The extensive range of carving tools available can make the task of selecting a suitable collection for the beginner daunting. To simplify matters, I have chosen five tool profiles, each with a straight shaft, as a good foundation set. All the projects in this book can be carved using these numbered tools. As and when a particular tool is required, the number reference will be given in the text.
You may find it useful to label your own tool handles clearly with the appropriate numbers for easy reference.
The type of tool is determined by a combination of three factors:
- The width of the blade
- The shape of the blade in cross-section
- The shape of the blade along its shaft.
There are several standard numerical referencing system, known as the Sheffield List, London Pattern Chart and the Continental System. Each describes a tool profile in terms of the blade in cross-section and the shape of its shaft. The width of the blade is given separately in both imperial and metric. In majority these systems are the same, but they do have their differences and occasionally refer to the same tool profile with different references.
Gouges and parting tools (also known as V tools), for example, are available in a range of
sizes but, obviously, while the former can also vary in circumference, the latter vary in angle.
The Sheffield List and London Pattern Charts are used throughout the UK and, with slight variations, abroad. The continental list is mostly used for European tools. Therefore it is not possible to provide a singular reference for a tool profile, as this may vary depending on the manufacturer and their location.
For the purpose of following the Carving by Numbers system, the easiest method is to simply match your own tools to the profiles shown next to the corresponding carving tool in the downloadable project cards.
Be sure to make sure that your printer does not change the scale. To ensure that you have the correct scale, you can check the profile widths by measuring them with a ruler.
Alternatively, you can purchase the Carving by Numbers sets that are compatible with this education. Take a look at the dealer section to find your local stockist.
Of course, as your skills improve and you attempt increasingly challenging projects, you may wish to start adding to your collection.
The Essential Collection
These are the 5 tool profiles that you will need for the beginner’s guide projects featured within the original Carving by Numbers Books.
Pattern Carvers Set
This set of 3 tools can be used to complete some decorative patterns and designs.
Spoon Carving Set
Spoon carving is a very popular pastime, and the results make great gifts and keepsakes.
This set of 3 tools are ideal for making spoons, large and small. They are also excellent tools for woodturning embellishment.
The Comprehensive Collection
This boxed set of 12 tools combines the Essential Collection, Pattern Carvers set and the Spoon Carvers Set. In addition, you receive is a bonus gouge and a canvas tool roll to keep your collection in pristine condition.