…is that you have to sharpen lots of gouges.
After noticing all the chipping out I was getting, and some awkwardness with the v-tool work, I took the entire carving toolroll out and took the grinder off the wall.
Then I pushed my luck by squaring the ends of the gouges and v-tools on the side of the stone. Don’t do this, it’s not a great idea for anything stressful and figuring out what qualifies as stressful isn’t clear. In my case I took off less than a half-mm or so of length at most and the thickness was minimal because it was at the edge.
After that, reground the bevel on everything to a more acute angle (around about 25 degrees or so) and even more acute on one of the v-tools for an experiment.
And then out with the diamond plates and lots and lots of rubbing stuff back and forth at a consistent angle while rotating the tool to grind the faces evenly – I’m understanding why things like Tormeks and Sorby’s belt grinder yoke are so popular with woodturners, this would be hellish if you had to be doing it every hour or two. Mind you, you can endure a fair bit of hell before shelling out €400 or so…
After all that, back to carving.
Mostly it was cleaning up the outline a bit (rechopping with sharp gouges did help) and taking down the background a bit further helped as well. Then stippling, but the main punch I use for that was in need of a touch-up as well. In case you’re wondering how that’s done, it’s not exactly complicated:
I do like that imp vice. Handy little thing. The diamond file is Lidl’s cheapest but it did the job well enough, and you have enough diamond coating left on it afterwards to do at least one more touch-up…
Still, did the job and I know I have a better set of needle files somewhere, I just couldn’t find them (having two projects in flight at once in a shed of this size is a mistake).
Then stippled the background and added a few small details like another v-tool cut and some stop-cut chips and so on, then daubed on some linseed oil to see what it looked like.
It’s okay… I’m not convinced yet. I do have another idea in the back of my mind that I did some testing with today but it’ll be a few days before I know what that turns out like. More on that later. Unless it’s embarrassingly terrible…