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Carving- Tips on how to make surfaces flat?


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Hi,

 

I have having trouble making my surfaces flat. Like when I place the ruler across the surface, there always seems to be some "space" between the ruler and surface of the soap. Does anyone have tips on how to carve perfectly flat surfaces so that the ruler rests flatly on the surface with no "space"?

 

Thanks

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I would use the very back of my blade to lay it flat on the surface and then lightly start scraping small amounts of soap off with the back of my blade while making sure to change the angle so you don't pit the surface. If you do this right then you can flatten the surface entirely with the back of your knife blade and you know that you're done when the back of the blade can rest in all directions without having any pits. Then just clean up the angle and you should have a perfectly flat surface. There's some other techniques but that is the one that I liked the best.

 

If you want more help check out Rock The DAT which is coming up soon.

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The key is to shave the soap from multiple directoins. "Attack" the surface left to right, right to left, top to bottom, bottom to top, and from corners to corners (in both directions). Hope this helps.

 

This will sure make the surface flat, but when you look it under the light you will see multiple blade lines left over.

If you carve the soap from only one direction, it may not be as flat as multiple angle technique, but it will look much cleaner under the light which I believe is what CDA is doing for the marking.

 

So what do I have to choose? Any advice from carve master?

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The key is to shave the soap from multiple directoins. "Attack" the surface left to right, right to left, top to bottom, bottom to top, and from corners to corners (in both directions). Hope this helps.

 

I would use the very back of my blade to lay it flat on the surface and then lightly start scraping small amounts of soap off with the back of my blade while making sure to change the angle so you don't pit the surface. If you do this right then you can flatten the surface entirely with the back of your knife blade and you know that you're done when the back of the blade can rest in all directions without having any pits. Then just clean up the angle and you should have a perfectly flat surface. There's some other techniques but that is the one that I liked the best.

 

If you want more help check out Rock The DAT which is coming up soon.

 

Are you sure you are carving the soap with the back of the blade? Isn't it too dull ? (Maybe I will try it tonight...and see how it goes :P)

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Are you sure you are carving the soap with the back of the blade? Isn't it too dull ? (Maybe I will try it tonight...and see how it goes :P)

 

Opps. I said entirely in my original post and didn't mean it that way! I should clarify that I carve the surface down until there is 1mm or so left and carve down that last mm entirely :P with the back of my blade. Since it is duller you have a smaller chance of pitting the surface. If you are using a sharp blade (and I can guarantee you the blades you get on the DAT are super sharp) it's really easy to put too much pressure down and ruin the flat surface by taking too much off. By using the back of the blade you can put more pressure down. It's kinda hard to explain but it worked really well for me. There were some other techniques that I used too like using the ruler to get rid of the "blade lines left over" by scraping with the ruler but that one you've kinda got to see. If you want live teaching come out to Rock The DAT and get some tutoring from dental students who have done it all before. We have 5 people teaching who got 30's and quite a few high 20s:)

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Opps. I said entirely in my original post and didn't mean it that way! I should clarify that I carve the surface down until there is 1mm or so left and carve down that last mm entirely :P with the back of my blade. Since it is duller you have a smaller chance of pitting the surface. If you are using a sharp blade (and I can guarantee you the blades you get on the DAT are super sharp) it's really easy to put too much pressure down and ruin the flat surface by taking too much off. By using the back of the blade you can put more pressure down. It's kinda hard to explain but it worked really well for me. There were some other techniques that I used too like using the ruler to get rid of the "blade lines left over" by scraping with the ruler but that one you've kinda got to see. If you want live teaching come out to Rock The DAT and get some tutoring from dental students who have done it all before. We have 5 people teaching who got 30's and quite a few high 20s:)

 

I already took Rock the Dat last year. So I won't be taking it this year......unless you guys offer 1 year retake opporunity or something :P

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Also I've tried to carve the surface from different angles. It is much flatter. However when you see it under the light, it does not look as pretty as it would be if you carved in only one direction. Would CDA look for this carving lines??

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Thanks for the tips everyone. I really liked the back of the blade method. I've noticed an improvement.

 

There were some other techniques that I used too like using the ruler to get rid of the "blade lines left over" by scraping with the ruler but that one you've kinda got to see.

 

Won't the testing admins get mad if we use the ruler to scrape off the soap surface? I thought that was against the rules?

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Thanks for the tips everyone. I really liked the back of the blade method. I've noticed an improvement.

 

Hey Neil. Glad that you could make out what I was trying to say and that it's working for you. There are a whole bunch of little things that you can do like that which will really help you out. The key thing is knowing about them. When I was writing in 2009 I honestly looked around during the carving section and saw some people doing things sooooo inefficiently. Every aspect of the carving has a way of doing it faster, more accurately or easier. You just need to know about the techniques. For example, the back of the blade technique helped me out so much but I would have never known about it unless I went to Rock The DAT. Anyways there's my plug for RTD again haha. I'll PM you about your second inquiry.

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