Saturday, 12 April 2014

Bonsai Wood Carving with 'The Nibbler'

The "Nibbler" is a three-tipped trigon cutter designed by Chris Guise, specifically with bonsai carving in mind. I first read about the tool on the European Bonsai Forum and decided to purchase one for my new Makita die grinder. Service was great and the tool arrived very promptly. The Nibbler can be purchased from Chris at
The nibbler as received, with tools for replacing the carbide tips when they eventually dull.

Close-up of the Nibbler's head with three cutting surfaces.
The Hawthorn bellow had some pruning wounds from a year ago when some large branches were removed. At the time I hollowed the areas slightly with a small rotary tool, but had planned to make the cuts much deeper and create a hollow, joining the two wounds together and allowing water drainage. Enter the Nibbler!

The two wounds before carving.

In just a couple of minutes the Nibbler had nibbled a hollow right through one hole to the next.

Tool marks improved by blow torching. I think this will need repeating when the heartwood has dried out. 

Carving finished for now. Still a very long way to go with this material which I plan to style in the fukinagashi form.

The Nibbler coped equally well with both live and dead wood and made short of the task. The cuts were then tidied with a Termite burr from Kaisen Bonsai before finishing with a blowtorch.

I was very pleased with the Nibbler and would highly recommend it for bonsai carving. It comes in both 6mm shaft for Makita type tools and 3.2mm for smaller Dremel type tools. In fact, I may just have to order the 3.2mm as well and see how that fares!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. These pics look amazing. I also enjoyed reading the post. Really amazing and informative :)

    Thank you