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Once the image is created I must size it to fit the carving area of the turning. Once it is sized, in this case to 1 3/8", I replicate the image as many times as necessary to fill an 8 " x 11" sheet of mylar self-adhesive film. Please NOTE; do NOT try to print your designs on an ink jet printer as it will not adhere to the mylar. There are 2 ways to copy your design; (1) print your design on an standard size sheet of paper then use a copy machine to transfer your design to the mylar or (2) print it on a laser jet printer. For this carving I was able to get 12 images on each sheet of mylar. I needed 27 images so it was necessary to print 3 pages. I then cut out each individual leaf image and placed them evenly spaced around the platter. This image shows a closeup of the images affixed to the platter and ready to be carved. . This is the top view showing the 27 evenly spaced mylar leaf images that have been outlined with the long tapered bit (#1). The veins have not been outlined at this point (see next photo). This is a closeup of the completed outlining of the leaves. The leaves were traced with a long side cutting carbide tip (tip #1 shown below) and the veins with a fine pointed bit (tip #2 shown below).
Leaves have been traced with the appropriate bits and the mylar has been removed. The black outline was caused by using a rather dull long tapered carbide bit. This does not present a problem as the black will be removed with the round carbide tip used next (see next photo). Closeup detail of the carving. The background has been removed with a round carbide rotary bit (tip #3 below) and veins and fine detail formed with a round diamond rotary bit (tip #4 below). Notice that the black outlines have now been removed. Top view of the completed bowl. The finish has not been applied. I will spray 7 coats of semi-gloss lacquer except for the area that is carved. To avoid filling in the detail I will tape off the carving with blue painter's tape. I will then remove the tape and spray the platter with the 2 final coats. Total of 7 coats for all except the carving.
Side view of platter without finish applied. This shows the leaves covered with blue painter's tape and the first of 5 coats of gloss lacquer applied. The tape will then be removed and the final 2 coats of semi-gloss lacquer will be applied. This avoids filling in the carving. This is a photo of the 4 Powercrafter bits I used in creating the leaf carving. From left to right: (1) Tapered straight carbide tip, used to outline and undercut the leaves. (2) This pointed bit was used to lightly outline the veins. (3) This is a round carbide tip used to remove the waste material around the leaves. (4) This bit is a round diamond that was used to create the veins and add more detail to the leaves. These bits are very small, the shanks are only 1/16" diameter.
This is the PowerCrafter air-driven rotary tool I used in this carving. If you are interested in learning more about this tool, I am not advertising for them, copy and paste the following link to your browser address bar:
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