KEEPING YOUR KNIVES SHARP
Make sure you keep all of the bevel in contact with the strop when stropping. Generally speaking the bevel goes the whole width of a carving knife. Just lay the blade flat on the strop and exert a small amount of pressure on the knife so that you maintain the correct contact on the strop. When you reach the end of the strop be sure you turn the blade so that the sharp edge comes up and away from the strop. I do not recommend picking the knife up. Just turn it over so that it is flat again and strop. Be sure to use a small amount of strop abrasive. Do not re-sharpen any carving tool unless you nick, chip, break or have to re-shape the cutting edge.
IMPORTANT! Eyes are not holes! They are mounds and the eye socket is quite large. Take a look at a human skull to see what I mean. Lots of carvers do not get the area of the eye nearest the nose deep enough. Try carving eyes on a flat piece of board first until you get the technique down. The eye is same width as the nose. The center of the eye always lines up with the corner of the mouth. Carve a hunded eyes and then carve 100 more and you might be ready to carve an eye in your carving.
POWER CARVING HINTS
Always wear a mask along with eye and ear protection.
Keep thumb of the hand holding handpiece on the wood while grinding. This allows for maximum control and may prevent grinding your other hand or clothes.
One trip to the emergency room will pay for a lot of gloves. Wear one on you non carving hand. Remember, always pretend any safety device is not there. Don't depend on the glove. Do not carve toward your other hand even though you have a glove on that hand.
Keep your tools razor sharp to avoid miscues. A dull tool will 'jump' off the wood easier than a sharp tool.
Don't scratch your face with a tool in your hand.
Don't place your carving project on your leg when you carve. The femoral artery is a large artery in the thigh. If you should slip and cut that artery the probability of you surviving is slim.
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