Turning Archive 2005

Texturing with Ukibori pimples

>Ever since reading about it in M. O"Donnell's book, "Decorating Turned Wood", I've wanted to try a texturing technique he calls 'pimpling'. Having nothing to do with acne, it's known to the Japanese as 'ukibori' and widely used, but it was totally unknown to me. Not unusual. :)

Small depressions are pressed into the surface of a dry woodturning by forcing the end of steel shafts that have designs like chevrons, stars, crescents etc.) filed on the tips. Then the surrounding surfaces are sanded or turned down to the level of the depressions. Finally, held over steam the compressed wood expands and pimples in the shape of the design rise above the surface. I have never tried it because of the need to file the designs on the tips of small steel punches.

Now I see advertised in a recent 'Woodcraft' flyer, a set of 18 carver's punches for $40. They are used for background texturing in soft metals or wood and would seem ideal for making ukibori pimples or just for adding background texture to turned objects.

I'd sure appreciate opinions and advice of anyone who has used these punches or has experience with pimpling techniques before I add another 18 useless tools to my shop. TIA

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