It can be a little overwhelming to pick up a new hobby, mainly because you might not be sure exactly where to start. Start small. Read this article in which we are going to tell you about 5 essential steps you need to know about wood carving before you endeavor to carve something.
Wood carving is one of the things that is easy for many people to get into. Wood carving is a fun and creative craft that doesn’t take up much space. Also, it is not expensive and you can buy most of the materials online. To put it simply, wood carving craft is affordable for everyone.
All you need to start is a piece of wood and a sharp carving knife. But there are some things you need to keep in mind before you begin your wood carving endeavors.
Step one: TYPES OF WOOD CARVING
Well, to start with you need to know that there are actually different types of wood carving techniques. Below you’ll find four of the main wood carving styles. It’s good to find out which style fits your abilities best and the final product you wish to create, as the materials and supplies depend on your choice.
Chip Carving is a specific form of wood carving, where you remove chips of wood in order to reveal either geometric or free form pictures.
Carving in the Round is the most life-like technique. It requires a variety of tools to create this type of carved sculpture. The finished objects are three-dimensional, smooth, with softer, more natural lines.
Relief Carving is the process of carving figures into a flat wooden panel. The image appears three-dimensional from the front, leaving the back flat.
Whittling is one of the oldest forms of wood carving and is done using a whittling or a carving knife.
Step two: TYPES OF WOOD AND WOOD GRAIN
Once you’ve chosen a wood carving style you want to work with, it’s time to select the type of wood. For a start it’s better to choose butternut or basswood, as they are softer and easier for beginners to carve. No matter what type of wood you choose, make sure you purchase the wood from an art and crafts store or a wood supplier. Don’t use any pieces of wood from your lumber pile or garage, especially if you aren’t familiar with other kinds yet.
Basswood: Easy to carve, with a fine grain. Light and cream colored. Ideal for whittling.
Butternut: Easy to carve, with a coarse grain. Light brown colored with a distinct wood pattern.
White Pine: Has a medium grain and also easy to carve. Soft and cream colored.
THE MAIN RULE YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOUT WOOD GRAIN – Cuts made with the grain will peel away smoothly; cuts made against the grain will give resistance and eventually split.
Make sure most of your cuts go with the wood’s grain. Cuts against the grain cause your wood to tear and split.
Step tree: CARVING TOOLS
Before buying any carving knife ask yourself “What am I going to carve?”, “What technique am I going to use?” Sizes and types of carving knives depend on it.
Flexcut took care of that and manufactured perfect sets for wood carvers of all levels. We recommend to take a closer look at the following sets for beginners, as they include all types of knives you’ll need for a smooth and enjoyable start:
Step four: FOLLOW THE RULES
Take it slow. No need to rush! Wood carving is supposed to be relaxing and meditative. Rashness may cause accidents happen. Make every cut slow and controlled.
Keep your knife sharp. Obeying this rule will ensure better cuts. Dull blades have a tendency to glance off the wood and head right towards your hand. The blade might not be sharp enough to cut wood, but it is still sharp enough to cut human flesh.
Wear gloves. Before starting, put on a glove on the hand you hold the wood with to prevent accidents.
Protect your eyes. Wear safety glassesas a wood chip may easily find the way into your eye.
Step five: ENJOY THE PROCESS
Wood carving is not something you pick up overnight. Wood carving requires a good deal of patience and practice. Watch some tutorials on the Internet as they may be helpful at the beginning. Such tutorials explain basic techniques and give you basic knowledge. As you practice, you will develop intuition that will allow you to tackle increasingly difficult challenges on your own. And don’t forget that wood carving is an enjoyable and relaxing activity. So enjoy and relax.