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Power-Carving Bits

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Roughing and Shaping Bits

Roughing and Shaping Bits

Roughing and shaping bits
  • Karbide Kutzall. For many power carvers, this is the first choice for roughing a figure from a solid block or bandsawn blank. Described as a structured-tooth, tungsten-carbide cutting tool, a Kutzall looks a little like a magnet that s been dipped into iron filings, shown left (1). with a big, silver cutter. The Kutzalls generally cost $10-$25 each, and last a long, long time.

    Kutzalls come in two grades, silver and gold (2). Both leave a striated surface, but it s more pronounced with the coarser silver one. (Some carvers favor this texture for decoy heads and the like.) For fastest wood removal, go

  • Steel or carbide burrs. These fluted bits, shown at left, cut like a file. The single-cut burr s cutting edges wrap in one direction around the body. Flutes on double-cut ones cross at an angle.

    Many carvers like extra-coarse, double-cut burrs, such as the Pfingst SGX Super-Carbide Cutter (4). These bits pare away wood much faster than other burrs, yet leave a smooth surface. They come in several shapes and sizes.for carbide cutters.

    A burr may be solid steel or may have a solid carbide head bonded to a steel shaft. Steel burrs often cost $10 or less apiece; a carbide cutter can cost as much as $50. Though costly, carbide burrs will cut a lot of wood before they dull. Many dealers offer resharpening and reconditioning

  • Cross-cut cutters. Carvers call these bits stump cutters. Made of high-speed steel, a stump cutter looks pretty much like a single-cut burr, except the cutting edges have been crosscut to create orderly rows of teeth around the bit s body, as shown at left (5).

    Stump cutters leave a smooth, sometimes slightly ridged surface. They re available in coarse, fine, or extra fine. A coarse one can work an area down quickly. The finer cutters are suited to more precise work. A stump cutter generally costs $10 or less.

Continued on page 3:  Carving Bits


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