Monday 9 July 2018
Power carving is an area of carving that allows people to work quickly and also explore more materials than hand carving alone would allow. The fundamental needs of a power carver are a good power delivery unit, which is easy to use and will allow suitable handpieces and decent cutting bits.
These tungsten carbide bits from Saburr Tooth shown here are but a fraction of all of the designs and types they sell which are obtainable in three grit grades:
Yellow for fine tooth
Green for coarse
Orange for extra coarse.
They are also available in three shank sizes:
1) 1/8in shanks for use with Dremel-type tools
2) 3/32in and 1/4in for use with rotary die grinders
3) Flexible shaft grinders.
Note some of the bits fit on as sleeves and some are solid units for direct fitting. There are many sizes to choose from too.
For those that utilise angle grinders, there are cutters available for 2in and 4.5in grinders too.
The manufacturers say: “Structured carbide toothed carving burrs utilising a staggered tooth design that cuts quickly and efficiently, leaving a clean chip-free surface that only an abrasive burr can provide.”
On picking them up, the range look high quality, and seem to be well-built. The teeth are very sharp and are randomly placed. They are also of a very uniform tooth length. It is nice to see the easy colour coding of the pieces. We have not worn out the colour on a bit yet, but even if it does in the years to come, one can still see the neat and highly visible tooth forms to identify the grade of finish possible from it.
All the solid bits used ran true and did not distort under load or pressure. We only had a small selection of what is available so one can pick and mix from a wide range to suit your needs. The colour coding is very accurate, and the orange coloured extra-coarse blade removed timber more quickly than I would be able to through hand carving methods. There is an incredible degree of control with these blades, and they tend not to run or pull away from you in the way that some others do.
The sleeve units caught me out a little as I am very familiar with the solid type burrs. The sleeves can be used on power carvers, power drills and pillar drills, so afford even more versatility. The sleeves slide over the mandrel (a bit of dishwasher detergent eases the process as the fit is a very snug one) and the mandrel is tightened and loosened by a little nut underneath the rubber section of the mandrel. They performed faultlessly and the larger diameters were wickedly fast but surreally controllable at the same time. No worries about being able to control the bigger sizes.
Once the mandrels are tightened up, I did not find any slippage in their holding of the sleeves. These too ran true in use.
Excellent quality, simple to use, and a wide range to choose from. What more can one ask for?