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 1388 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah Muzny

185 posts in 1756 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


2718 posts in 3556 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.

-- My reality check bounced...

View jackthelab's profile


313 posts in 2717 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

2657 posts in 2946 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.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)


31368 posts in 2891 days

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

You can get some good relief carving patterns here.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3149 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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