What made you decide to add power carving to your repertoire?
At first I used mostly hand tools like axes, drawknives, and spokeshaves, but I’m no purist and soon sought out methods for speeding up my work and expanding my capabilities.
What is your favorite power carving tool and why?
Hands down, the TURBOPlane is my favorite and most used power carving tool. It not only drastically cuts the time and effort it takes to hollow out bowls and spoons, but allows me to work with wood that is too hard, knotty, or figured to even approach by other means, and do all kinds of concave and convex contouring. I also use it to do all sorts of stock prep and cleanup tasks like removing bark, bug tracks, or areas of rot – and even some actual planing now and then! It’s safer, cuts faster and cleaner, and makes way less fine dust than any comparable carving bit.
What impact has power carving had on your art/passion/livelihood?
I’ve said many times since I got my first TUROPlane in 2015, this singular tool was the difference between going pro as an artisan woodworker, and having to keep a day job. Since then, I’ve acquired many other power carving tools, including the entire Arbortech lineup – most of which has become indispensable to my work. Power carving is also always highly requested as one of my teaching topics and has afforded me many opportunities to travel and share my craft.
What advice would you give to people who are thinking of getting into power carving?
For me, discovering power carving was like acquiring superpowers! The realm of possibilities for things that can be done with wood, not to mention the speed and ease, is amazing. Power carving is also relatively inexpensive and can be done in a limited space or outdoors, and you can use irregularly shaped starting material.