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Forum topic by chevyll posted 01-26-2010 04:03 AM 1487 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 3041 days

01-26-2010 04:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: carving

Is there anyone out here that is somewhat of a novice at woodcarving? What Iam looking for is more info on how to get started and what to look for on different types of carving (getting started and understanding what each type of carving entales) for example Relief carving it looks intresting but not quite sure how to break it down. Like is it mostly raised type to bring out the figure or to have some of it concaved so it looks like it’s below surface? Birds,feathers. leaves, branches, etc. If anyone knows of a good book or magazine that would be good reading to self teach. Thanks Chevyll

-- chevyll someone say tool sale ? oh yeah Iam gone

8 replies so far

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3319 days

#1 posted 01-26-2010 04:14 AM

Hey Chevyll. I started carving about 6 months ago. I mostly do “In-the-round” which is basically freeform sculpture type. The relief carving is basically using different levels of material to make your piece up. This entails usually leaving the main subject raised the most, and carving out the background. But this is not a rule of thumb, just a generalization. My wife started when I did, and she started doing golf ball carvings. The local carving club has a special little lathe someone had made and it cut the outer shell off of half of the golf ball, and then she would carve on the core of it. I personally didnt like carving on a sphere but it worked great for her. As far as which books to get, most are tailored to one type or the other of carving. As for Magazines, I usually read Woodcarving Illustrated. It seems to be the best all-around magazine in the states.

Do you already have tools or just deciding if you want to get into the hobby?

-- -- Jim - Kokomo, Indiana

View chevyll's profile


9 posts in 3041 days

#2 posted 01-26-2010 07:05 AM

I already have some tools, I startd a relief carving just on a piece of bass wood it bout 2 inches thick it is some ruff cut that I purchased when made a rocking horse for grand kids yrs ago. And I still had better par of a 12 ft pice left and thought give it a try on there first. The one I picked out looked nice it is 3 hummingbirds and a flowering bush and leaves. Didnt think would be that bad but been into it bout 8 mos and seem to be running a muck with it. So stoped and picked up somemore books and magazines reading up before go ruining it anymore than already have. I get carving Illustrated, Chip Chat, then purchased a book last fall at yard sale , wood carving by Freda Skinner in there she talks bout all types of carving. Also have some of Roy Underhill’s books some of them have sections on carving also. Had a friend that did golf balls he was very good at it , madeold time santa faces and different types of xmas orniments, far as know he still does them. And another friend of mine used to carve walking canes. Thanks for input.

-- chevyll someone say tool sale ? oh yeah Iam gone

View hairy's profile


2701 posts in 3529 days

#3 posted 01-26-2010 08:04 AM

I am attempting it. I have just recently began. I bought this book:

It’s a good book.

-- My reality check bounced...

View chevyll's profile


9 posts in 3041 days

#4 posted 01-26-2010 01:55 PM

Thanks Hairy,will see if I can find it locally first.

-- chevyll someone say tool sale ? oh yeah Iam gone

View 1978's profile


167 posts in 3606 days

#5 posted 01-26-2010 02:08 PM

Try finding a woodcarving club in your area. The club I attend (Raintree Woodcarvers) here in Indiana, has a class once a year for beginners. It is about 12 weeks long and they cover many different types of carving. Some magazines you might try are Woodcarving Illistrated and Woodcarving. Good luck and don’t be afraid to try something new.

View DennyJD's profile


4 posts in 3263 days

#6 posted 06-03-2010 05:53 PM

Hi there. I have been doing relief carvings for about 2 years. It can be very frustrating and very satisfying at the same time. There are many subtle challenges to carving wood regardless of the format. Here are some suggestions for guidance. There are several great videos from Nora Hall , a German carver. Her videos start out simple and progress through skill levels, although I don’t consider her advanced videos really advanced. Chris Pye also has three good videos. The second one is only of value if you want to carve lettering. Also, check out a Woodcraft if there is one near you. They generally offer woodworking courses that include carving.

A small bit of advice (or hint if you prefer) from my experience. Two of the most important technical aspects of carving is to understand grain direction and how to handle it with the gouge. The second thing is a properly sharpened gouge. It should have about a 25 degree bevel on the outside. Most gouges out of the box are more than that and make it difficult to use the gouge in many situations. The gouge should also have a bevel ground on the inside as well. This makes the gouge usable in both the convex and concave positions. Once sharpened, unless you drop it (or throw it at a wall in frustration) it will only need an occasional honing.

Enjoy your carving…


-- Denny

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#7 posted 06-03-2010 05:57 PM

I did my first carving about 8 months ago but had thought about it for years before and started acquiring tools for some time before that.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3015 days

#8 posted 06-03-2010 06:51 PM

I, too dabble in wood carving. I strongly recommend getting some kind of leather wheel(slow speed) to hone/strop your cutting edges and use it often while carving. there is nothing like a razor sharp tool to use while carving and your work looks much crisper and with little tear outs. A dull knife, chisel or cutting tool will make you become frustrated much more easily. A TIP: when you see what looks like a scratch in your cut/slice it is a nick in your cutting edge and a sign for you to head for the sharpener. Another tip: a sharp edge cuts smoother, easier and with less effort likewise it will do the same to flesh! It will hurt less initially but will hurt just as much later! A dull edge seems to hurt more when you first slice yourself open. Ask me how I know! If you have not gotten cut yet, trust me, YOU WILL eventually. I just hope it is not a very bad cut and you leave your DNA all over your work! ABOVE all enjoy your work and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, after all it is how you learn BEST!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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