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Coat of Arms from the town of  Eskilstuna, Sweden
Volume 13 - Page 5 of 11
Southeast Conference Edition
Southeast Conference
Madison, Georgia, USA
Ward Grossman oiling plate Watching an iron chisling demonstration could be like watching grass grow, but Ward kept things lively with his antedotes. For an inexperianced demonstrator Ward did a fantastic job. All I could recommend is that instead of bringing just the finished work that Ward bring some work's in progress.

Ward says, "If you are intrested in carving iron, I have a DEAL for you!"

Ward uses Johnson Baby Oil (mineral oil), for a cutting fluid. The oil makes your tools last much longer between sharpening and reduce the effort required to cut a chip. He says the baby oil doesn't burn your eyes like other cutting oils. To the left he is oiling the blank.
Ward Grossman chisling The tools required for iron carving are sharp chisles and a BIG vise.

"Ah. ., like THIS one", he says with a grin.

Ward went into quite a bit of detail about how to remove metal quickly. What it all resolved too is the same techniques used to carve any material.
  • Mark or incise the area to work around deeply and clearly.
  • Clear that area with relatively narrow tools (he's using a 1/2" (13mm) chisle).
  • Where large amounts of material is to be removed a narrow cape chisle is used to cut grooves and then the raised areas removed with a plain chisle.
  • Ward Grossman
  • Areas can be smoothed by burnishing with a flat ended too or left with a "carved" look.
  • There's no harm in resulting to an angle grinder or other more efficient methods if it doesn't affect the quality of the work.
  • Ward tells a great story about how he got started. He was asked to make some reproduction swords and weapons. His research took him to the Metropolitian Museum in New York City. The currator there sent him to the British Royal Armourers Guild. He sent them a letter asking about the techniques he was intrested in. Eventualy he recieved a response that stated he had to be a member of the guild to recieve that information. So, he applied to the Guild.
    Continued. . .
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    Comments to: Jock Dempsey
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