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Gouge/fingerplane fingers


TZEENTCHAU

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Hi,

Whilst carving I am getting blisters etc. I have read elsewhere here to rely more on gouges than finger planes, which I am doing, but I am still ending up in pain (i am relatively new to this, carving my third instrument now, and i dont have a background in woodworking). Like the violin, will callouses form or am I doing things wrong? I hold the gouge in 2 hands while the work is held firmly (usually clamps whilst in a cradle) and push typically using the power from my back/shoulders keeping my arms firm -the finger plane I just use my arms (im using a 12mm curved blade removing between a 10th and a 4th of a mm) in the same setup.

Thanks

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If you were working in a production shop where you were carving all day every day you would develop calluses but even carving one set of plates a week won't do it.  I would suggest making sure your bench height and working position is comfortable and that you can vary your hand positions slightly. Also extremely important to  keep your tools sharp enough that you can control them with a firm but relaxed grip. I did at one time do the all day every day thing and developed hand positions which put some part of my hand directly behind the tool so I was pushing with bone structure rather than relying on squeezing the tool. With gouges that means pushing with the palm and with finger planes I have a middle finger behind the plane rather than along side it.

Some woods have a gritty feel and will give you blisters no matter what you do but keeping your tools really sharp will always help. You can also put small amounts of tincture of benzoin on your hands before you start to work which will help form calluses but I think you still have to be carving a lot for that to help.   You can get the tincture at your local pharmacy but if you put it on already broken skin it will still help the callusing but be ready for some serious pain on application!

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Same here. I try to get as close to final surface with gouges as possible so I don't have too much to smooth with plane. If you look at workers in chinese factories (=ultra efficient) they tend to use larger planes with side handles and cut in pull action instead of push and do not use gouges much (if at all) for carving plates.

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16 minutes ago, HoGo said:

...workers in [C]hinese factories...tend to use larger planes with side handles and cut[ting] in pull action instead of push...

They can be seen using these planes, first on the outside then on the inside, starting at around 2:44 in this video:

The making of the Stentor® Violin - Bing video

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1 hour ago, HoGo said:

Same here. I try to get as close to final surface with gouges as possible so I don't have too much to smooth with plane. If you look at workers in chinese factories (=ultra efficient) they tend to use larger planes with side handles and cut in pull action instead of push and do not use gouges much (if at all) for carving plates.

Those are spokeshaves, and used to be quite common. They can be used for concave and convex cuts, push or pull, and if you notice in the Stentor videos, they can produce very nice shavings. Pretty easy to make for almost any purpose, from a few mm wide cut to architectural work. Great for making cabriole legs, wooden spokes, tillering bows, etc.  Google is our friend, sometimes.

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4 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I sometimes use a cheap thin un-insulated leather glove (or gloves), or take a few wraps of masking take around a finger or two. My finger planes can get pretty hot to hold when I'm using them aggressively.

I still use tape when I need to use metal finger planes for an extended period (first suggested by David)... I also have a couple wood ones I made that don't heat up like the brass ones do, but they are larger in size.

Never made friends with gloves or rubber fingers.  :) 

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14 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Ew, those look too much like tiny condoms. Flat-out ain't doin' it! :lol:

Never done the officework? Those are fingerstalls for quickly flipping through the ledgers.  They are so much easier than licking your fingers especially for the next person who had to look something up. :wacko:

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