You can carve braids into cane toppers, carved walking sticks, and other ornamental pieces. Including braided patterns in your wood carving is an excellent way for you to showcase the skill of your hands and your ability to create intricate designs.
Here’s everything that you need to know about how to carve a braid in wood.
Create the Layout
One of the most critical steps on how to carve a braid in wood is creating a layout. Braided patterns are primarily based on the gouge cut. The technique for both is the same; however, braids require regular spacing.
Below are the steps you need to follow:
- Prepare some colored or electrical tape, a marker or pencil, a chisel, or a rotary tool.
- Stick the electrical tape on the wood to get the pattern laid out. Carefully make sure that the tape is placed at a constant 45-degree angle on the wood. Ensure even spacing between each tape line.
- Use a marker or pencil to mark the position of the tape.
- Alternatively, you can punch dots into the wood with a nail. Then, use a gouge to create a tilted cut. From the other side of the punched dot, create another tilted cut with the gouge, this time, aiming in the opposite direction.
Score Pattern Lines with a Chisel
Using a chisel, score the pattern lines into the wood. You can also use a rotary tool to do this. Check out the tips below to ensure that you’re doing this process safely and correctly:
- Keep the wood on a flat surface. This will allow you to apply a firm but controlled force on the wood.
- When you’re applying force on the chisel, keep all of your body parts out of the way.
- When scoring lines, you need to cut the wood fibers using a stop cut, which is an indentation made by carving towards the line without the chisel slipping past the said line.
Carving the Design
Make sure that you’re wearing safety goggles during this part. If you’re using a rotary tool and a piece of wood breaks off, it could potentially blind you. Better safe than sorry!
Follow the steps listed below on how to carve a braid in wood:
- Do another round of stop cuts into the patter, this time with a rotary tool or cutting wheel.
- Carve over and under the braid using a cutter.
- You’ll notice that there are diamond shapes created between each braid. Accentuate these shapes by using the cutter to cut into them. Make sure that you’re creating a rounded scalloping structure on the wood.
- Finish up by using your chisel to clean off any rough edges. Make sure that each cut is as smooth and sharp as possible.
Learning how to carve a braid in wood can help you create more stunning and more intricate carvings. It’s also a great way to practice and improve your carving skills because carving braids can be quite complicated and time-consuming. Learn more wood carving tips here!