Carving - Bosting Tips
tips on this bosting business. Don't hurry. Check the plan against
the finished planes. Check the depth of your cuts. Keep the
final design of the piece in the back of your mind so that you
don't overcarve. Stop work on the piece if you think you have
gone far enough. Before you remove the carving from the hold-down,
be sure that you have made all the rough cuts necessary to develop
the internal planes of the piece. If you think that you can
improve on the appearance of the piece by more bosting, wait
and see. If you can, then do so. If you can't, let well enough
alone. After all, it is in the art of bosting out where the
final form is developed. The detail carving is the frosting
on the cake.
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is possible that you may wish to undertake the complicated process
of making pierced carvings. This is the phase of the work where
all the stock is cut entirely away from the front of the carving
(the face) through to the back of the carving. In other words,
irregular holes. The Imagegraphs of the Salem Eagle and Banners
illustrate this phase of the work.
can be done two ways. If you are working on stock less than
an inch in thickness and are skilled in the use of the mallet
and chisel, the holes can be developed in much the same manner
as "sinkings"-that is, holding the tool vertically,
mallet the tool into the wood, removing the surplus stock within
the outline until the hole goes through the stock. The other
and easier way to do it-in thicker stock certainly-is to drill
or bore (with the bit brace and bit) a series of holes around
the edge of the desired hole within the outlines, leaving a
space of ?to 3/16 inch between the holes.
webs will prevent the stock in the center from fracturing away
from the rest of the piece and thus crowding the tools you are
working with. After all the holes are drilled or bored, the
webs that hold the surplus stock in place can be sheared off
with the quarter-inch skew chisel. Some care must be taken to
see that, in boring, the holes are vertical. Care with the skew
chisel is necessary to keep the cut vertical. Make the rough
cuts for pierced work before you bost out the outline. You can
carve across the holes readily enough.
Finishing off the sides of a piercing with the skew chisel.
finish off the sides of a piercing, use the properly shaped
tool to fit the outline and cut across the grain with the tool
held at a slight skew to the face of the carvingall the
while being sure the tool is held vertically. To make the final
smoothing up of the piercing, use sandpaper. It all sounds complicated,
but if you try a piercing in some waste stock by following the
steps outlined above you will see it really isn't as difficult
as words lead you to believe.
are files especially designed for use on wood or stone or metal.
They are made in a variety of shapes and sizes. When using them,
don't forget that the action of a file is to scour off the surface.
The depth of cut will depend upon the pressure on the tool.
In addition to shaped rifflers, the woodworker's rasp is a most
useful adjunct to the caiver. Oftentimes in bosting out projecting
parts of a compound carving I use the rasp to remove the final
stock. It is faster than using gouges or chisels on irregular
cannot make finished cuts with rifflers or rasps. The filed
surfaces will have to be carved with the properly shaped tools.
After the bosting has been completed, the next step is to finish
off the profile of the carving. To do this, remove the bosted
piece from the hold-down and put it in the woodworker's vise.
This is why you do not attempt to do any finished carving on
finish up the profile, use variously shaped chisels that best
fit the curves of the outline and carefully pare off the stock
so that all saw marks are removed and the profile has been reduced
to the outline that you have designed. The care with which the
outline is developed will determine the appearance of the finished
piece. In some cases, it may be impossible to use a chisel to
finish off certain parts. In this case, use rifflers that come
closest to fitting the section. File off the surplus stock and
finish up with coarse and fine sandpapers.
This operation is shown in Images.
Detail of carved chest carved in bas-relief owned by the Author.