Carving Tutorial

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Blog entry by kolwdwrkr posted 02-20-2009 06:41 AM 1276 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay now it’s time to tackle this carving thing. First you will need an artistic vision. It took me a long time to come up with this design and it may be a little advanced for me but I’ll see if I can handle it. You will come up with a design that is suitable for your skill. Now lets establish what you will need for tools. You will need the following:
A 4lb hammer
a shark saw
various sized “SHARP” chisels, preferably polished stanleys such as these
framing hammer
drill with driver
2” screws
utility knife
carving blank
First Aid kit

Once you’ve got all your tools needed you will need to fasten your blank to the work surface. Carefully layout the screw placement and proceed to drive the screws through the material and into the bench.
After securing the blank to the table you will need to layout your design. Carefully draw your design with the sharpie
Now you are ready to carve. As always establish safe practices. You may want the following: Safety glasses, alcohol, a cup (men only) helmet, knee and elbow pads, shoulder pads, shroud proof vest, Metalica on the radio, and a sense of humor.
After ensuring all safety measures are met you may begin. First you will need to establish your “Stop Cuts”. These will ensure that you do not chisel past your line. Make your stop cuts with a shark saw as illistrated.
After you’ve established your stop cuts you can proceed to carve. Grab a sharp chisel. With a 4 lb hammer hit the chisels handle forcing the tool into the wood. Do this several times, missing once.
After missing you need to realize that you have now successfully smashed your thumb. Now you will need to bandage the thumb before moving on so you will not bleed on the project.
Now you have a very nice carving but it still needs detail. With the framing hammer in hand take wild swings. I chose to commit to a pattern.
Once your detail is taken care of you are finished. Sit back, crack a beer, and admire your work. You have just successfully completed your first carving. Nicely done. Please post the pics of the final projects here at lumberjocks for us to see. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. No thumbs were harmed in the making of this blog. As always all comments whether positive or negative are welcome.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

9 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4156 days

#1 posted 02-20-2009 11:51 AM

Hi Keith,

At which point are you supposed to hit your thumb? LOL


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4115 days

#2 posted 02-20-2009 01:29 PM

Very well written and illustrated. Not only did I learn something, but you made it downright fun. I’ll be watching for future tutorials.

If this is your style of teaching, I think you can be quite effective. While your tongue was securely in your cheek here, I like a less formal approach.

-- Working at Woodworking

View lew's profile


12385 posts in 3931 days

#3 posted 02-20-2009 05:30 PM

I agree with Russel.

From what you demonstrated here, you have a talent to mix the appropriate amount of humor- without sarcasm- with accurate instructions/information and providing the means for the “learner” to distinguish between them.

You have been talking about what to do next, in your career. Take a serious look at teaching. I suggest high school vocational kids because at that age they respond so positively to humor and yet are still anxious to learn.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3766 days

#4 posted 02-20-2009 06:15 PM

Bentlyj you missed a very important part of the tutorial. You MUST bandage the thumb before continuing to prevent blood from getting onto your project, as you have done here. I give you a B+ though for effort. Great work. LOL

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3766 days

#5 posted 02-20-2009 06:17 PM

Lee, You must strike your thumb around the 3rd or 4th strike with the 4 lb. You could take further action and smash your hand with the framing hammer while holding the piece, but then again it was screwed to the bench. LOL

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3734 days

#6 posted 02-21-2009 04:21 PM

ROFLMAO…...................What a tutorial Keith. That’s not the true blog I was hoping for from you but it is very humorous. I’m glad to see you still have some humor after all you are going through. Keep it up buddy.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Grumpy's profile


24541 posts in 4027 days

#7 posted 02-22-2009 10:04 AM

At least you are human Keith. I was beginning to think you were some sort of carving God. LOL

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4253 days

#8 posted 02-24-2009 03:34 AM

Now I was just getting comfortable for an interesting read on carving . . . until I read 4lb hammer.

I thought . . . “ok, he is pretty good at the stuff so there must be a reason”. I then sort of questioned your “hitting” of the chisel, however I thought there must be a reason. When my eyes focused on the happy face made with the framing hammer I felt like a fool and laughed.

Keith . . . I’m thinking you should rethink that whole teaching thing unless you have bucket loads of insurance. :-)


-- BLOG -

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3766 days

#9 posted 02-24-2009 07:28 AM

Well, All kidding aside there will be an actual carving blog and it’s in the works. Soooo in the meantime at least try to laugh at this. LOL. I thought it was funny. ;-)

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

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