG mini that sells smaller and different sized bits than Dremel, I always like having a big range of sizes to choose from. I am curious to see how the Mopane is going to carve in comparison to the African Black wood, this is really careful work as the back splat is only 1mm thick.



Wee Cute Treasures said...

You have done an amazing job. I love your designs and workmanship. Beautiful. Carol :)

Catherine said...

WOW!!! I love the beautiful work you have done! It really is perfect. It is such a gorgeous design.

Marie-Laure said...

Oh Gosh !
Carving in 1mm depth only ...
That is what I call a challenge !
But no doubt : you gonna make it ;-)

Cote said...

Enhorabuena es un trabajo fantástico!!!

Karin Corbin said...

Isn't that the great thing about making miniatures....always a new challenge, some new aspect of work that requires research? I agree with Catherine, it is a beautiful design.

I want to share with you a source for diamond coated burrs. This company offers them in a variety of grits. From what I can see in the catalog from the Italian company they are selling somewhat coarse, medium grit only. The USA company I am linking you to sells much finer grits as well as the medium. They are a good company, very reliable service and the best pricing that anyone offers. Some of the burrs are 600 grit! That makes it possible to use these for finish sanding tools. You can put a burr into a pin vise and use it for shaping or you can use it in a power tool.

Diamond coated needle files are also very useful and last a long time.

Elga said...

Thank you, Karin, looks like a great site, only one problem, they don't ship to Africa according to their shipping page.

debbie's mini thoughts and creations said...

such detail, I admire you and your work,

Dorien Litjes said...

It's a masterpiece again and the way you're working. I wished I could work in that tempo.
Hugs Dorien

Fi.P said...

Hi Elga,

That really is beautiful work, quite an achievement considering you haven't tried it before. Its a testament to your skills that you managed to carve them so well.

They are beautiful.

Fi x

Debora said...

Looks really good Elga. But as you are working on it for quite a while you are the one to know best where there is room for improvement. They are a very elegant design and another challenge is you're making a set. And files cut 6!? Ooh I envy you :D They must have cost you a fortune?

@ Karin, The link you've given is, again, very useful one. These bits have such fine grit (wow!) it diminishes the draw back I feel using ordinary diamond bits; the leave such a fibrous finish. But these are great

Ilona said...

OMG Elga, this is very difficult and amazing work!! It is a masterpiece (again). It is quite a challenge to carve in (only) 1mm wood!
Happy Easter to you and your family, hugs, Ilona

Catherine said...

Elga... If you want any of those tools that Karin mentioned. Email me.

Mary Lynne said...

Unbelievable Elga - there is nothing you can't accomplish in wood!

It's hard to believe you've only been doing this for the relatively short while you have. :)

Mary Lynne

MeezerMama said...

Elga, these are beautiful.

I have a question though. You ended your post with a comment about (comparing Mopane to carving African Blackwood). How did you find the African Blackwood to carve? Did you do all the carving by hand, or did you use any power tools for it? I am planning a project that requires both carving and turning, and blackwood would be gorgeous - but I'm afraid to tackle carving it. Thanks much.

Elga said...

Chris, the blackwood is quite hard and difficult to carve, I used hand tools, X-acto knife, files etc, whatever I could find that would take the wood away. Best is probably to do a test piece, the end results is great though.