When you want to do something, it is a little frustrating to know where to start. But isn’t it comforting to know that there are skills and projects that you can hone and make in the comfort of your own home?
In this article, you will know how to learn wood carving at home. We will give you a checklist of the types of wood carving, the tools and materials to use, and the safety measures you have to practice.
Types Of Wood Carving
As a beginner, it is of great advantage to know the types of wood carving to help you decide which style you prefer.
- Whittling is a simple process of cutting wood using a knife. Outputs of whittling are usually small and three-dimensional.
- Relief carving is an artistic process of carving figures into a flat wooden panel. Its finished product is three-dimensional, but the back remains flat.
- Carving in the round creates life-like, three-dimensional sculptures and pieces.
- Chip carving is a process of chipping away wood gradually to create three-dimensional figures and patterns on a wood board. The back of the piece remains flat.
What You Need
How to learn wood carving at home? Know the right tools and materials!
Basswood, butternut, and pine are among the best woods to use, especially if you are a beginner. These are types of softwood with different grain features.
Basswood has a fine grain that makes it best for whittling. On the other hand, butternut has a coarse grain, and pine has medium grain. You can use butternut and pine for any wood carving technique.
You must buy the right carving knife. It should be sharp, easy to grip, and firm. Veteran woodcarvers would advise beginners to buy chip carving knives to start. However, if you find chip carving knives a bit expensive, you may opt for a craft knife or a utility knife.
Choose a knife with a handle that will sit comfortably in your hand. It should not be too short or too long so you can control it easily.
To keep your knives sharp, you must have a ceramic sharpening stone. Angle the blade, and swipe it back and forth across the stone.
In wood carving, you also shape, scoop, and smooth wood surfaces. To do these, you must use gouges. For a start, you may purchase a U-gouge and a V-gouge. As you progress, you can also buy other specialty tools, such as bent and spoon gouges.
Chisels are used along with rubber mallets. Chisels are sharp, flat tools for wood chipping projects. They dig into the wood at a sharp angle.
Practice The Cuts
To practice basic cuts with your tools, here are some tips:
- Practice only on scrap wood.
- Use sharp tools.
- Hold the knife correctly with your dominant hand.
- When cutting wood, push the blade away from you to be safe.
- Carve along the grain.
- Practice basic cuts, such as running cut, stabbing cut, and a sweep cut.
Carving Wood For Beginners
After practicing basic cuts, you might have earned the confidence to carve your first project. Here are the steps:
- Wear safety goggles and carving gloves to protect yourself.
- Sketch the design on your chosen wood board using a pencil.
- Secure the wood by clamping it onto a table. Do not put it in your lap.
- Using your knife, cut as much wood to reveal the basic shape of your design or pattern.
- Use a gouge to roughly carve out the shape of your piece.
- When the form is complete, use smaller tools to carve details.
- To protect your finished piece, you may opt to apply paste wax or Danish oil, or spray urethane or polyutherane. Check how these materials suit the use of your ouput.
To be informed is the best way to start any endeavor. How to learn wood carving at home? Choose the style you prefer, and purchase the appropriate tools and materials. Practice, practice, practice! On top of this, be safe while learning. Find out more about wood carving here!