Once you have decided to start carving wood, the best place to start is to learn as much as possible from those with experience. Luckily if you don't have someone to learn directly from we know have the internet to find out where to start.
I am a novice woodcarver with little or no discernible artistic talent. But I never let that stop me. I don't carve for competition or profit, but because it is relaxing and a release. I love the smell of the wood and the feel and sound of a sharp tool, making little curl chips in the wood. I have been involved with carving about 3 years, but with 3 preteen children(I'm a soccer Dad) I haven't been able to find consistent carving time.
Beginners Carving Lesson
Beginner's Carving project from Northwest Wood Carvers Association.
Beginner's Wood Carving Lesson
Carving does not have to be complicated to get started. There are woods that lend themselves for carving. The softer woods and woods with little grain will be easier than a wood like Oak. However, Oak can be carved. There is no requirement to have basswood and you can get started by finding a piece of wood that will fit the project or you can glue up some white pine dimensional lumber from a local supplier. It is a good idea to make sure you have two good sides to make the joint invisible. Popular woods are cedar, basswood, tupelo and pine or woods belonging to these families. Yellow pine although a pine is very hard.
A Beginner's Guide to Woodcarving
Wood carving takes on all types of forms. When looked at from a wide perspective, it can be quite daunting to some one who wants to try the art of wood carving. From the very artistic wood sculptures, fancy and intricate scroll and leaf patterns found on furniture, all the way to the simplest and most practical such as a whittled spoon. Add to this the endless number of tools that could be used as well as the different wood available, it is no wonder that a beginner wood carver can be confused at where to start.
There are several types of wood carving: letter, chip, and relief carving; and carving in the round. Carving tools include knives, chisels, gouges, and mallets. For carving in the round, rasps and files are helpful. Gouges come in many shapes and are gauged by their width and sweep (the amount of curve on the cutting edge). Included in the mix are straight, bent, fishtail, in-cannel (the bevel is on the inside rather than the outside), spoon-bit, and V-gouges. Many are also available with short or long handles.
An Introduction to Wood Carving
So you have decided that you want to start carving wood. The first thing you should do is go out and get some supplies. Search for a relatively large sized shallow gouge.
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