Crystal

Hair Blade Tool - Right way? Wrong way? No Way?

10 posts in this topic

Hi All-

I am attempting project no 2 and wanted to add some texture with a Craftool Hair Blade that I just got. I am not happy with how any of my test pieces have come out. Seems too "scratchy" not enough texture. I don't want a lot of definition - just the impression of some hair. Chuck it and use something else? Keep the tool and chuck the operator? Pretend the subject is wet and keep the whole project smooth? Any tips are greatly appreciated!

Crystal

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Hi All-

I am attempting project no 2 and wanted to add some texture with a Craftool Hair Blade that I just got. I am not happy with how any of my test pieces have come out. Seems too "scratchy" not enough texture. I don't want a lot of definition - just the impression of some hair. Chuck it and use something else? Keep the tool and chuck the operator? Pretend the subject is wet and keep the whole project smooth? Any tips are greatly appreciated!

Crystal

Hi Crystal,

This is just another thing that will take some practice. A few tips on using the hair blade. First, the leather should be pretty dry when you use it. Try using different amounts of pressure on the knife to see if you want deep cuts that really show up, or shallow cuts that just give a hint of hair. I was taught that summer coats of hair on things like a horse shouldn't even be haired as they look smooth and sleek without hairing. Second, use short strokes with the knife. I dont know what you are trying to hair, but most hair is going to be pretty short on animals other than manes and tails. Look at pictures of the animal you are carving and try to follow the hair direction. There will be a lot of direction changes. By making the hair in short strokes, it's easier to make the direction changes appear natural. You can also give hair texture with a lined tool like a beveler by just dragging it across the leather, but again, short strokes and pay attention to direction changes. You can also "draw" hair on an animal with a pointed modeling tool or a sewing awl or needle.

If none of this helps, post a picture of what you have done so far and what you don't like and we can try and give you some ideas.

Clay

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Hi Crystal,

This is just another thing that will take some practice. A few tips on using the hair blade. First, the leather should be pretty dry when you use it. Try using different amounts of pressure on the knife to see if you want deep cuts that really show up, or shallow cuts that just give a hint of hair. I was taught that summer coats of hair on things like a horse shouldn't even be haired as they look smooth and sleek without hairing. Second, use short strokes with the knife. I dont know what you are trying to hair, but most hair is going to be pretty short on animals other than manes and tails. Look at pictures of the animal you are carving and try to follow the hair direction. There will be a lot of direction changes. By making the hair in short strokes, it's easier to make the direction changes appear natural. You can also give hair texture with a lined tool like a beveler by just dragging it across the leather, but again, short strokes and pay attention to direction changes. You can also "draw" hair on an animal with a pointed modeling tool or a sewing awl or needle.

If none of this helps, post a picture of what you have done so far and what you don't like and we can try and give you some ideas.

Clay

Hi Clay - Thank you. I haven't tried it on my piece - just on some scraps. The outside edges seem to catch more than the inside blades and I am getting light centers and deeper outsides from the 4 or so edges on the tool. I am trying to keep it pretty plumb and using short strokes like you mentioned. I may just need to do more practice. I like your other suggestions - I may put this techinque on the back burner and see if I can get somewhere close to what I want without it.

Thanks again!

Crystal

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I never have like the Craftool hair blades. One day they'll change the curve on the face from concave to convex and it just may work! I think Clay gives two of the best alternatives I've found -- use a lined beveler or a needle (different sizes of glovers needle work well).

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Here's the Peter Main way. (man I learned a lot from him).

Fisrt strop your hair blade, yes, strop it. Using rouge on leather is fine. Pick out the leftover rouge from between the "hairs".

Next the technique depends on the animal or person you are carving. If it's short hair, pull the blade in short bursts. If it's long, use long strokes.

For a little more definition, take your hair blade tool and hold it like a pencil (if you have it in a swivel knife, take your index finger out of the yoke and hold it like a pencil),

now using really short arching moves, almost choppy, go over the entire hair area.

Marlon

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I never have like the Craftool hair blades. One day they'll change the curve on the face from concave to convex and it just may work! I think Clay gives two of the best alternatives I've found -- use a lined beveler or a needle (different sizes of glovers needle work well).

Thanks, Dale. I am learning fast that no tool is perfect.

Crystal

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Here's the Peter Main way. (man I learned a lot from him).

Fisrt strop your hair blade, yes, strop it. Using rouge on leather is fine. Pick out the leftover rouge from between the "hairs".

Next the technique depends on the animal or person you are carving. If it's short hair, pull the blade in short bursts. If it's long, use long strokes.

For a little more definition, take your hair blade tool and hold it like a pencil (if you have it in a swivel knife, take your index finger out of the yoke and hold it like a pencil),

now using really short arching moves, almost choppy, go over the entire hair area.

Marlon

Thanks, Marlon. If I am understanding this - strop it so I am taking all the edges through the rouge - not like a swivel knife (on edge). Right?

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There's a cheap DIY alternative to hair baldes and bevellers, all you need to make them is a small hacksaw and a mallet.

Picture.jpg

post-5295-1208504232_thumb.jpg

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Thanks, Marlon. If I am understanding this - strop it so I am taking all the edges through the rouge - not like a swivel knife (on edge). Right?

You are exactly right. Using leather is better as it will get between the "lines"

Marlon

Edited by Rawhide

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There's a cheap DIY alternative to hair baldes and bevellers, all you need to make them is a small hacksaw and a mallet.

Hubby's going to get nervous when I start breaking into his tool box. :)

Crystal

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