Thursday, February 25, 2010

Step-by-step carving of a dinosaur marionette

Step-by-step carving of a dinosaur marionetteWez Champion is documenting his efforts as he makes a very cool dinosaur marionette. Champion says he is a fan of the Prague style of marionette making.

Says the artist:
One of the things I like most about ALL Prague puppets is the way they don't try to hide the fact that they are made from wood... the master craftsmen seem to use the straight edges of chisel cuts to form unique facial expressions and unbelievable style to each character...this is what I someday hope to master for myself!

His blog posts document his project from drawings to roughing out the figure, to carving details. Stay tuned as he goes on to paint and assemble the puppet.

Here is a link to Wez's World -- the blog that documents the making of a marionette.


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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Smith's PP1 "Pocket Pal" Multi-Function Sharpener

mith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multi-Function Sharpener
I haven't done a mini tool review in a while. Well, I've found something that truly deserves mention. I was lucky enough to receive the Smith's PP1 "Pocket Pal" Multi-Function Sharpener as a holiday gift. I have sharpened my share of knives, carving tools, and chisels. I've also purchased a lot of tools to do that sharpening. So, I admit, I was a little skeptical about this pocket-sized sharpening tool. My trusty Swiss Army Knife doesn't get the same attention that my woodworking tools get, so I decided to try the Smith tool on it. I ran the dull blade through the carbide slot a few times, then the ceramic slot a few times. The difference was incredible! I have yet to use the tapered diamond part of the tool, but I don't sharpen too many serrated blades. It can, of course, be used on non-serrated blades too, as well as on small gouges, scorps, and even fishing hooks. This tool is well worth the price in my book.

Here is a link to Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Sharpener on Amazon.

[ Thanks Kev! ]


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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Animated sculptures by Nedko Zhechev

Animated sculptures by Nedko Zhechev
Check out this excellent mechanized wooden hand by artist Nedko Zhechev.

See more animated sculptures by Nedko Zhechev on this web site.

[ Thanks Philsing! ]


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Friday, August 14, 2009

8" slow-speed grinder on sale to end of August

8 inch Slow-Speed Grinder on sale
Woodcraft is offering this 8-inch slow speed grinder on sale from now until the end of August, 2009. Regularly priced at $110, it is now on sale for $95. The grinder comes equipped with 120 grit and 60 grit white aluminum oxide grinding wheels.

From the grinder description:
This quiet, smooth 1/2 HP, 1725 RPM slow-speed grinder is great for sharpening tools without generating the tool destroying heat that you get so quickly from 3450 RPM grinders.

Here's the link for more info 8 inch slow speed grinder.


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Thursday, June 04, 2009

23 Piece Hobby & Craft Tool Set for under $15

23 Piece Hobby & Craft Tool Set
I'm a little smitten with this hobby knife and tool set offered by Woodcraft.com. It contains all the things you would expect from one of these sets such as assorted knife blades, handles (3 actually), and a saw blade. But it goes beyond the norm with a inclusion of a tiny spoke shave, block plane, balsa strip tool, sanding block, and tweezers. It comes in a plastic case designed to fit each item. For $15 USD, this looks like a nice starter set for model making or working with any type of wood miniatures (model railroad, planes, boats, carving, etc).

Here's a link to this 23 Piece Hobby and Craft Tool Set.


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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Proxxon 38481 IB/E Professional Rotary Tool

Proxxon 38481 IB/E Professional Rotary Tool
While most of us are familiar with the versatile rotary tool, we tend to equate it with the Dremel brand name. I have owned many, many Dremel tools and do not have any serious complaints.

Still, this Proxxon profession model appears to offer some noticeable improvements. The manufacturer claims that this model can be use for extended periods when polishing, grinding, cleaning and engraving -- without becoming overheated. That is one problem I have had in the past, but I think I pushed the poor Dremel too far.

Like the better models of Dremel rotary tools, this Proxxon can be run at a range of speeds from 5,000 to 20,000 RPMs. Variable speed is a an important feature in any make of rotary tool.

Finally, the Proxxon features a die cast aluminum head which serves as a study housing for the steel spindle, running within a ball bearing assembly. This strikes me as more robust than most Dremel tools.

The unit comes with six collets (sized 1/32", 1/16", 5/64", 3/32", 7/64" and 1/8") and is compatible with a number of Proxxon accessories such as a foot switch, flexible shaft, and drill stand.

Here is a link to the Proxxon 38481 IB/E Professional Rotary Tool


Note: Those of you who know you will be using a rotary tool a lot, should consider something like the Foredom rotary tools that jewelers and serious woodcarvers use.


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