Wood carving is a creative skill being practiced since ancient times that involves piercing or removal of wood multiple times for creating some useful decorative objects, 3D lifelike art forms or design patterns on wood.
Basic wood carving involves carving out patterns on wooden board or stick with the help of basic wood carving tools using some basic wood carving techniques, methods or styles.
Power wood carving is also preferred nowadays instead of traditional wood carving. It involves usage of power tools instead of basic wood carving tools.
Wood Carving Tips & Techniques:
Nowadays, wood carving is a quite a trending hobby among youngsters. For doing woodworking projects, most important aspects are the selecting the right type of wood, knowledge of basic carving techniques and the possession of necessary tools required for the completion of wood carving project. Once desired technique is properly learned, practice makes your work perfect.
Choosing the Right Kind of Wood:
The first step begins with choosing the right kind of wood for your wood carving projects. Softwoods like basswood or butternut are easy to carve and are good for beginners to start with.
White pine is the best wood for carving in the round shape since it is easily molded. Mahogany stands between hard and softwood having reddish color that looks fine even when veneer is not applied.
Hardwoods like black walnut, cherry, maple are hard to carve but produce very pleasing professional results.
Selecting Wood Carving Tools:
Proper selection of wood carving tools yields perfect desired results.Basic wood carving tools include carving knife, gouges, chisels, V- tool, veiner, mallets and tools sharpening tools. Wood carving tools can be purchased separately or collectively as wood carving kit.
Power Wood Carving for Beginners :
Power carving uses a power operated motorized tools having a shaft and cutting burr mounted at one end. Power tools can create magnificent intricate design patterns that simply aren’t possible with manual tools. So many wood carving power planer blades tools are available in market like rotary tool, power carver, Turbo kit, wood carving disc tool, grinder set and many more.
Power carving style became more popular during the 1970s. Since then it has been practiced with evolving modern power tools. Many carvers like to carve out huge complex figures like eagle, dolphin, horse, fish or human figures using power carving tools.
Wood Carving Techniques:
There are basically four major types of wood carving techniques or methods used for wood carving.
Whittling іѕ the most simple and easiest technique of wood carving. You just need а good carving knives blades and some type of softwood. You can carve out wooden objects like walking stick by whittling wood with knife.
Chip Carving іѕ another popular technique which is done by chipping out small triangular pieces of wood for making beautiful design patterns. You can make wood jewelry using thіѕ technique.
Carving in the Round, technique also results in creating three dimensional wood sculptures, visible from all the sides.
Relief Carving is done on wooden board piece. This type of technique involves removing wood from one side using chisel and gouge tool. Thіѕ gives а three dimensional looking picture effect.
Wood Carving Tips:
After selecting the right type of technique, following useful wood carving tips make you avoid certain mistakes and complete your project hassle free.
Keep Your Tools at Right Angle for Cuts :
Always keep your tools like carving knife at 90 degree to the wood surface being curved otherwise unequal amount of wood will be left on the sides of wood and the cuts will appear uneven. Stab it into the wood and move it towards you.
Second position used for holding knife is keeping it at 65 degree to the wood and then stab into the wood.
Burrs of Power Tools:
Burrs or rotary files used in power tools usually work best when operated at high speed rather than slow speed.
Wear Safety Glove:
It is a good practice to wear gloves made from a Kevlar and steel weave in both hands for protecting your hands and fingers from accidental cuts. You can also use a thumb and index finger cap.
Use of “Carving in the Round” Technique:
“Carving in the round” method is used for creating life like 3D figures that looks majestic from every side and angle.
When to Use Power Wood Carver:
Consider using a power wood carver tool while working on hardwood. This tool is not only a good time saver but also saves you from fatigue. The backward and forward movement or the reciprocating motion makes easy for driving cuts and gouges in the hardwood.
Damages are so hard to avoid during any project but can be corrected tactfully. You can use same coloured wood power mixed with fevicol to mold or cover damaged parts and sand it later on. Painting is also a great idea that works wonderfully for hiding mistakes. If it’s a small scratch, you can sand it with sandpaper. Small dents in the workpiece can be wiped with water and then ironed out for making it seamless once again.
Follow the Grain of Wood:
Although you can start carving from any side, it is easy to carve along with the grain of wood. This is especially important while carving hardwood as it is very hard to carve against the grain.
It is always better to draw your design on wood first or make a sketch of it and paste it on the wood before actually start carving for getting more accurate and professional results.
Learning more about wood carving tips and techniques and keeping these in mind is always helpful in tackling commonly faced problems.