Wood carving is ancient art form and a great fulfilling hobby that enlightens the heart and soul. You can carve out useful decorative items or a 3D protruding masterpiece close to your heart just by using proper tools and technique.
Just as a painter knows when to use which type of brush, a wood carver must have clear knowledge of the capabilities of the tools present in his amour. Let’s check out the specialty of these tools and then select the best tool as per the type of work to be performed.
First and foremost, before you start carving better buy a steel embedded glove (opt for left hand glove if you are right handed), a thumb cap and a finger cap for the other hand for the safety of the hands. This tip will save lots of bandages on your hand.
How to Use and Elect Wood Carving Tools:
Each tool is especially designed to serve specific purpose in wood carving. Some of the most essential tools used are the coping saw, craving knives, chisels, gouges, v-tools, veiner tools and mallets.
Coping saw: It is typically a bow saw used for giving complex external shapes to the wood piece and for interior cutouts.
Carving Knives: It is the most popular tool used for wood carving as it can be used for whittling, cutting, smoothing or paring wood in different wood carving techniques and styles. These are usually numbered according to the shape and the size of blade.
There are basically three main types of knives according to shape. The Paring knife or normal one has a flat bevel and is used to cut through the wood piece. The curved knife or the detailed knife is used to cut the surface of the wood so it has a slight curve to the bevel knife. The chip carving knife is the combination of these two knives. This knife may be used for chipping as well as paring wood.
There are knives specifically designed to meet certain type of wood carving items like spoons, sticks or bowls, if you want to use them for specific purpose.
Chisels: This tool comes in variety of shape and sizes. Chisels are also indispensible for wood carving like knives. A chisel consists of a sharp cutting edge attached to a handle. It is rectangular in shape. It can be used with a mallet or can be used separately on wood.
Chisels are found in different styles and sizes like beveled edge bench chisels, mortise chisels, and paring chisels. The name of the chisel suggests what it is capable of doing. For instance, the paring chisel is highly specialized for delicate work. It is good at paring of very thin layers of wood from a wood piece.
Gouges: A gouge is a special type of chisel having a curved cutting edge instead of rectangular one it its end. It is used for cutting deep, making shallow grooves or indentations in wood.
Gouges also come in so many shapes and sizes like spindle gouge, bowl gouge or swept back grind bowl gouge. The firmer gouges are driven by mallets into the wood for carving large scale sculptures. The steel ring around the head of gouge helps to withstand mallet blows.
V -Tools: This is also a specialized chisel having a V-shaped cutting edge on its end. It is a great tool for fine and detailing work on wood. It is best tool when sketching, outlining, detailing, texturing, or undercutting the workpiece.
Veiner Tools: A veiner is a U – shaped special chisel that is a small gouge as it forms a long, narrow semi-circular cutting edge at its end. It has got the deepest curved knife. This tool is used for making deep round hollows or curves in the wood piece. This is also a fine detailing tool as its diameter is really very small.
Mallets: A carver’s mallet is a small hammer generally composed of hardwood or plastic and is round in shape. It is quiet light in weight and is used to drive chisel, gauge or other tools deep into the workpiece.
These are essential tools that must be present in the amour of a carver to carve out what exactly is in his mind. There are so many other tools also available meant for wood carving but here we have discussed about the indispensible tool that must be present in your tool kit to begin with wood carving. Grab up these must have tools and start carving…
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