How to learn wood carving and develop a marvelous hobby

How To Learn Wood Carving: Best Helpful Prof Tips TIPS&TRICKS

Let’s start with learning what wood carving is and what a person with zero knowledge about it can do to make it a skill.

Wood carving is a sort of woodworking in which people carve figures or patterns into pieces of wood using hand-held carving tools such as knives and chisels.

Furniture, home décor, life-size sculptures of humans or animals, cufflinks, epic three-dimensional tale sequences, and duck decoys are all produced by woodcarvers.

A skilled and persistent individual can turn a plain stick or block of wood into a work of beauty through the calming pastime of wood carving.

These sculptures can be anything from little figurines that fit in your hand to enormous exhibitions and tall monuments!

how to learn wood carving

How long does it take to learn carving?

It is a popular query from those who are interested in the craft.

This depends on whether you are concentrating on one kind of wood carving style or attempting them all at once.

To begin carving wood, you must have a working knowledge of the many types of carving, the setup for carving, the equipment used for carving, the best wood for carving and how to prepare it, as well as the various procedures and techniques used in carving wood.

To make the growth you want, you must, above all, become more passionate about wood carving.

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Is wood carving a cheap hobby?

Wood carving is a cheap pastime that you may start with the equipment you already own! Naturally, you can improve your performance with a few special knives, some basswood, and possibly a saw. Fortunately, you can get every essential piece of starting equipment for less money than a single video game.

Wood carving has its own language

When discussing their trade, woodcarvers talk about carving tools, the types of wood they carve, and the different carving techniques.

Wood carving tools to carve wood

Carving knives (a whittling knife, a chip carving knife, and a hook knife) are the most fundamental instruments used by wood carvers. While chip carving knives have a narrow, short blade that enables carvers to chip away small pieces of wood, whittling knives are general-purpose tools.

For carving spoons and other objects with hollowed-out sections, use a hook knife, also known as a spoon knife, which has a bent blade fashioned like a hook.

Curves and angles are simpler to carve using chisels and gouges. Gouges have rounded ends and curved edges, while chisels have flat edges. The carver can scoop out pieces of wood using gouges.

Woodcarvers frequently use a veiner, a unique gouge with longer sides, to cut grooves or add texture to their sculptures. They will select a V-tool if their project requires angles rather than curves (or a skew chisel).

The size and degree of curve, or sweep, that chisels and gouges have varies. A tool’s profile refers to its size and degree of curvature. Each tool in a typical woodcarver’s toolkit would have a unique profile.

A wood carving mallet and a sharpening tool are two essential items among the practically limitless selection of carving accessories. To produce a deeper cut into the wood block, woodcarvers strike the ends of chisels or gouges with a hammer.

Using a stone or belt grinder for initial sharpening and a strop to polish the edge of the tools and remove burrs that can occasionally appear during the sharpening process, carvers can keep their tools sharp.

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Variety of wood

Either a hardwood or a softwood is used to describe a block of wood. Compared to hardwood, softwood is often less expensive and easier to carve. Those who are just learning the craft usually begin by carving softwoods like basswood, butternut, or pine.

Hardwoods frequently have a distinctive color and a clearly defined grain, but their hardness makes carving them more difficult.

As a result, skilled carvers occasionally favor using hardwoods like cherry, mahogany, or black walnut.

Types of wood carving

There are various kinds of wood carving, and each one uses a different technique and calls for particular carving implements. However, they all have one thing in common: they necessitate the use of extremely sharp tools from the carvers.

To guard against cuts and flying wood fragments, many woodcarvers wear safety goggles and carving gloves.

Here are 5 typical wood carving styles. The majority of them are useful for novice woodcarvers. The exception is carving using a chainsaw, which is typically best left to skilled carvers.


Typically, woodcarvers begin by whittling. They use a pocket knife and a little piece of softwood to carve a toy or a souvenir. The only necessary tools for whittling are a wood carving knife and a honing strop, making it the most basic type of wood carving. How do I learn to whittle wood?

Beginners simply need to master the fundamental techniques and equip themselves with the essential tools to get started. To help you advance your understanding, there are several accessible starting kits and free instructional videos on YouTube.

To begin whittling, you don’t need much, and you probably already have the majority of the necessary tools:

  • an excellent whittling knife
  • polishing/honing compound on a leather strop
  • wood for carving.

There you go! The only thing you might be missing is a leather strop, which is essential for any wood carving knife and will help you create and keep your edge razor sharp.

Chip carving

Chip carving is the easiest start for beginners. You can make cool, attractive designs using softwood and a good old wood carving chisel with some small cuts.

Chip carving is typically done for aesthetic reasons. In addition, chip carving is perfect for creating picture frames, cabinets, and other workbench projects.

A flat piece of wood is used to begin chip carving. Wood fragments are “chiseled away” by carvers to create designs on the wood’s surface. Gouges and carving knives are both used by chip carvers.

What you see in some carved photo frames with different designs etched into the wood is quite similar to chip carving. It may be pretty calming and is fairly easy to accomplish. The tools you need are inexpensive, and you don’t need much to begin started, just like with whittling.

To start chip carving, all you need to do is:

  • knife for chip carving
  • Polishing/honing compound on a leather strop
  • wood chips.
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Spoon carving

You can carve spoons and other such utensils, just as the name implies! These are excellent for finishing with a more practical object that may be utilized in your house or given as gifts.

A specialized “hook” knife is useful for this type of carving so that you may remove the recessed area of the spoon that contains the food or liquid.

To start spoon carving, you only need to:

  • a hook blade
  • wood carver
  • polishing/honing compound on a leather strop
  • wood to carve.

Relief carving

The design emerges from the wood in a relief carving, giving the object a sense of depth. One of the earliest types of wood carving is relief carving, which calls for a variety of carving implements.

The technique of relief carving is ideal for creating stunning three-dimensional wall art that combines painting and sculpture.

You may make lovely sculptures and displays to use as home decor or to give as gifts to family and friends.

What you will need to get going is as follows:

  • wood carving chisels
  • wood carving gouges
  • knives for cutting wood
  • polishing/honing compound on a leather strop
  • wood to carve.

While relief carving can be a little more difficult than whittling, the results are worth the extra work.

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Carving in the round

An object that has been carved in the circle is entirely three-dimensional. The wood has been sliced away from all sides so that the design may be seen from every angle. People carving in the round may require knives, chisels, gouges, and V-tools depending on the design they select.

A three-dimensional job that has been finished that involved carving all around a piece of wood to create realistic designs is referred to as carving in the round.

A more aesthetically pleasing finish, such as staining, painting, or even burning, is necessary for this kind of wood carving. This style of carving lacks the flat back panel of relief carving and is smoother and more intricate than whittling.

Carving in the round requires more tools of various sizes than other carving techniques to achieve this look. Power tools could also be required to adjust some components.

With this carving technique, there are no restrictions on size, content, or finish. It is therefore ideal for those who are just learning and desire the freedom to express themselves.

Chainsaw carving

The most popular carving style worldwide right now is chainsaw carving. This is the right niche for you if you enjoy using contemporary technology along with traditional wood carving techniques to produce breathtaking works of art.

You can carve anything you want with a chainsaw, including people, figures, animals, toys, and places.

In my experience as a carpenter, chainsaw carving will undoubtedly become a popular topic in the near future. Chainsaw carving is highly advised for beginners. You won’t look back and be sorry.

Carvers attach a special blade to a chainsaw to perform chainsaw carving. For a flawless finish, they also need a grinder and sanding equipment. Wearing safety goggles, gloves, safety boots, and earplugs is all necessary for safe chainsaw carving.

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Power carving

A fantastic alternative to traditional wood carving with knives and gouges is power carving. You may swiftly create smooth, finely detailed sculptures by utilizing a rotary tool, which is comparable to a Dremel, and specialized cutting bits.

You will need to utilize more expensive equipment for this, and it is strongly advised that you use eye protection and a dust mask. Wood dust will quickly coat you after the wood is ground, making it airborne.

To start power carving, all you need to do is:

  • Rotary device (see power tools)
  • Different cutting bits
  • Eye protection
  • Dust Mask
  • Wood to carve

Is learning wood carving difficult?

You could be wondering whether and when you’ll be able to master all of these now that you are aware of the many wood carving techniques, the best wood for beginners, and the tools.

Fortunately, learning to carve wood is simple. Whittling is the ideal location for a newbie to start. You don’t have to make the work flawless, and you only need to use the fewest tools.

Additionally, there are a ton of free designs and instructions online that make it look simple. However, you will only be as excellent as much time you put into practice, just like everything else in life.

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How beginners carve wood

Although there are many wonderful objects you may carve as a novice, a wooden spoon is probably the simplest. It simply needs a whittling knife, and you can finish it in under two hours.

As a beginner, carving letters in wood can help build your confidence and is not as challenging as it sounds.

Therefore, get any extra pieces of wood you have laying around or any logs you discover outside, and then begin whittling.

What should you understand before beginning wood carving?

I can sense your excitement as you begin wood carving your first project. However, there are a number of things you need to be familiar with before that, just like in any other subject.

I’ve outlined what you should understand and practice before beginning wood carving here. It’s them,

Choosing the appropriate wood for wood carving is essential. Knowing the ideal wood to produce the ideal result can save you time and improve your desire to study more. Therefore, choosing the right wood before beginning to carve is crucial.

Tips to start wood carving

Appropriate carving tools, never waste money on things you won’t use before you know how and when you’ll use them. Some wood carving tools can be used for a variety of projects. Therefore, you must first have a clear understanding of the tools you actually require and their purposes.

Always follow a strategy for wood carving – create one on your own or obtain one online before beginning any type of wood carving. There are numerous plans for wood carving there. You must determine measures and where to make cuts.

Therefore, before doing anything else, sketch out the strategy on paper with a pencil.

Safety measures

Safety is crucial when carving wood. Working with machinery, blades, cutting and peeling implements, and other sharp, hard metal objects is necessary. Therefore, make sure to wear gloves on both hands at all times before you start wood carving.

When you are an expert at wood carving games, there comes a moment when you may work even without gloves to obtain tiny details that are challenging with gloves. However, until then, gloves must always be worn when beginning to carve wood.

Whatever type of wood you plan to carve, sanding is essential in wood carving. You can stop many problems from occurring by sanding, including cracks, dents, debris, and rough surfaces. Therefore, sand with fine-grit sandpaper before beginning to carve.

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In this article, we discussed how to start wood carving, wood carving tools (carving knives) and what you need to know before doing so.

In addition, we looked at different wood carving styles, wood carving tools, their applications, and beginner-friendly wood carving ideas.

I suggest that you continue your education and practice until you master the art of wood carving.

Let’s attempt it as your first wood carving project, then!

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Hello to all lovers of wood products. I have been fond of woodcarving since childhood. I first learned about it at a children’s camp at the age of 12, and since then it has been my hobby. I organized a wood carving club in my area and often meet there with like-minded people. I dream of selling my products as souvenirs and gifts.

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