Posts Tagged ‘Carver’

Gunstock and Pistol Grip Carving Made Easy with Light Table


Thanks for the intro Chip……

Why does a Gunstock carver need a light table? Oftentimes a pistol grip requires a mirror image drawing. It is a especially useful for custom design patterns; as well as for accuracy, time saving and copying from existing photos or patterns.

While a light table is certainly available in most Art and Craft  stores, it is more fun to build one. In addition, one is able to build it to their own need and size. For instance, a sign maker and/or graphic artist may require a bigger size opposed to a gunstock and pistol grip carver who may  require a smaller size.

I decided to build my light table to accommodate for a standard 24″ flourescent light. This will not be weightly making it easier to carry from one station to another.

Following is a sketch and list of materials. (This worked for me. I kept it simple and practical. Someone else may chose to build a box with fancy joinery or miders).

As a reminder, before going out to purchase the material, don’t hesitate to see what may be available to you in your garage or amongst leftovers. Don’t be afraid to improvise if necessary.

According to Plan Details:

1. build a box with a 1×6 (may be pine or poplar); use glue in the joinery and screws or finish nails to fasten it (a finish nail gun can make life easier).

2. insert 1×1 wood strip flush with the  bottom of the box (with glue and finish nails).

3. cut 1/2″ plywood, glue and nail over 1×1 wood strip.

4. install 3/4″ x 3/8″ moulding – 1/4″ below top rim all around to accommodate for 1/4″ frosted glass.

5. drill (4) 2″ holes to accommodate for 4 vents for air circulation and cooling.

6. install (4) 1×1 corner moulding in all 4 corners to cover joinery and screws/nails.

7. cut opening for switch and 1/2″ hole in center 1/2″ below top to enable you to pop up the glass for maintance (a pencil with an eraser is ideal for this task).

At this stage paint interior and exterior of box (preferable with semi-gloss enamel finish).

8. after paint dries, install (2) 24″ flourescent units (includes switch, cord and plug).

9. install trim: 4 bumpers, 2 handles, glue (4) 2″ vents (with construction adhesive).

10. insert self-adhesive foam on 3/4″ top moulding to accommodate for cushioning glass.

11. install 4 small brackets to secure glass flush with top rim.

I will be glad to field any questions and receive notes and pictures of success.


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Casting models with custom woodcarving in mind.


Throughout the years, Master Woodcarvers, to achieve correct proportions and details, have used clay to make model prototypes.

Why? Clay affords the carver to put forth his/her vision. The flexibility of the material enables the artists to edit the design to the desired finish avoiding any guessing or oops.

In addition, the model may be used to reference size, dimension and intricate details.

Taking this process to the next step is the topic of this article.

The method of creating a mold for casting the original clay design to hard materials as plaster, cement, resins, and wax for bronze casting is a method commonly used amongst sculpturers.

Why would wood carvers go to the next step? Some intricate and detailed wood carvings will take time to finish. A clay model will dry (unless kept constantly moist), change form (losing dimension, size details), and is dificult to use as  a reference with a dial caliper. Thus, a ‘hard’ copy of the original design has the potential to stay for an indefinite period of time. This method also lends to duplicating your work.

Casting Models Gallery:

If a person carves on wood and wants to duplicate the work in plaster or bronze, the rubber mold may be appllied (in preparation to the wood) on the finished wood carving following the same methods.


With this in mind, the artist will still have a choice; to create a basic mold and jacket themselves or bring their finished piece of clay or wood to a foundry. The foundry will do the before mentioned process for you.

Last week, I had opportunity to visit a fine art foundry with a friend and colleague, Yossi Govrin himself an established artist and proprietor of the Santa Monica Art Studios. As opportunity arises I recommend a tour of a fine art foundry.

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