I made this santa ornament in about a week. After making this, I am definately in the market for a band saw now, as it would have saved a ton of time. Still I did enjoy carving this ornament and for the record this is the first thing I have ever carved. As a total nub to carving or really any wood working projects, my advice is safety gear. I didn’t have any. Although everything I read, the writer takes the time to highlight the importance of safety equipment, I ignored it (my fingers did not thank me). I will say that I was very careful with my measurements and I am sure that saved my project. For example, early on in the project I was thinking that the brim of the hat was way to big, but trusted the design (because it goes without saying that the designer knows more than me). The carving itself is real simple and perfect for beginners. Hope this helps my fellow newbs.