Tips & Tricks: Carving - Where to Start

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Forum topic by MsDebbieP posted 10-01-2011 04:23 PM 2371 views 6 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18615 posts in 3246 days

10-01-2011 04:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: carving beginner tips tricks

what are your tips, tricks and suggestions for someone interested in getting started in carving?

(also add links to helpful blogs etc that are related to the topic)

Gateway to all Tips & Tricks Topics

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

8 replies so far

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18615 posts in 3246 days

#1 posted 10-01-2011 04:28 PM

My first question is: what kind of carving do you want to do?
  • relief carving
  • whittling
  • power carving
  • chip-carving
    (and… ?? what other types of carving is there?)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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18615 posts in 3246 days

#2 posted 10-01-2011 04:31 PM

We have some carving classes here at
  • power carving (Jordan Straker’s Shoe Challenge Class)
  • chip-carving (MyChipCarving’s quilt squares is a good place to start)
  • spoon carving (Spoontaneous has us thinking creative designs)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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541 posts in 2211 days

#3 posted 10-01-2011 05:59 PM

no matter the style of carving you want to learn, I suggest taking a class.
This can be online, live, or DVD.
I first learned to chip carve from a VHS tape (I’m dating myself).
You’ll never regret taking a class when you start carving.

-- Marty,, 866-444-6996

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3210 posts in 2682 days

#4 posted 10-03-2011 02:17 AM

I agree with Marty, take some classes to find out what you want.

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

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784 posts in 1981 days

#5 posted 10-03-2011 04:57 AM

If you think you might be interested in carving, look at some web sites or magazines and see if you see a style that interests you. Different types of carving can require as little as a knife or two and others may use different gouges, vises, mallets, or power equipment. Your local library may also have books and there may be clubs, events, or other carvers close to you. I started out with a few books and information from the Internet, before attending a few seminars and finding a club. The links below list web sites, tutorials, videos, and sources for tools and wood. My advice is to order some good bass wood and start with tools that are already sharp. It is easier at first to maintain an already sharp edge, than it is to learn how to sharpen your own tools and learning to carve on oak, walnut, and pine can be discouraging. And wear a protective glove and thumbguard. Start with simple carvings and work your way up to more complex things. Have fun!

Tools and Supplies
Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers 800-541-5994 free shipping if over $150
Woodcraft 800-225-1153 Authorized Pfeil distributer
Old Texas Woodcarvers Shop 800-752-9781
Wood Carvers Supply 800-284-6229 MasterCarver stuff
The Woodchip Shop 866-996-6324
The Woodcraft Shop 800-397-2278

Heinecke Wood Products 715-822-3524 best basswood
Itasca Wood Products 218-256-8094 basswood, diamond willow

Little Shavers Wood Carving Supply 206-767-7421 excellent sharpening service, beginners’ kits, and other supplies.
Drake Knives 360-659-6778 superb knives and gouges
Mike Shipley Knives 417-284-3416 Great knives
Pinewood Forge 800-423-1844 great knives, spoon knives

Good Web Sites
Wood Carving Illustrated
The Carvers’ Companion
Carving Magazine

Instructional Videos and Websites

Lynn Doughty and

Flat Plane
Gene Messer

Wood Spirits/Santas
Gary McDaniel and

Relief Carving
Dylan Goodson
Scott McNeil
Chris Pye
Lora S. Irish TO CARVING and

Books and Patterns
Fox Chapel Publishing
Classic Carving Patterns Lora S. Irish

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

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4929 posts in 2979 days

#6 posted 10-03-2011 05:35 AM

there isn’t anything yet, I cannot carve

the little black guy, having a shit, on a stump


carving your friends, your humour, in a piece of nature, a leaf be it gold or plaster, separates the “joiner” from the rest.

says everything about “ability”…….and keeps your adversaries with a good sense of “perspective” in keeping their mouths shut.

The “doubt” factor ?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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4929 posts in 2979 days

#7 posted 10-03-2011 05:59 AM

my fav.,………………saint nick

seems open to the most interpretation of just a name , what a wonderful opportunity to put your own childhood memories into a single statement.

what would you make?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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4929 posts in 2979 days

#8 posted 10-03-2011 06:04 AM

if you taught?

what would you teach your student ?

would saint Nick be black or white or hispanic ?……………..

so many questions, and so little time

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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