Images in wood with a Router Plane?

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  • #675176
    brian mayeaux
    Participant

    Looking at the attached saddle image in this wood panel, how can I make this panel with hand tools? Cowboy furniture maker Thomas Molesworth created panels like this in the ’30s using a router to first route around the image and then scrape the remaining wood away. Is it possible to do this with a router plane or other hand tools?

    #675182
    Roberto Fischer
    Participant

    Looks like an inlay just any other. Paul’s got a project where he makes an inlay on the back of a mirror.

    #675421
    brian mayeaux
    Participant

    Thanks Roberto; It appeared that way to me also at first glance, however Norm Abram of the New Yankee Workshop made a sideboard of this design some years ago and demonstrated that the image was routed by a multi-tool and then the remaining wood was scraped away, leaving the image crested above the wood and not inlaid into the wood.
    My question is can I use a router plane or other tool to first rout around the perimeter of the image then scrape the remaining wood outside of the image away with hand tools/scrapers, etc? I have only used router planes for things like lock mortises and dadoes and not used them to rout around curved images.

    #675442
    sanford
    Participant

    Hi Brian, most any wood carving site will talk about relief carving. This is where the image (like your saddle) is made to stand out from the background. Typically, you would carve the outline around the image using a v-tool which is a v shaped gouge. This can be pushed by hand or with a carving mallet. It creates a nice outline. You would then use other gouges and perhaps various kinds of chisels to cut away the background. This leaves your image above the background. You could, of course, also use a router plane to remove a lot of the background especially if you wanted a pretty flat surface. I do not think that the router plane would be used for the initial outlining of the image as you suggest. Again, that would be the v-tool. I am not myself much of a carver, though I play around with carving tools just a bit. But I do not think creating a carving like the one you show would be too hard with just a bit of practice and a few decent carving tool. Might be fun to try.

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