The Blog for GW Pens

A peek at what we make

I Broke Rule #1

I have been working on a ‘Top Secret’ project for the past few weeks. It has been a challenge to some of my existing skills, as well as forced me to work on building some new ones.

Specifically, marquetry. Or as most might know it, inlays. Basically if you take a small image that you want to incorporate into a larger piece of wood work, you cut out the smaller piece from a different type of wood, cut an exact replica in relief-form into the piece it will fit into, then “ideally” there you have it.

I’ve been struggling a bit with this. First it was that I was using pieces that were too thin and kept splitting. Then I was having some trouble getting the piece I made to match up with the relief it was meant to fit into. I decided it was time to look into some specialty tools for wood carving.

Chisels, gouges- these are the kinds of tools that wood carvers rely on. I found 2 sets in my local craft shop. The first was a set of 8 for a bit over $5. The other was a set of 6 for nearly $25. Being that I was *just* getting started with this, I opted for the cheap set.

And that’s what I got. Cheap tools. Not inexpensive, not ‘well priced’, just Cheap. I have already had 2 tips start to bend, and really folks- believe me when I tell you that I am not rough on these tools. I’ve had to straighten out the tips and now am just waiting for those places that bent to start snapping off altogether.

And so, Rule #1 was broken. Never buy Cheap tools. Spend the money and get the right one from the start. Why? Because now that nearly $25 set of carving tools is going to wind up costing me about $30 when all is said and done. And that doesn’t even take into consideration the performance. For all I know I may as well be trying to cut up a steak with a butter knife.

Buy it right. Buy it once.

Once the Secret project isn’t a secret anymore I will put some pictures of it on my Flickr page.


2 comments on “I Broke Rule #1

  1. elizabethjayne
    September 5, 2008

    Thanks so much for stopping by! I was a bit nervous posting a political feature – I got a lot of advice telling me not to. I’m glad I did however.

    And yeah, never buying cheap tools is great advice. I’m still paying for my mistakes in that regard =/


  2. grecowoodcrafting
    September 6, 2008

    Yea, the thing with posting about politics is you have to hope your readers who disagree are OK with either debating points in a mature way or will agree to disagree. There’s a chance for some to be ‘turned off’ by any particular political stance, but I think (hope? lol) that doesn’t really apply to many folks.

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This entry was posted on September 5, 2008 by and tagged , , , .
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