As I have gotten older and the pains that come with age have come to visit me I find it harder to do my carvings with nothing but hand tools. I have accumulated a collection of power tools of various sizes which have helped a lot. I still find it difficult to do the rough outs.
For several reasons I decided I wanted a Terrco carving duplicator.
1. Our club was making a lot of snowmen and Santas to sell for club benefit. My thought was to make a bunch of rough outs to save time and money. It takes a beginner a long time to carve a snowman from a block of wood and buying rough outs is expensive..
2. I liIke to make a clay model when I am doing a new design. The clay I use is Super Sculpty which is very hard after you bake it in the oven. The T-110 should work very well to use the clay model and create a rough out that can be detailed by hand.
I found one for sale on Craigslist for a reasonable price shipped to my home. It had to be dismantled for shipping but was not difficult to put together. It came with an instruction book for assembly and another for operation. The manufacturer makes it very clear that the setup must be accurate and must be checked before every use.
The principle of operation is simple, it has a router and a stylus mounted on a sliding rod. When properly setup and the model and the wood blank properly mounted the router will cut the wood to match the model. you use the table top as a guide when setting up to start carving. You need to set the router bit so that when the stylus touches the table, the router bit will be 1/4 inch above the table. This will leave 1/4 inch of wood over all the carving to be removed with progressively smaller bits. As you change to smaller bits you set them closer to the table until you get to the smallest bit. With it you should still leave it slightly higher than the stylus to leave enough wood for final detailing by hand.
I learned a couple of things very quickly;
1. The manufacturers instructions must be followed to the letter for a proper setup.
2. If you have any intention of using it inside your shop, you better make provisions to handle a TON of dust.
I tried it in my shop for one small carving and even with my down draft table I still covered the shop with fine dust.
3. It is going to be much less expensive if I just take it outside. With this in mind I started looking for a suitable table. It needed to have a top at least 19 X 24 and a working height that would allow me to sit while working. A trip to Lowe’s revealed a couple of nice portable tables for saws or planers. Kobalt and Porter Cable both make a nice table that have two working heights and fold down for transport. I chose the Porter Cable because of the way the support system was built. After an hour or so, I had it put together and was ready to mount the dupli carver. Here is a picture of the Porter Cable miter stand and the T-110 made by Terrco Inc.
Next time I will show you the table with the carver mounted.
Porter Cable Miter stand
I promised you I would post a picture of the T-110 mounted on the table. Here it is with a picture of my first carving using the T-110
This tiger has already been finished with the hand tools. Keep in mind, this is not a detail carver. It is great for small rough outs.