Murray Taylor visited the club on Thursday 18th July and talked about Chip Carving

Murray Taylor covered 3 topics, Chip Carving, Sharpening Knives,  and Lettering with a Knife.   There are no British books on chip carving but Murray hopes to remedy this in the near future, building on his articles in the Woodcarving magazine

Murray was aware that many of our members consider chip carving to be boring, and set out to prove that it was not just a pattern of triangles; it can do lots of interesting designs, lettering, and pictorial work.

All the equipment needed is:-a Pfeil chip  carving knife, a stabbing knife (don’t be worried – the blade is only 1?inch long), an ordinary ruler preferably with black markings on a white background, a T square, a mechanical pencil with 2B leads, a bow compass, a sharpening stone, a  strop, and wood.   Murray mainly uses Lime wood from the original Hobbies  shop .   Murray showed us his way of chip carving.   Accurate marking out is most important and he has designed a tool that  marks 4mm dots from which a grid can easily be produced.   A pyramid of 4mm is easier on the wrist than 5mm!!  He showed us taking out the standard triangular pyramids.  He has very strong arms and wrists from a life time as a manufacturing jeweller, but he showed us a way to apply extra pressure should we need it.

This is Murray’s travelling work bench. The holes can be used to trap the work
















Some examples of various patterns that Murray uses.

Some examples of various patterns that Murray uses.
















For more adventurous work Murray uses a knife like a pen
















The chip carving knife lends itself to various alphabets











All this work needs a sharp knife, and Murray showed us his way of doing it.  Although some knives are sold as ready sharpened, that do not come to his standards.  He recommends ceramic stones that do not wear so are always flat!!
















5 replies
  1. Gillian Smith
    Gillian Smith says:

    Good to be reminded of Murray’s visit. I had followed his articlein the magazine Woodcarver and was inspired to purchase a set of knives, a guide and leather strop from him. (as were many others members – I wonder if anyone has actually made a finished article yet. I keep saying,”I need to buy the right thickness wood and then I’ll start.”) Well, this article reminds me of where Murray got his wood from so I’d better take a look at their website again and get started.

      • Gillian Smith
        Gillian Smith says:

        I also bought a plastic ruler thing that Murray had “invented” to mark out 4 mm gaps to mark out the wood accurately. I lent it to you to have a go, I’m fairly sure you gave it me back but goodness knows where I have put it. That’s the trouble with me, I don’t have a place for everything and everyhing in its place. By the time I’ve gathered the equipment together, I’ve run out of time or gone off the boil. I know that is no excuse not to get started!)

  2. Mark N
    Mark N says:

    Hi help please,

    Does anyone know the url, where I can buy his knives and marking out template. Google draws a blank. I did come across it once.


    Mark N.


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