... and yes, quite easy to make and and adjust to any size or shape required. Although I have to admit, even I am tempted by Reinhold's excellent looking tools.
As with others here, I use only a few tools, but twist and turn and angle and dangle and raise and lower and shimmy and shake them into position so I don't have to switch tools in a single exposure.
I still have and use a custom-made (by me) dodging tool that I first used in the 1970s to dodge the head and shoulders of a person in a print.
It consists of a cut out portion of a print - the head and shoulders of one of my high school teachers :).
Wow, ok ... that IS better. I was missing the whole twisting the tool bit, as well as moving it closer and further to the lens. Much more control than just a cutout that matches the shape.
Thanks particularly for those clips David. They're great.
I'm all fired up to get back in the dr now!
Dodging and burning really is half the fun of making a print for me. I practice what I am going to do a few times on a dummy sheet before I make my first exposure; your hands kind of remember to a certain extent after doing it a few times. I made my tools out of foam core and shish kabob skewers!
I tend to cut out masks that represent the area I'm dodging (or burning) and some of them can be quite intricate. These are attached to very thin bits of wire used for flower arranging purposes. They are used close to the paper and moved enough to hide the wire shadow and to eliminate any harsh change in tone. If you angle the wire such that it isn't in direct contact with the paper, you can virtually avoid any chance of it casting a shadow. I have, on occasion, used various parts of my anatomy as dodging tools but I can't manage to keep the required shape long enough :D
I really thought there were better ones out there besides the Butcher. But, in the aggregate, I think they got the point across.
I agree that making your own tools is viable. I don't have Reinhold's set of pre-made tools, but I do have (and occasionally use) and old Testrite set. For burning, I have a stack of black construction paper and a pair of scissors.
Dodging tools from black paper/cardboard are easier to use if one side is white. You can identify the are youd dodge. I use adhesive labesl for making the black paper white.