Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do you carry the Pfeil Brienz collection ?
A. We do not sell “sets” as such. In the first place, there is no cost advantage in Pfeil sets – the price per tool is the same. Secondly, in the Swiss way of thinking, someone has to pay for the box, and so a boxed set of palm tools costs more because of the box, and in the case of the large wooden box for what is sometimes called “The Brienz Collection,” the box costs about $300.00!!! Finally, and most important, when one buys a set, he/she is getting tools that someone has found useful for their style of carving, but is unlikely to be exactly what another carver needs, and so that individual will have a set with several tools that he/she never uses. It is better to start with four or five tools that have pretty much universal application and build a personalized selection from there by buying a few tools at a time as experience and need suggests.
Q. On which carving tools can I use a mallet?
A. A mallet, (not a metal hammer or the back of an axe!!) can be used
on all of the straight handled Pfeil tools. Obviously, care should be
exercised in using one on the very small width tools. Use care in using the
mallet with V - tools (#s 12,13,14, 15, and 16) especially on dry and hard
woods. It is possible to crack/break the metal because of the wedging action
that tends to squeeze the wings of the V - tool together. The same is true
to a somewhat lesser extent concerning veiners (#11), especially in the
A. When you sharpen, lay the knife on the stone at about a 10 degree
angle. Use a fair amount of pressure as you rub the blade on the stone and
try to maintain that angle as closely as you can. Keep working on that side
of the blade until you raise a burr on the other side of the edge. This
burr, or wire edge, must be evident for the entire length of the edge. Do
not turn the knife over until you have raised this burr. Do not quit too
soon. If you don't get this burr or wire edge, you will have no hope at all
of getting the knife really sharp. Once you have raised the wire edge, then
turn the knife over and do the same on the other side, until again you have
raised the wire edge the other way.
Q. How do I sharpen a V tool?A. Very, very carefully!
This is a difficult thing to describe. It is also a difficult thing to do!
Sharpening, and sharpening V-Tools in particular, is not something that can be learned by reading or watching. It is like swimming. You have to try.
Here are some suggestions though.
Use enough light and magnification so that you can clearly see what you are doing. It is doubtful that this can be done by "feel". (A knife can be done by "feel" but not a V - tool.)
Do one wing completely first, including stropping. If you don't finish that one side first, the wire edge will obscure the true location of the actual edge. Then do the other wing completely making sure of alignment with the first wing. Be careful to use a bevel that is appropriate for the work and wood. It is easy to concentrate on making the edges meet right and in the process to forget about the right bevel.
Now you will have the little plow - shaped point, but you should be able to see clearly enough, so that with careful work you can remove it without making a notch on the point.
Remember that you must put a slight radius - matching the radius on the inside of the tool - on the point of the V. There are no V-tools without radii. If you absolutely cannot stand a radius at the bottom of the cut, you will have to use a knife.
Home, Supplies, To Order, Meet Rick Wiebe, Gallery, Courses, FAQ's,