Wood Carving - Pneumatic Tools and Air Power
Information on pneumatic tools for wood carving with air power
When one thinks of pneumatic tools, things like impact wrenches and mechanical lifts come to mind. But there’s a whole other world of tools out there that use compressed air power. Such is the engraving tool I use. It’s a high speed pneumatic engraving pen, and I love it. It quite frankly is one of the top tools I use. Before I got it I was using an electric rotary tool.
The rotary tool is fine and gets the job done, but, it lacks the speed that the pneumatic tools achieve via compressed air power. The electric rotary tool still has its benefits over the air tool though and I still use it when removing larger areas of wood simply because it has larger bits available to it, I can remove more wood in less time than I can with the air tool even though it rotates at a much lower speed than the pneumatic tools I use, which are designed for more detailed engraving and wood carving; the bits used in them are much smaller.
There are many techniques and many tools out there for wood carving. From the use of hand carving tools, that use manual wood chisels and knives, on up to top notch laser engraving tools. For me, air power is the way to go. I have a little experience with hand carving tools and it just moves along too slow for me and takes much practice to place your tool just right and apply just the right amount of pressure. I bow to the master craftsmen that carve wood in such a manner, and I envy their skill. I lack the patience as well as control of my hand with the tools.
There are many companies out there that sell the pneumatic tools for engraving and wood carving as well the supplies needed to go along with them. I do not have permission to use the name of the one I use so I will refrain from naming it. However if you are interested in one, simply google “high speed engraving tool”, and the first few results will give you top tools which are all very good pneumatic tools that will help you harness that air power for your wood carving and engraving needs.
The engraving tool is not the only tool you may need though. The first tool I’d recommend before you spend a lot of money on the other pneumatic tools and equipment is this book, Power Carving Manual: Tools, Techniques, and 16 All-Time Favorite Projects (The Best of Woodcarving Illustrated). It goes into a lot more detail than I can here and will give you a better idea if wood carving with pneumatic tools is suited for you.
Then I recommend a good air compressor. Most of the pneumatic tools you’ll find in your search will have a system available that comes with an air compressor; however most of them have relatively small tanks and you’ll spend a lot of time stopping your work and waiting for them to refill. I highly recommend investing in a air compressor with at least a 4 gallon tank to keep your air power flowing.
DeWalt Air Compressor air power for pneumatic tools.
Click here to view the 200 PSI 4.5 GAL. ELECTRIC COMPRESSOR at Hardware World. A very good and reliable air compressor that will give great air power to your pneumatic tools!
Next, if your engraving tool does not come with a Line Filter/Regulator, you will defiantly need to invest in one. Moisture from condensation will build up in the air compressor and flow through the hose with the air. A line filter/regulator separates this water from the air and keeps it from getting into the workings of your pneumatic tools. This is very important to the longevity of your engraving tool. It also regulates the amount of air power going to your tool to keep it from moving too fast and burning up bits as well as the inner workings of your pneumatic tools.
Single Unit Air Compressor Line Filter Regulator. Available from Amazon. Click here to view details.
I hope this helps gives you more insight into carving with pneumatic tools. Please watch my video series to see how I use this tool in wood relief carving. And please subscribe to My woodworking channel on YouTube, Donald Vlogsifys Woodshop. Until next time, may you have a wonderful day! And remember, measure twice and cut once. You can always cut a little more away, but you can never uncut what’s gone.
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