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Wood Engraving

R.J. Beedham



If the block is to be sent to the printer all unnecessary wood has to be taken away, and if there are large surfaces this is best done by gouge and mallet. First saw the block square to within 1/4 of an inch of work, then fix it in a vice or clamp to a bench. Use the gouge as a chisel, never forgetting to have the cutting edge pointing towards centre of block. If used towards the edges pieces of wood will suddenly chip away and the last stroke of the mallet will, perhaps, ruin the work, though an experience of this kind is seldom repeated. The block will have to be turned about in the vice to enable the gouging to be made towards the centre and care must be taken to hold the gouge high enough just to clear the work and so prevent bruising. The wood must be taken away deeply. If cut too shallow, ink and paper will touch, a smudge being the result. Any edges or small pieces that the gouge cannot clear away must be trimmed off with the scauper, the card being used to protect the work.

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