Lee Dean asked if I could explain how a duplicarver works so here you go Lee.
Have you ever gone to the hardware store to have a duplicate key made? If you have then you will get the idea as to how a duplicarver works. The key to be copied is placed in a chuck and then an uncut key is placed in a second chuck. A stylus is drawn across the teeth of the original key which causes a cutter to cut the duplicate.
The duplicarver machine works in the same manner. First you must have a solid head in the style which you want to reproduce. This is chucked up to one side of the machine. On the other side of the machine you chuck up your blank piece of wood.
The duplicarver has a stylus , an arm with which you go over the pre carved head, which in turn causes the cutting tool to carve out the likeness from the wood stock. The process is repeated varied amounts of times getting finer bits as you go to get better detail. As fine as you may get once the duplicarving process is finished you must still do hand work.
If you look at the short video we put up on this site about Chuck Jackson you will see him using a duplicarver. His made more than one copy at a time.
Now even though we all have seen many pictures of Frank Marshall in his shop with mallet and chisel in his hands, he too used duplicarver heads. I have one in my collection, it is pictured in the Marshall section and the Vent Haven Museum has a couple of Franks Duplicarver heads as well. Bob Isaacson who frequented Marshall’s shop more than anyone else I know, over many many years, told me that the duplicarver machinery and the solid heads were not ever where he could see them indicating that Marshall went elsewhere to do the duplication. He did all the finish work in his shop.
I have a duplicarver machine myself and fully intend to try my hand at this but have not done so as of this writing but pretty soon….
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