4 Amazing Power Carving Projects from the 2017 Arbortech Power Carving Competition

 

Our staff competition was held again recently and once again we were blown away by the level of creativity and imagination from everyone.  It was a bit of gamble when we first started this competition to get everyone involved in power carving.  We wanted all of our staff to build an understanding of how the Arbortech tools work and how to use them, but we didn’t expect such a high level of creativity, from the accounts department through to production! Of course they are all very lucky to have the complete range of Arbortech tools available for their use!  

Drum Roll, and the winners are………

 

Monitor Stand 

made by Matt Cormack, a designer from our Research & Development office

Power Carving Project | DIY Wood Monitor Stand | Arbortech Tools

Matt wanted to make a wooden “groovy monitor stand” by using  Glulam off-cut (glued laminated timber). The power carving tools of choice included the Industrial Woodcarver and TURBO Plane to get the rough shape.  Matt then he used the Mini Grinder and TURBO Shaft to create the hollow section of the project and get into those tight curves before finishing off. He used an orbital sander on the flat surfaces and the Arbortech Contour Sander on the internal curves before adding the decorative detail of the small chrome nuts, a great feature.

 

Tree Hugger 

made by “Junior” George Linke, Blade Production Supervisor

Tree Hugger Sculpture | Arbortech Tools

Junior has a great love of nature and found this lovely old piece of “Jarrah” tree branch. Juniors inspiration for this piece stems from his appreciation for the timbers journey from seed in the earth to falling rotten wood, and he wanted to bring the piece of Jarrah back to life.  He decided to make a sculpture for his garden that highlighted the natural elements of the wood and also expressed his love for nature. The first thing he did was trace the outline his arm and hand with a carpenters pencil to guide his free form carving before using the Mini Grinder and TURBO Shaft – his power carving tools of choice to shape the wood and form the “Tree Hug” image. He then used the TURBO Plane and Mini Grinder on the inside of the log to smooth out the wood where necessary, before reaching the sanding stage where he used the Contour Sander and Decking Oil to finish the piece. Junior opted for Decking Oil due to it’s ability to withstand harsh outdoor conditions as the piece would be installed permanently in his garden. He finally used the Power Chisel to rebate some rectangles for attaching the metal plates for mounting rods.  

 

Surf Sunset

made by Sven Blicks, General Manager

Power Carving Project | Beach Sunset Wood Relief Carving | Arbortech Tools

Sven loves to surf and was always talking about doing this piece, so it was great to finally see his vision come to life.  He used a nice piece of Camphor wood and penciled in the horizon with the Power Chisel to get the proportions right before shaping the wave with the ultimate power tool due – the Mini Grinder and Power Chisel.  He then used the Contour Sander to shape and sand down all the surfaces before adding the final detail with the Power Chisel.  Although Sven is not a beginner anymore this would be a perfect power carving project for beginners.

 

Fido

made by Steve Marsh, Special Projects Accountant

 Power Carving Project | Sausage Dog Serving Tray | Arbortech Tools

Steve always has some great ideas for the competition and this was another one of those winning ideas.  He was inspired by another staff member who has a real love of Dachshunds or “Sausage Dogs”. He used a piece of Eucalyptus found on a road verge and started shaping the basic shape in the top 2/3rds of the log before working more of the head features with the Mini Grinder and TURBO Shaft.  Once he had the basic head and tail shapes he could flatten and plane the tray with the TURBO Plane and carve the legs into the base.  He first left the legs as two long platforms on either end and then decided to make them into 4 basic feet. We re-created this project and filmed a short How-To video: watch the How To Power Carve a Sausage Dog Tray Video.

 


 

We don’t have a high turnover of staff at Arbortech, so those who were beginners when we started running the competition 6 years ago are now considered experienced power carving experts and everyone starts planning their project months in advance. Some start looking for wood by the side of the road, others draw up ideas or start practicing their wood shaping techniques with the latest tools.  We love that everyone at Arbortech has embraced the competition which really works for everyone as our customers get great customer service from real users of the tools.

Arbortech power carving tools are designed to inspire and enable people’s creative ideas for woodwork to come to life, efficiently! We hope these projects inspire you to turn any vision you may have for a piece of wood into a reality. Whether you have a question for one of the artists about their project or a query about one of our tools, please leave a comment.

 

 

You may also be interested in

Arbortech Woodworking Competition entries 2017 Blog Post: Arbortech Woodworking Competition 2016!

Independent Ball Gouge Reviews are in!

 

We have combined a few independent Ball Gouge Reviews in this blog post. So you can read, watch and hear what industry professionals have to say about it – in one place! We are hoping to add additional reviews as the Ball Gouge becomes more widely available but for now please enjoy reading a Ball Gouge review from the Australian Wood Smith, Australian Wood Review, or watch Paul Jenkins (aka The Wood Knight‘s) first impressions video.

 

Australian Wood Smith – Ball Gouge Review

READ FULL ARTICLE

 

Ball Gouge Review Australian Wood Smith

 

 

The Wood Knight – 1st Independent Review of the Ball Gouge

WATCH VIDEO

 

 

Australian Wood Smith – Ball Gouge Review  

READ FULL ARTICLE

 

Australian Wood Review Ball Gouge Review

 

 

WANT TO BUY A BALL GOUGE?

If you are looking to add a Ball Gouge to your power carving collection, you can choose from these shopping options here.

 

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN…

Ball Gouge Prototypes Evolution

Blog Post: The Evolution of the Ball Gouge by Kevin Inkster 

Sculptures at Killalea: Workshop To Combine Aussie Talent & Aussie Tools

Ian Bell

Power Carving Workshop with Australia’s Best

Ian Bell will be carrying out his own Arbortech Inspired Power Carving Workshop on the 30th of September at the Scuptures @ Killalea Art Festival in late September.

A talented artist and wood sculptor, Ian is also a long term user and advocate of Arbortech woodworking tools. For this reason, he will lead the workshop with live demonstrations and education on the art of woodworking and power carving. Furthermore, Ian is a strong believer in sustainability which is why he will be demonstrating the tools on an old telegraph pole, transforming what was once a support for overhead power lines into a piece of art. The plan is to power carve a life sized Goanna clinging to a tree, Ian says “this is also an example of upcycling a material that would otherwise have been destined for someone’s fireplace”. Ian’s artist statement includes “My medium of choice is wood sourced sustainably and I agree with and practice the philosophy of having respect for the material and consider my work as a collaboration with the tree and allow part of the grain, or “personality” to show in evidence of a life once lived.” We strongly support this mentality as a company, in the way we design our products down to what we use in our inspirational projects, sustainability is key.

Ian skillfully applies a range of Arbortech tools to create his unique and contemporary wood carvings inspired by Australian animals, shapes and textures. Combining Aussie talent with Aussie tools, don’t miss out on this rare event.

 

Ian Bell power carving a whale tail with the Mini Grinder

Ian Bell using the Mini Grinder

Workshop Details

When: 30th September 2017

What: Ian Bell will be providing live demonstrations and education on power carving with Arbortech tools

Where: Sculptures at Killalea – Killalea State Park, Shell Cove NSW

Entry: FREE

Subscribe to the Newsletter for workshop updates, promotions and more here.

 

Want to learn more about Ian Bell, his work, and his story?

Then read our Q&A blog post with him here.

AS170 Set to Increase Safety & Reduce Silica Exposure on Work Sites

silicosis lung damage

 

“Silicosis is a growing concern in the building and construction industry. Because symptoms aren’t imminent and can take many years to develop there is a tendency to forget that dust is deadly and Silicosis is irreversible. By simply investing in the right tools and equipment up front, contractors are taking the right steps to reduce silica exposure and therefore prevent themselves and their work mates from potentially developing Silicosis.”

 

 

What is Crystalline Silica?

Silica, also known as Quartz is found in many construction materials including brick, mortar, masonry, rock, landscaping material, granite and more. Silica dust is commonly produced during building and construction activities such as cutting and grinding. Furthermore, these small dust particles of silica are microscopic and easily inhaled, even the smallest amounts inhaled can lead to lung damage.

What is Silicosis?

Breathing in or inhaling Crystalline Silica causes Silicosis, a lung disease that is irreversible, potentially life threatening but also 100% preventable. Silica particles that make their way into the lungs of contractors, workers and even bystanders develop hard nodules, inflammation and scarring in their lungs. Should these nodules increase in size they can make it very difficult to breathe and can lead to death. While there is no cure for Silicosis, it is 100% preventable.

Why is it dangerous?

Inhaling Crystalline Silica can lead to one developing a number of lung diseases including, Silicosis, Lung Cancer, Tuberculosis and more. Crystalline Silica is recognized by the World Health Organisation – International Agency on Cancer Research (IARC) as a “known human carcinogen”.

The AS170 Masonry Solution

AS170 reduction in Silica Dust_compliance productivity

The AS170 is an innovative masonry restoration saw. Its unique cutting technology reduces the amount of airborne dust when cutting as well as the risk of inhaling crystalline silica.

Silicosis is a growing concern in the building and construction industry. Because symptoms aren’t imminent and can take many years to develop there is a tendency to forget that dust is deadly and Silicosis is irreversible. By simply investing in the right tools and equipment up front, contractors are taking the right steps to reduce silica exposure therefore prevent themselves and their work mates from potentially developing Silicosis.” – Alicia Ellen, Marketing Coordinator.

The AS170 can contribute up to a 77% reduction in respirable silica dust (Alan, E., Chaolong. Q., (2016) In-Depth Survey Report: Removing mortar with a powered saw. Ohio: NIOSH) when carrying out tasks such as heritage restoration, tuck pointing, toothing of brickwork and chasing. Unlike other masonry saws and grinders, the AS170 does not require the use of heavy duty, expensive face masks and suits to be compliant. This is largely because the innovative motion of the blades produces mostly larger dust particles. As a result these particles don’t become airborne and spread like that of angle grinders. This coupled with the Dust Boot makes it ideal for Heritage  Restoration Professionals and other Masonry Contractors looking to improve on-site safety and compliance.

More Safety Features of the AS170

 

Aside from its superior dust control, the AS170 is engineered to prevent dangerous kickbacks while allowing operators good visibility of the cutting blades for better control and precision cutting.

Arbortech is all about creating some of the most innovative products in the industry that will make any professional contractor’s job safer, easier and more productive. OSHA’s Silica Rule is playing a big part in the further development of Arbortech’s Allsaw technology.” – David Pellegrine, Sales Manager.

AS170 Toothing brickwork

 

For more information on Silica Exposure or OSHA rulings, please visit www.silica-safe.org 

 

Learn more about the AS170 here or Find an AS170 Dealer near you here

The Ian Key by Kevin Inkster

 

The Ian Key is an ingenious solution invented by my brother, Ian Inkster. We have just recently launched the Ball Gouge and part of the pack includes this unusual looking tool alongside it.

 

Many people know about the Allen Key, (I have no idea who Allen is) a small L-shaped tool commonly used to tighten screws and bolts in self assembled furniture. The Ian Key provides a similar function that is unique to Arbortech tools, and it ensures the correct amount of torque (18Nm to be exact) when tightening bolts in both the Ball Gouge and our masonry Allsaw the AS170.

 

It is longer than an Allen Key and has an unusual ‘pig-curl’ tail which is the secret to being able to tell if you have tightened bolts to the correct level of torque. When the gap between the two straight portions of the Ian Key closes, you have reached the right torque. The bolts are now tight enough to perform, but not so tight that it is almost impossible to unscrew later with the opposite end of the Ian Key.

 

The shorter length is designed to be inserted into the socket head while the longer length is designed to be hand held and makes the tightening easier for the user.

 

Watch this short video where Kevin talks about the Ian Key

 

I feel this tool deserves special mention and a bit of explanation as it epitomizes the approach we at Arbortech like to encourage and embody in all of our tools.

 

Best regards and happy woodworking!

Kevin Inkster

Kevin Inkster

 

The Evolution of the Ball Gouge by Kevin Inkster

Dear Arbortechies,

 

By the time you’re reading this you are probably very much aware of our new product the Ball Gouge. While it now seems surprisingly simple and effective, this tool is the product of countless prototypes and experiments often leading to dead ends.

I would like to share with you some of the thoughts that went into its design.

I usually start my tool projects with a vision and try to work towards that. The idea I had in mind was that of a ball shaped cutter that could effectively cut in any direction whilst leaving a smooth cut. Such a tool (as with all our shaping tools) must be able to willingly cut in any direction but not grab or catch.

 

drill bit

Countersink drill example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I was pondering on how to achieve such control, I noticed an old style tool that was used to produce a counter sink at the top of a hole. Essentially a cone shaped mandrel with a hole drilled at an angle, that when pressed into a pre-drilled hole, will cut the countersink but only to the point that the circular shape prevents it cutting any further. I reasoned that the same principal might work with ball shaped cutter and so began a bunch of experiments.

In collaboration with our Product Designer Matt Cormack, we started with several prototypes with a shape similar to this:

 

prototype2

One of the first prototypes

 

There were several problems with this design however not the least the fact that as soon as it formed a shallow spherical hollow, it would no longer cut. Also, it was difficult to sharpen and the large hole allowed a finger to be inserted making it not meet our safety standards. I liked the fact though that the holes scribed a perfect sphere with no kickback or grabbing. We progressed through about thirty designs including holes, slot and spirals, all of which had their inherent problems until we finally realized that the inverse i.e. a disc set at an angle would also scribe a perfect sphere.

 

A few of the many initial prototypes

 

By adding the sphere (with cut away for swarf) the exposure of the cutting blade can be limited and tuned while the trailing edge of the cutter prevents the leading edge from grabbing. We like to call this feature “Anti-Grabity” and it is unique to the Ball Gouge.

 

anti-grab

Anti Grab diagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final design solved all our problems with control and the circular cutter being set on an angle produced beautiful shavings. One unexpected feature was that the rubbing of the trailing edge actually polishes and sharpens the edge, which can be rotated to be the cutting edge. i.e. self-sharpening.

 

So that’s a much abbreviated explanation of the design process without going into the nitty gritty of testing etc. I hope you found this aspect interesting.

 

The final tool is in your hands now and I am truly looking forward to receiving your feedback and seeing what you create with it. Many of our staff are eager to get their hands on the new Ball Gouge for our in-house staff woodworking competition but they will have to wait until the limited edition is sent out. We will be posting videos of projects on our YouTube Channel and I welcome any photos or videos from yourselves.

 

 

Once again, thank you for your support and I look forward to your feedback.

 

Best regards,

 

 

Kevin Inkster

Arbortech CEO & Founder

Post Maleny Expo 2017

 

Maleny 2017 was yet again a huge hit, thank you to all of those who came to visit and support us! For those of you who don’t know, The Maleny Wood Show is hosted in rural Queensland and is renowned for showcasing the finest crafted timber products, timber cutters, live woodworking demonstrations and hands on workshops. There were plenty of things happening this year including our first kids workshop, Pacific Islander totem demonstrations and of course the prestigious Wootha Prize.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed running our first ever session of the Arbortech Lil Woodworkers Workshops, this one was called ‘Make a Sign’ with the Arbortech Power Chisel. We were inundated with kids aged 7 years and up who were eager to learn some new skills and unleash their timber creativity. Not only did they learn about proper power tool safety, handling and processes, but also were given the chance to create designs freehand or with stencils. Every participant walked away with their creation and a huge grin on their faces!

 

               

 

Another great attraction at the show was Shane Chirstensen who hosted two Pacific Island wood sculptors to demonstrate wood carving for the three day long show. During the festival, each carver sculpted a traditional totem pole to represent their island with the help of some modern wood carving technology – the TURBO Plane. Shane says “From my experience of carving at festivals with Pacific Islanders, the Islander Carvers are used to using chainsaws for larger cuts, and moving down to the chisel work, but we all know the Arbortech TURBO plane and Industrial Woodcarver can nearly replace the chainsaw and can carve much finer and smoother”.

 

 

We were very happy to support Shane in his endeavor to unit cultural traditions with new advances in woodworking technology – our tools will provide new, safer and therefore more enjoyable ways for the Islander to craft and power carve wooden items back home.

 

The Wootha Prize is another stand out event at the Maleny show. Every year wood turners, wood sculptors, power carvers and furniture makers enter this prestigious woodworking event which is the only themed exhibition art prize for woodworkers and wood artists in Australia.

 

The 3rd Place and prize went to Guy Breay for his sculpture titled ‘Navajo Revelation”. Guy used Arbortech power carving tools to help him achieve the beautiful organic shape, hollows and twists in his piece.

 

‘Navajo Revelation” power carved with Arbortech tools and attachments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maleny Wood Show 2017

 

Visit us at the Maleny Showgrounds in Queensland for the annual Maleny Wood Expo!

The show takes place from the 29th of April to the 1st of May.

We will be contributing to the new show addition the Junior Landcare Paddock – where we will be offering kids “Make a Sign” with Arbortech Workshops across the 3 day period.

If your child would like to learn how to use the Power Chisel to carve their name, age, picture of a butterfly or even a dinosaur – make sure you stop by.

Not only will they walk away having learnt a new skill, they will also get to keep their creation to hang up on their bedroom wall.

 

“Make a Sign” with Arbortech – Children Workshop Details

Date: 29th April 2017 – 1st May 2017

Time: Workshops will be running continuously from 10.30am to 2.30pm daily

Cost: $5 per child (to cover cost of materials) on the day

Minimum age for participants: 7 years

Workshops will be fully supervised and led by qualified Arbortech woodworkers.

 

Purchase tickets to the Maleny Expo online here and visit us at the Expo 🙂


No.10 – Touch Wood Sculptures

This funky wood chair is hand carved from a single piece of Oak. Sculpted by Touch Wood Sculptures, it is retailing for approximately $7000 AUD! Taken from a 250 year old Oak tree that was felled for safety reasons, the Oak’s new form is minimalist, modern and somewhat rustic. The Industrial Woodcarver is a would be ideal for the initial removal of stock, followed by the TURBO Plane for the planing and medium sculpting components. The Mini Grinder would be the perfect option for getting into those tight spots around the arms and legs.

No.9 – Puzzle Stools

Wooden Puzzle Chair / Table (artist/ date unknown). This would be a great project to let the kids get involved with. Each piece is an individual stool or when combined it becomes a coffee table, talk about versatility and creativity in the home. Make the base of each piece out of solid timber for a more artistic or sculpted look with the TURBO Plane. Use the TURBO Shaft to create the puzzle shapes around the edges. You could also power carve or power chisel your family members names on each piece for a personalized touch – each piece belonging to a different family member but when put together it is symbolic of the family unit.

No.8 – Hugo Franca

 
This large wooden bench is a Cocoon like piece carved from trunks by Brazilian designer, Hugo Franca. Very cool piece of functional art.
 

No.7 – Leaf Chair

For Art Nouveau fans, this sculptural wood chair is from the Mountain Region of France, c1900. The carved detail in the leaf veins along with the narrow hard to reach places in the back legs can be power carved quickly and easily with the Mini Grinder.

No.6 – Hand Stools

 

We could barely handle ourselves when we came across these two hand inspired wood bar stools. Created in the 1960’s by Pedro Friedeberg these eclectic stools would add a touch of creativity and fun to any home. If you don’t feel ready to take on the bar stool size, why not create an ornament sized version for your home entry table!

No.5 – Anthropomorphic

This funky chair was made from Birch Plywood; it is called “Anthropomorphic” and was designed by Sergio Gill.  
 

No.4 – David Delthony

 
 A carved, laminated plywood chair created by David Delthony, c1985.

To sculpt a wood chair like this, (obviously adding a bit of your own style and flair!) you’ll need to stack laminate timber and bind them together with a strong wood adhesive such as Gorilla Wood Glue. Allow to set for a day or two and start sketching the design with a carpenter’s pencil. Power carve excess plywood away with the TURBO Plane in line with the design. You will need to alternate angling the TURBO Plane – flat to achieve a planning effect and on a slight angle to achieve the varying curves of this flowing design. You may need to consider the Mini TURBO or Mini Grinder to reach into the smaller concave areas such as the back rest.  Plane the right side a bit more than this version to achieve a flat surface for your tea or coffee!
 

No.3 – Glemham

Sophisticated and intricate – The “Glemham” by Alex Johnson took 6 months to complete with the help of tools such as Chisels and Gauges. Alex believes that people will admire his effort and decorate their home with this special wood chair. While this project was carved with traditional hands tools one could easily use power carving tools to create this magnificent carving in a fraction of the time.
 

No.2 – Dragon Throne

 
This Dragon throne made it to No.2 because of it’s size and intricate design / detail (artist/ date unknown). Game of Thrones fans would appreciate this throne in their home, perhaps a smaller version though…?
 

No.1 Scorpion Seat

This cool and crazy Scorpion chair made it to No.1! It was made by Russian artist  Vyacheslav Pakhomov. This handcrafted scorpion chair measures in at six and a half feet and is available with leather upholstery and a variety of wood finishes.
If the translation on his website is correct, it does seem to be available for purchase for the relatively modest sum of approximately $3,636. 
Which one will you try to power carve?
 
 
 
 
Arbortech Power Carving: 5 Tips to Recycle Wood Chips & Shavings!

As a woodworker, you’re likely to have piles and piles of wood chips every time you do your woodworking. Especially if you are into power carving with Arbortech tools! One huge benefit of using Arbortech power carving Blades such as the TURBO Plane, Mini TURBO, TURBO Shaft and Ball Gouge, is that they create wood shavings. Wood shavings are bigger, a lot safer, more manageable and more useful than wood dust which is actually quite dangerous to peoples and animals respiratory systems. Another great thing about wood shavings is that there are plenty of ways to recycle them to benefit the environment!

Once you’ve finished power carving, it’s easy to sweep up your wood shavings into a Hessian bag and reuse them straight away, or store away for when you might need them next. There are plenty of ways to recycle wood shavings, here are our top 5 methods:

 

Uses for Arbortech Wood Shavings & Chips

1) Use to soak up spills

Arbortech Wood Shaving Soak Up Spills

 

2) Use in your garden as mulch

Arbortech wood shavings recycle for mulch

 

3) Use as bedding for animals such as chickens, horses, lambs

 

4) Use as a fire starter

Arbortech Wood Shaving Fire Starter

 

5) Or simply make something beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arbortech blades are designed & made with the environment and safety in mind. Not only do they last but they produce wood shavings that are safer and easier to recycle than the wood dust commonly produced by other wood shaping blades and burr discs.

 

Learn more about Arbortech’s power carving Blades by clicking the links below:

 

What do you use your Arbortech wood shavings for?

 

 

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