Carving is an art that requires not only patience and skill, but also proper tools and equipment. One carving tool cannot be used for all types of carving and rocks. It has to match to your style, your goal and most importantly, the rock type you are using. Indeed, skill and patience are not enough for a successful carving. Matching the right tool with the right rock is of top importance. If you are planning to start carving, here are ways on how to select stone carving tools.
- Consider your carving needs. In selecting a saw that you will use in cutting huge excess parts and the stone itself, the only thing you need to consider is the type of rock you are carving. Different rock types require different saw. For instance, if you are using marbles or granite, you may need a power saw because these stones are the harder ones. Coping saw or keyhole, or other small handsaw may be utilized for lighter stones like soapstone, etc.
- Get a pitching tool and a hammer to strike down huge parcels. Once you already have the stone to be carved, use a pitching tool and a hammer to trim down huge parts and make it closer to your aimed figure. Just like saws, pitching tools and hammer should also be chosen based on the kind of stone you are using. Harder stones need heavier hammer. A hammer for this usually weighs 2 to 4 pounds.
- Get yourself all kinds of chisels. Chisels are also important tools in carving. There are different kinds of chisels. All have different use. Be sure to get yourself all of these. Try each one and invent your own style. This part would be a trial and error to see which among those chisels fit your style, the edges you want, and your comfort as well as the kind of stone you are working on.
- Familiarize yourself with the different rasps and files as well. Note that rasps and files have different grades for different kinds of stones. Rasps and files with larger teeth are good for smoothing harder rocks. Lighter and softer rock may be good with the smaller ones. At best, familiarize yourself with the different coarse of the rasps and files and personally determine which of those are best for your carvings.
- Prepare all the heavy-duty equipments for granite. Remember that granite is the hardest rock. So when you are working with it, be sure to secure yourself with the right heavy equipments like a set of carbide-tipped. A set of this includes heavy-duty files and rasps, and chisels fit for a granite type. At best, prepare other powerful carving tools as well when working on a granite rock, like pneumatic hammer.
- Proper handling of carving tool. Carving tools should be handled with all care to prolong its life. It should only be used in a long single-direction stroke. Otherwise, its blades will dull in no time.
Matching your carving skills and patience with the right carving tools could spell the difference between a good sculpture and a poorly done art. So be conscious and aware of different carving equipment.