The Beginner’s Essential Guide To Wood Carving & Whittling

I am translating a course given eyeball to eyeball to one that is written, so you will have to bear with me; just a little bit. The way our programme works is that we seek out new or up and coming artists all over the world who may not otherwise be financially able to promote or sell their work and then we help them to realise their full potential. In cases where there are links to other sites, Canadian Woodworking recommends that you review their organization’s privacy policy, as once you have left our site you become subject to the privacy and security policies of the new site. The pieces will slide around so check after clamping to make sure they stay where you set them.

Even as a green wood ash is quite dry typically having a moisture content of less than 50%, which makes it good firewood. The narrow sapwood is almost dead white, but the heartwood is a very light brown, possibly with some pink tones and the occasional dark brown streak’¬¶the streaks can make for very effective carvings if handled well. Relief Carving Unlike carving full sculptures out of wood, relief carving is the process of carving figures into wood.

A challenge to work, but again a rewarding wood that holds detail exceptionally well. Milton: I mostly all chainsaw carve but at times if a customer wants more detail then I can do with the chainsaw I use dremel tools and a Die grinder. My husband and I had a visit here on our day out, fantastic place, very clever people.. Excellent craftsmen , my husband used to work with wood so we know the skills needed to do this job!!

With this technique I can carve just about any type of wood and any size or shape letter. Some evaporation and respiration will always occur with wood; however, the moisture content will seek a balance throughout the wood and cracks will close naturally. Traditionally elm wood has been used in wet environments such as waterwheels or village water pumps, because of its ability to resist rot. Koch sharpening system – The most effective way to keep your wood carving tools sharp.

It is difficult to know what the characteristics will be a piece of wood labeled as mahogany. Of course, as you progress in the carving world, you will find that you will have to have every knife known to man. Some directions will be difficult and the wood will want to split instead of cut; other directions you’ll get an easy, smooth cut. I have a box of children’s crayons (128 colours) from which to choose the exact colour of the wood.


I do carve about any type of wood I get a hold of. cotton wood I have never carved but I do carve aspen or poplar which I believe is close. Wood chisels, such as the Sweetheart 750 Series 4-Piece Socket Chisel Set below,¬†displace wood more quickly than wood carving tools but don’t give you as much detail, but they can be useful in wood carving. You take your camera and shoot some frames of something you really like, print the images, then you need to find a real good, but nameless wood carver to do the job. A wax finish is comparatively fragile though and only suitable for indoor carvings.

They feature ergonomically designed handles and us premium quality knife steel which is optimally adapted to the intended task of the knife. Very soft white wood, with ideal grain for carving, recommended for beginners and experts. When carving eyes, the common practice is to start at the outside and carve the eyelids and wrinkles first, then carve the eyeballs last. Carving-in-the-round and Relief Carving use not only a carving knnife but also chisels, gouges, etc. The appeal of carving seems to be never ending and one that is continually satisfying. Griffon has also participated in the Cattle lacs Cal Frey and carving event 3 times.

In the past I have even taken camphor wood (a light colored wood) and tinted it a light lavender to achieve the result I wanted. I know a very good one from a wood carver dynasty, he can do everything from a photo, it will depend on the subject how long does it take to carve and finish, price will depend on amount of work for him, so you will only pay for the work, not for the design, not for a gallery and no other commissions.

The turner might produce roughs of profiles which would be finished by others or complete pieces of work on the lathe where the wood is first roughly rounded using a gouge, then chiselled to give the piece the dimensions and shape required. The point is: We have to think a little bit more about our finished product before we start with the knife. I suppose there are as many ways to finish a carving as there are carvers and no one way is best for everyone.

There are chip carving knives with different shapes that will make difficult cuts a little easier, although they aren’t necessary for the beginner. While traditional whittling was performed using a pocket knife it’s much easier and more comfortable to purchase a purpose built knife for whittling. I would recommend the same knives I recommend in the post here but I would recommend you find him a competent teacher to teach him the basic knife grips safely. Enclosing the carving in a bag gives moisture deep inside the wood time to migrate toward the drier outside.

Then there is a technique called carving in the round which basically speaks for itself. It is very stable once dried, and is widely used for fancy turnings, as well as carving. There are several types of wood carving: letter, chip, and relief carving; and carving in the round. Note: In Korea and China, jade carving was the most prestigious type of carving.

If you are considering learning this craft, understand that there are four ways to go about it, because then you will know what are the appropriate tools you will need and where it would be best for a beginner to start. Use wood from the same piece of wood you are repairing if possible, if not try and use the same type and color of wedge as the wood being repaired. Wood carving can be an incredibly rewarding and positive hobby, and it eventually can even become a career. With chip carving, however, you will be limited by the type of wood (certain hardwoods can very difficult) and the size of the letters.