Getting started in relief carving, which method is easiest to learn?

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Forum topic by Micah Muzny posted 10-02-2014 11:35 PM 1066 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah Muzny

185 posts in 1153 days

10-02-2014 11:35 PM

I want to try some relief carving, just small things to add decorations on furniture. Is power carving or hand tools easier to learn and use?

5 replies so far

View hairy's profile


2377 posts in 2953 days

#1 posted 10-03-2014 12:09 PM

Here’s a great place for carving:

I suggest hand tools, but I also have a Dremmel, each has a place.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View jackthelab's profile


307 posts in 2114 days

#2 posted 10-03-2014 12:51 PM

I would say try the hand tools first. I have done some relief carving with simple chisels, knives and files. Find a simple picture to start with and you will be surprised how quickly you pick it up.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2343 days

#3 posted 10-03-2014 01:19 PM

You can get god info and lessons at Texas carvers guild. I learned at Calif carvers guild many years ago.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View helluvawreck's profile


22677 posts in 2287 days

#4 posted 10-03-2014 02:48 PM

You can get some good relief carving patterns here.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View EPJartisan's profile


1116 posts in 2546 days

#5 posted 10-03-2014 09:48 PM

I’d have both on hand, but try to use the hand tools as much as possible. The nature of carving is to understand the wood grain… how to cut with or against it for the shape you want. I was always told… do it by hand and you’ll know what the power tool is supposed to do…but there are times where as a newbie you’ll get frustrated and having a dremmel on hand is recommended. Keep the tools sharp, have some rasps, and always have a bottle of cyanoacrylate glue (super glue) to put those pesky tiny chip outs back into place. Good Luck.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

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