Beginner in carving

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Forum topic by JohnChung posted 386 days ago 405 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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187 posts in 580 days

386 days ago

Hi guys,

I have just added a new interest to my handplanes, carving. Any books , URL or forum that I can use as a reference for a beginner?


6 replies so far

View racerglen's profile


2126 posts in 1286 days

#1 posted 386 days ago

John, have you tried the “woodcarving” one on this website ?

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View TheWoodenBox's profile


167 posts in 2115 days

#2 posted 386 days ago

Welcome to the world of carving.

First, I would check locally for any clubs. My club offers a class once a year for beginners, the class offers a wide range of carving.

Second, what type of carving do you think you would interested in? One word of advance with this topic, try all the different carving styles. I stayed away from chip carving for about two years because I just thought I wouldn’t like it. Five years later, I’m teaching the beginners class of chip carving at my club.

Third, I don’t know your location but look for woodcarving shows. I live in the mid-west and travel to Dayton, Ohio each year for the Artistry in Wood show. Poeple that set up there are more than happy to talk carving.

Hope this helps. Happy carving.

Remember, a dull knife is worse than the sharpest knife.

View EPJartisan's profile


937 posts in 1631 days

#3 posted 386 days ago

Carving is awesome, to me, when compared to all other woodworking it is pure peace and joy, and the closest one can get to wood not only as a material, but as a living creature. You’ll get education on tree species right away.. how walnut carves compared to bloodwood, or maple. You’ll know wood grain like no other woodworking can give you.. you’ll find each board is unique and beautiful and sometimes a pure PITA… it’s like having a conversation rather than working.

Most of all.. it is about sharp tools… any kind…any shape… it just has to be sharp, sharp, sharp.

You’ll learn about metal hardness… sharpening processes… how an angle gets you the best cut in just the right way. You’ll learn about your body and hands. How to stand, when to move yourself or move the piece. Find those strange angles where the wood grain and the tool, and your hand seems frustratingly impossible to get right. You’ll discover cyanoacrylate glue is your best friend. You will poke and make small cuts all over yourself a hundred times. and again why super glue is your best friend.

In my opinion, learning carving gives you the best tool in the shop.. your head. you’ll know why wood does what it does and how blades cut it. In the end you will only use power tools because they are faster, but you’ll know how they actually do their job much better. But be careful because carving makes you a small wood piece collector.. and it makes you see things differently.. and you can become interested in trees as material… and how and when to use them the best for your carvings. Carving teaches you how to do everything else in woodworking… better.

Yet, in a lot of ways carving is a no brainer…learning comes from doing.. doing makes you better… you learn more and better ways… and then you become addicted because you can do it anywhere, any time. A piece of wood and a knife. In the shop, on the front porch, in the living room, on vacation. LOL I started with old chisels I curved on a grinder and small screw drivers I sharpened to a point… I still use them, even tough I have much better tools today.

So just do it and welcome to the quiet side of woodworking. :)

-- the sacrifice of one's ego is the greatest gift to someone you respect

View JohnChung's profile


187 posts in 580 days

#4 posted 386 days ago

racerglen: The woodcarving forum looks pretty dull. On the other hand this forum is buzzing with activity :)

I am pretty much in isolation. I am from Malaysia. My tools are western tools…. :) I am not sure where I can look for learning resources on carving. When I started handplanes it was pretty easy since google provided me good results. Carving on the other hand is sparse.

As for my carving I am aiming for this right now:

View EPJartisan's profile


937 posts in 1631 days

#5 posted 386 days ago

well, you aren’t going to get any advice from carvers directly if you don’t post in that forum. I also noticed you do not have any buddies yet.. so you are not following any carvers projects or blogs. I only noticed because you have carving in your forum title. :) Also I recommend that you do a search for “gauges” and sharpening

Looks like you are going to need a gauge and a chip knife for that project.. atleast. If you can order from Woodcraft, they have an amazing selection of chisels. Also order the book: Understanding Wood by Bruce Hoadley, and anything buy Tom Wolfe for carving. I am self taught really, so I apologize I do not have more to offer.

But there are a lot of us on here, we are usually doing our thing. Today, I am slacking a bit over lunch. Check out and buddy these fine craftspeoples… just a few of amazing carvers here on LJs.
Dennis Zongker, Borchik, Eric, Heidi, Spoontaneous, and Mads

-- the sacrifice of one's ego is the greatest gift to someone you respect

View JohnChung's profile


187 posts in 580 days

#6 posted 386 days ago

Thanks EPJartisan. Will post on the other site. I will look up the books that was mention.


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