Without the proper know-how, many beginners and even intermediates may find the craft of wood carving technical and challenging. It can also be difficult to find information on what to do and where to begin, which is why We’ve put together a beginner’s guide to wood carving in this blog post.
In just 8 steps, you’ll learn the fundamentals of woodcarving, whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate looking to sharpen your skills.
First, let’s go over the basic principles of wood carving and the various types of carving. Before we even consider picking up our chisels, we should first identify with at least one style.
Primary Types of Wood Carving for Beginners
Wood Carving is a form of sculpting where the artist cuts away at wood to expose patterns and textures. It can be done in many ways, from Whittling (cutting shapes with an edged tool) to Chip Carving (cutting images out using pointed chisels). The technique was originally used for decoration or clothing. But has since evolved into many other categories, such as furniture making.
Whittling often concentrates on creating three-dimensional forms like animals. It can also be on objects that are carved all the way around rather than just flat faces. Whittle carvers generally use knives made specifically for this activity. This is because they need more control than what you would find in your typical kitchen knife set.
– Chip Carving:
This method is one of the most common forms of wood carvings, which involves taking a chisel and cutting out shapes in an image. Chip tools are typically pointed so they can create finer details than their flat counterparts.
– Relief Carving:
Relief carving creates designs by removing background sections rather than adding new material like some other sculpting techniques. This technique has been used for centuries. And is popular because it’s great for creating three-dimensional pieces. Pieces have depth without plaster or clay, filling in all the gaps between carved lines.
– Carving In The Round:
This technique involves sculpting an object from all sides, which means you have to know what it will look like before you start carving because there’s no turning back once you’ve started! The difficulty with this method is getting those curves just right so they don’t look warped out of shape – but when executed properly, the result can be stunning.
Let’s look at some vital tools you need to get started on that next-level wood curving DIY.
Wood Carving for Beginners: Tools
Wood carving tools are an essential part of any woodcarver’s tool collection and can be used for various projects. Woodcarvers typically use their knives to carve intricate details into the surface. At the same time, they also rely on other types of specialized blades like gouges to rough out large areas or chisels with various cutting edges that make it easy to create flat surfaces.
Aside from these basic shapes, there are many more options available when you’re considering what type of carving knife is right for your project. For example, if you need an ultra-sharp blade capable of slicing through tough materials or one meant specifically for smooth cuts in softwoods, then choosing the appropriate blade shape will help deliver quality results every time.
Is pine a good wood for carving? find out
BeaverCraft S01 Spoon Carving Set
A variety of different woodcarving tools are available for beginners. So it’s important to find the right set that will meet all your needs. For example, if you’re looking for a versatile knife with various features like serrated blades or one designed specifically for detail work in small spaces, then this BeaverCraft S01 Spoon Carving Set is a great option. With two knives and three unique types of blades included in the kit, this carving tool set has everything you need to get started on projects big and small.
Alternatively, Flexcut SK107 offers five pieces made from durable stainless steel, which can be used to create deep cuts into hardwoods while still maintaining an edge even after prolonged use due to their carbonized tang. This kit includes a knife, two blades, and three specialized gouges that you can use for detailed work.
On the other hand, BeaverCraft S14 Spoon Carving Kit includes everything you need to get started on various projects. This kit includes 11 knives, gouges, and three specialized blades that can be used for detail work like engraving or carving fine designs into the wood’s surface.
Flexcut KN700 Deluxe
Flexcut KN700 Deluxe Palm & Knife Set is also an excellent option for beginners. With tough stainless steel blades that resist rust with a strong oak handle, this kit is an affordable alternative to more expensive carving tools which require regular maintenance and sharpening.
Wood carving tools for beginner summary
In a nutshell, there are many options available for woodcarving tools designed specifically for beginner carvers of all ages and skill levels. The best way to find the right set or individual pieces for your project is by reviewing each product thoroughly so you can choose what’s perfect for your needs.
Remember that investing in high-quality products means saving money in the long run due to their durability and performance on any surface near water or heat sources like fireplaces!
Now that we know what wood carving is and have a style in mind and an assortment of awesome tools, let’s dive right in on the 8 easy steps!
Wood Carving for beginners in 8 easy steps
The first step is to find the best wood for carving. A few different types of woodwork well, but one of my personal favorites is basswood. Basswood has been used in many projects because it’s soft and easy to carve into any shape you want! It also holds detail very well compared with other woods like pine or hardwoods such as oak or walnut.
Find a good whittling knife/craft blade. Many people say there are specific knives made just for carving. But these can be expensive and not necessary unless you’re planning on doing this professionally (which we hope isn’t going to!) Instead, use an all-purpose craft blade or any of the sets I recommended above.
Choose a project to work on. This can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Nonetheless, before getting started, make sure that your knife will easily cut into the wood without risking injury. For example, if I wanted to carve a small block of pine (something many people would consider beginner level), my blade might not cut all the way through because pine is softer than basswood and other hardwoods mentioned above- so try something else instead! Hang around we’ll talk about what makes up for some good projects for beginners!
Now that you have chosen a project think about whether or not you want to hand-draw your design before starting. Some people (myself included) can’t see what they’re trying to carve until it’s on the wood because they start carving too soon! I recommend drawing out your idea in pencil first and then using this as a reference when cutting into the wood with your blade, so you don’t go off track unintentionally. If this doesn’t work for you, there are many other options, such as tracing an image onto paper and then transferring it over later without doing any of the actual carvings yourself!
Once we’ve drawn our design onto our piece of basswood, it’s time to start carving! Make sure you have a good grip on your knife and are seated in a comfortable position. Cutting into the wood too fast or too hard can cause injury, so carve slowly but firmly with even pressure until it goes through to the other side (or at least deep enough that it will be impossible for you to cut all the way through).
After completing our first few cuts, it’s time to start shaping different curves and lines using an X-acto blade, as pictured below.
These blades are designed specifically for this purpose and work well when working on smaller projects like these! Be careful not to go too far down while cutting because if something such as paint gets onto your new blade, then it may become ruined. You’ll have to buy a new one (sudden expenses are never fun!).
Once we’ve shaped out the basic shape of our piece, it’s time for some finer details. You can either use an X-acto blade again or switch to your whittling knife if you’re more comfortable with that. One thing I always find helpful is making sure my workspace stays clean so there’s less risk of accidentally cutting into something other than wood!
The final step is sanding down your project to make it smooth before painting/staining/sealing depending on what type of finish you want at the end. This can be done by hand using just sandpaper. Alternatively, you can invest in a power tool like the one pictured below to save yourself some time. The last thing we want is an unfinished project because it’s beautiful and special!
Here are some articles with tips on polishing your carved project
Should You Stain or Seal your Wood?
Wood carving for Beginners: Projects Ideas
A list of wood curving beginner projects to get you started on the process.
* Wood Curved Spoon:
It is a simple project that makes a nice gift or décor; this will also be your first time using gouges and chisel, but it’s not too difficult for beginners. The steps are outlined in detail with diagrams below.
Instructions: Wood Curved Spoon
A block of wood (any type), gouge or chisel, sandpaper. Optional materials include dyes, stains, or sealer if desired.
Begin using one hand to hold down the material while carving with the other hand; always keep tension on the carving tool by applying weight from the body rather than arm strength alone.
* Draw lines across your block of wood as shown on the diagram; these will help you determine how much material needs to be cut off and what angle at which it should be cut
* Carefully carve along each line with a gouge or chisel. Do this until there is enough space for scooping up liquid foods (about ¼”)
* Sand down edges when finished carving – this will take care of sharp corners and smooth out rough spots
* Wooden Nickel Piggy Bank:
This is a perfect way to teach kids about saving money while making something beautiful simultaneously; this little pig can help make their pocket change sweeter than ever!
Instructions: Wooden nickel piggy bank
a small pine board, about 12 inches long and ¾ inch thick. You’ll also need some finishing nails of the same size as your dowel (or you can use staples). Additionally, sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges, wood glue for added strength, paint, or finish of your choice.
Cut off two lengths from one end of the board to make it square like in this diagram.
These should be at least four inches high. With such a height, when they are put together, their tops meet on top and stand up taller than the height you want your bank to be. Mine is around six-and-a-half inches tall, including my baseboards (I used a triangle instead).
The next step is to cut a dowel into two pieces that will form the curved shape of your bank. I found it easiest to use an old piece of the curtain rod. You want them at least half as long as the height of your board. Also, make sure they are on opposite ends, so they curve in when you put them together.
* Miniature Lighthouse Table Lamp:
Here’s an easy-to-make lamp design that has both form and function. If you want a fun hobby, then try building your own miniature lighthouse.
Instructions: Miniature lighthouse table lamp
A small block of wood, an old pencil or dowel, a drill, and some screws. Optional materials include stain or paint if desired.
* Drill hole through the top of the wooden block for the base; this should measure approximately ¼ inch wide by ½ deep.
* Cut out two pieces from the side of the block that will form archways on either end. These are each about one inch high at their lowest point.
* Thread pencil/dowel through the hole in the base and out the other end of archways to create a loop.
* Thread string through holes on either side for hanging or lighting.
Conclusion on wood carving for beginners
In summary, there’s nothing too difficult about wood carving projects, but they can be very rewarding. The projects in this blog post range from simple to more complicated, so there is something for everyone!
That’s all, folks! I hope these tips helped teach you some of the basics of how to carve wood. There are so many other ways that we didn’t have time to cover. However, if you’re looking for something quick and easy when trying DIY projects- carving is always fun!
Tips & Tricks from our experts: When picking up a new blade, ALWAYS make sure they feel comfortable in your hand and never use them without proper instruction (especially if they are dull!). Safety first, people!