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Power Carving with
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Dura-GRIT - makers of tungsten carbide abrasive wood-shaping and carving tools and

Carvings, as these pages endeavour to show, come in many forms, styles and sizes.  One significant development of recent years has been the growth in the use of power tools for carving, and especially the use of chainsaws and other aggressive machines.

Whilst the art of power carving by these means will remain a somewhat robust activity, the Arbortech carving discs have certainly done a lot to make this absorbing activity much more accessible and rather safer than can be the case when using a chainsaw and its derivatives.  Indeed the Arbortech carvers have won the tough German seal of safety with their unique limited cutting depth design that reduces the damage caused if ever tool and flesh were to make contact.

Woodturners too are turning in ever-greater numbers to using these versatile tools to create sculptured and textured surfaces on their work.  Used with discretion, such techniques can lift a piece into another class, adding a touch of artistry which isTextured bowl rim example by Les Thorne: click for larger image. often visibly lacking on plain finished items.  Care is required when using this technique and it may take a little time to learn and apply appropriate techniques (try and watch someone like Jimmy Clewes, Nick Agar or Les Thorne doing this style of work) but the rewards can be high when it is applied with skill.  The example shown, left, is by Les Thorne and shows a textured bowl rim that has been further enhanced by scorching.  Note that an oil finish is generally most successful with this technique.

And for the traditional woodworker - what a boon this machine is for carving out seat forms and similar large bulk removal tasks.  Forget sweat and let the brain muscle earn its keep a while!

The Arbortech range includes a number of items appealing to both carver and woodturner alike.  The Industrial Woodcarver Kit is designed to turn almost any 4" or 41/2" (100mm or 115mm) angle grinder into a powerful carving and shaping machine.  The kit comprises the Arbortech cutting disc, the Pro-4 guard which does much to make this a safer tool in use, along with mounting hardware.  Replacement blades are also readily available. 

For smaller workpieces and confined spaces, Arbortech produce a "modified" angle grinder which effectively converts this into a smaller scale machine carrying a 50 mm woodcarver blade.  The complete angle grinder with the mini blade mounted, is pre-assembled to a powerful, 700 watt, 240 volt grinder, ready to use and is supplied with two mini-blades and a selection of sanding discs.  For carving harder materials a TCT-tipped blade is also available.

Arbortech complete mini grinder MIN350
 
Saburr Tooth carbide coated rotary tools

When it comes to removing wood at a rapid rate there is little to beat a carbide burr.  The same technology is capable oSaburr Rotary Carbide Burrs for power carvingf creating a cutting tool which leaves a fine smooth surface ready for final finishing. The Saburr Carbide Rotary Tools harness these benefits and deliver them in a range of tools which are fast-cutting, non-clogging, smooth running, easily controlled and which have a very long operational life.  The technology creates a cutter which has regularly-spaced, distinct and separate cutting points with clear space in between, giving these products their characteristic freedom from clogging and free-cutting characteristics.

We offer a range of these products including mounted points in a choice of shank sizes, cutting discs to mount on mini angles grinders (such as the Proxxon and Arbortech types) or on rotary carver hand-pieces, larger diameter (4 inch) versions for use on standard angle grinders, and sanding drums, complete with mounting arbors.

Whilst great for cutting wood, these burrs are also effective on rubber, plastics, bone, ice, fibreglass, epoxies, acrylic, graphite, soap stone and alabaster.  In other words, these are tough and versatile tools!  (Please note, however, that these tools should not be used on metals or ceramics.)  In all cases eye protection should always be worn.

Ball Nose Burrs on 1/8" shank. Left 1/8" fine and coarse; right, 1/4" fine and coarse.

 

Bud-shaped burr on 1/8" shank. Left,  1/4" coarse burr shown.

 

Standard Cylinder Burrs on 1/8" shank. Left 1/8" fine and coarse; right, 1/4" fine and coarse. NB: the 'grit' also covers the end of these burrs.

 

Safe End Cylinder Burrs on 1/8" shank. Left 1/8" fine and coarse; right, 1/4" fine and coarse. NB: the end of these burrs are not covered by the 'grit' - they are 'bald on top'!

 

Flame-shaped burrs on 1/8" shank. From left, 1/4" diameter burr in fine and coarse grits and 3/8" diameter burr in fine (yellow) grit.

 

Rotosaws on 1/8" shank. Left 1/4" dia. fine and coarse; right, 5/8" dia. fine and coarse.

 

Sphere burrs on 1/8" shank. Left are shown the 1/4" dia. fine and coarse burrs; also available but not shown are 3/8" dia. spheres in fine and coarse.

 

Taper Burrs on 1/8" shank. Left 1/8" fine and coarse; right, 1/4" fine and coarse.

 

Ball Nose burrs on 1/4" shank. Left is shown the 1/4" dia. fine burr; and right, the 1/2" dia. fine and coarse burrs. Also available but not shown is the 1/4" dia. coarse ball nose burr.

 

Cylinder burrs on 1/4" shank. From left: 1/4" dia. coarse; 1/2" dia. fine and coarse and 3/4" diameter fine and coarse burrs.

Also available but not shown is the 1/4" dia. fine cylinder burr.

 

Safe End Cylinder burrs on 1/4" shank. From left: 1/4" dia. fine and coarse; 1/2" dia. fine and coarse and 3/4" diameter fine and coarse burrs. these burrs have no grit on the top (as photographed), or end, face of the burr.

 

Flame burrs on 1/4" shank. From left: 1/4" dia. fine & coarse; 1/2" dia. fine and 3/4" diameter fine and coarse burrs.

Also available but not shown is the 3/4" dia. coarse flame burr.

 

Sphere burrs on 1/4" shank.
Left: 1/2" dia. fine burr.
Right: 1/2" dia. coarse burr.

 

Rotosaw burrs on 1/4" shank.
Left: 1" dia. fine burr.
Right: 1" dia. coarse burr.

 

Taper burrs on 1/4" shank. From left: 1/4" dia. coarse; 1/2" dia. fine & coarse and 3/4" diameter fine burrs.
A 1/4" diameter fine burr is also available.

 

A particularly useful shape for producing concave shapes, such as bowls.

2" dia. Donut Wheels, from left, in fine, coarse and extra coarse (orange) grades. Use with Proxxon, Arbortech and similar small angle grinder/carving tools. Donut wheel bores are 3/8"

 

2" dia. Flat Face Wheels, available in fine (yellow) and  coarse (green) versions. Good on convex surfaces and flat faces.
 Use with Proxxon, Arbortech and similar small angle grinder/carving tools. Flat wheel bores are 3/8"

 

Cup Rasp and 1/4" shank arbor. From left: 2" dia. fine and medium grade rasps. Next in line is the optional arbor which enables these burrs to be mounted into the chuck of a conventional drill. (Otherwise they are designed to be mounted directly on the arbor of a rotary carver handpiece or die grinder with a 3/8" mount) The rightmost photo shows a rasp mounted on the optional arbor.

 

Stuart Mortimer Bine Cutting Disc

Stuart Mortimer SM250 bine cutting, or slitting disc, designed to simplify the cutting of bines on twisted hollow forms.Most enthusiastic and interested woodturners will have come across the name of Stuart Mortimer and will know that he is renowned for the creation of spiral form vessels.  These vessels are a development of the work that Stuart researched earlier into the creation of twisted spiral work, firstly on spindle work and which later developed into his present forms.

The "bines" which form the structural part of the spiral work are created by cutting through into the hollow core of a vessel and gradually reducing the timber in bulk and developing its shape to create the spiral elements.  Cutting through the vessel is most easily accomplished using an angle grinder, ideally a compact device such as the Proxxon LWS or the mini Arbortech (see above).  In order to make this task easier and to facilitate the subsequent shaping and refining of the bines, Stuart approached us to create a special cutting disc to his specification.  The result is the unique disc offered below and pictured above, left.

 

4" dia. Donut Wheels are designed to be mounted on a 4" or 4.1/2" angle grinder. They are excellent for carving concave surface and make short work of creating bowls "by hand"! Available in a range of grits covering fine, medium, coarse and extra coarse (orange) grades. 4"  Donut wheels have a bore of 22mm ( 7/8") to match angle grinders.

 

Similar to the above, 4" dia. Flat Face Wheels are designed to be mounted on a 4" or 4.1/2" angle grinder. They are excellent for flat and convex surfaces. Available in a range of grits covering fine, medium, coarse and extra coarse (orange) grades. 4"  Flat wheels have a bore of 22mm ( 7/8") to match angle grinders.

 

*NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling. 
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU residents unless
a valid VAT registration number is quoted when ordering.

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Saburr Sanding Sleeve mandrels, donut discs, flared cup wheel, sanding discs, round end, flame and rotosaw style cutters

Merlin2 from King Arthur's Tools

When a guy as skilled as Nick Agar, wood artist, wood turner and wood sculptor of renown, adopts and paises a tool, you know that it has got to be a tool worth hearing about!

That is definitely the case with the US-manufactured products from King Arthur's Tools. Many of us have had poor experience with small scale angle grinders and found that, whilst they are small and sufficiently agile to fit into the spaces where we want to work, or to enable us to create the shapes we envisage on our work, too often they are found to be wanting in the reliability stakes.

The Merlin 2 grinder is different. Although looking, at first glance, very similar to another well-known, but unfortunately less robust and reliable, grinder on the market, that simliarity is simply skin-deep - and shoes how thoroughly the makers of the Merlin 2 understand our needs. Drop by and try the Merlin 2: feel the smooth power delivery, experience the powerful cutting action and enjoy the convenience of (optional) variable speed and you'll soon appreciate that Nick Agar knows a thing or two about power carving tools! This is one very sweet piece of kit, backed by a huge range of accessories, facilitating just about every woodcarving task you can imagine.

 

Dura-GRIT Tungsten-Carbide Burrs

Dura-GRIT - makers of tungsten carbide abrasive wood-shaping and carving tools

Being manufactred by a different process to the Saburr Burrs, these produced by Dura-GRIT have a quite different appearance - and structure. In these burrs the surface is more reminscent of sandpaper in that distinct abrasive grains can be seen on the surface of the tools. The abrasive grains of tungsten carbide are braze-welded to the steel support giving a strong and aggressive abrasive surface. Whilst resembling sandpaper in appearance, the Dura_GRIT tools will wear many hundreds of times longer than the equivalent sandpaper-based tool. The photo, below, shows the tools range (please note that some of these are not currently available in  the UK).

Range of Dura_GRIT tungsten carbide cutting and shaping burrs

Above, L to R; Mushroom shaping wheel; pointed burr; aspirin tip (N/A); conical; flat head; hollow tip; unknown (!); round end; sphere; hollow tip; straight burr; cutting wheel mounted on Dremel mini-drill

 

*NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling. 
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU residents unless
a valid VAT registration number is quoted when ordering.

Review Current Basket Contents 

1997-2010 P. Hemsley.  The information on this website is the copyright property of Peter Hemsley. 
Coeur du Bois and The ToolPost are trading styles of Peter Hemsley.  Whilst reasonable efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, no liability can be accepted for errors in this information nor for contingencies arising therefrom.  If you are inexperienced in any aspect of woodworking, we would strongly counsel that you take a course of formal instruction before commencing to practice