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Tiki Central Forums Creating Tiki Tiki Carving Gravers vs. Rotary Tools
Gravers vs. Rotary Tools

Joined: Nov 03, 2008
Posts: 7
Posted: 2009-02-13 2:24 pm   Permalink

I've been bone carving for about 9 months now, mostly Hawaiian hooks. I'm working up the courage to start adding some detail to the carvings and was wondering -- among experienced carvers, is there a preference for manual gravers versus rotary tools with engraving burrs to create detail on your carvings? I did a search on gravers and rotary tools together and found very little in the archives so I hope I'm not dredging up an old topic. Keep in mind that I'm just a hobbyist and my skill level is very basic but I am an enthusiastic learner. I'd appreciate the advice of anyone who has ever been where I'm at in terms of experience.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 22, 2006
Posts: 1886
From: Aotearoa / NZ
Posted: 2009-02-13 2:37 pm   Permalink

AZ, if you google "Carving Path" and search their forums, you will find oodles of info about gravers, specifically the ones described in the "Bone Carving: A Skillbase of Techniques and Concepts" book. There are even videos of them in use, and advice on how to manufacture them. I haven't seen much mention of gravers here on TC, perhaps with the exception of Sebastian's work.
I haven't carved bone for many years but from my own experience of seeing many NZ masters' work, I would put gravers ahead of rotary any day for the quality of line and detail! Because they are in essence tiny chisels, they are eminently suited to replicating the techniques used on the ancient pieces. (Having said that, I did meet a guy in Rarotonga who did fine surface carving with tungsten burrs that totally blew my socks off, so it still comes down to what works best for you.)

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10397
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2009-02-15 2:45 pm   Permalink

For most of my bone work I use the rotary tools, Diamond, Carbide Steel, Abrasive, Anything that will remove the material quickly and cleanly. I Do use some hand cutters but not that many on the bone. Partly like Paipo, I haven't taken time to create the needed tools . The Carving Path has LOTS of info as Paips stated.

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