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05.26 Wood Carving Basics

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Wood Carving Tools

  • Carving knife: A sharp carving knife is essential for wood carving. There are many different types of carving knives available, so choose one that is comfortable for you to hold and use.
  • Mallet: A mallet is used to drive carving chisels into the wood. Choose a mallet that is the right size and weight for the chisels you will be using.
  • Chisels: Carving chisels are used to remove wood from the blank. There are many different types of carving chisels available, each with a different purpose. For beginners, it is recommended to start with a basic set of chisels that includes a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • Sharpening tools: It is important to keep your carving tools sharp. A dull tool will make it difficult to carve and can also be dangerous. There are a variety of sharpening tools available, such as whetstones and honing guides.

Wood Carving Safety

  • Always wear safety glasses when wood carving. Flying wood chips can cause serious eye damage.
  • Be careful when using your carving tools. Sharp tools can cause serious injury if used improperly.
  • Always carve away from your body.
  • Take breaks frequently to avoid hand fatigue.

Getting Started with Wood Carving

  1. Choose a piece of wood to carve. For beginners, it is recommended to start with a softwood, such as basswood or pine. These woods are easier to carve than hardwoods.
  2. Draw your design on the wood. You can use a pencil or a marker to do this.
  3. Use your carving knife and chisels to remove wood from the blank, following the lines of your design.

Wood Carving Tips

  • Always carve with the grain. Carving against the grain can cause the wood to split or crack.
  • Use push cuts and pull cuts to remove wood. Push cuts are made by pushing the tool away from you and pull cuts are made by pulling the tool towards you.
  • Use a V-gouge to create lines and details.
  • Carve in the round to create three-dimensional sculptures.
  • Start with simple projects and gradually work your way up to more complex designs.

Wood Carving Finishing

Once you are finished carving, you can sand and finish your wood carving. Sanding will remove any rough edges and create a smooth surface. You can use a variety of finishes, such as oil, varnish, or paint.

Wood Carving Resources

Wood Carving Texts