Photo of author
Written By AB Williams

Welcome! My name is AB Williams. Wood working is my passion.It became my passion after I’d finished college. Since then I’ve gained strong knowledge and skill set of woodworking and wood finishing.





looking for carve wood?

Wood carving is the process of creating wooden sculptures and artefacts from wood using a cutting knife. Using chisel and mallet to convert the huge block of wood into a beautiful wooden figure or sculpture, takes extreme patience and skill. Sculptures made out of carved wood make beautiful outdoor sculpture and are often used as indoor decoration pieces as well. As compared to other materials used for carving like bronze and stone, wood carving requires more patience and accurate detailing. Wood carving is a very well practised and appreciated work, which has its own tool and skill set.

Basic Tool Kit:

The tools used for basic wood carving and refining sculptures are widely available and many companies produce tools which allow users to add minute details to their sculptures. The basic tool kit often contains all the tools required for not only allowing beginners to experiment with wood carving but also assist professional woodcarvers in achieving their desired details. The basic tool kit contains:

  1. The carving Knife: It is the most important tool in the tool kit since it is not only used to pare and cut the wood but also plays an important role in smoothing of the wood.
  2. Chisel: It is mainly used for carving hollows, rounds and curves. Many wood carvers tend to make sculptures by using only the chisel since it is an all-purpose tool.
  3. Coping Saw: A smaller version of an actual saw and is used for chopping of the chunks of wood.
  4. V tool: The tool is shaped in such a way that it causes the area to be parted and is a tool used for refining a basic model.
  5. Sharpening equipment: To ensure that the required edges are sharpened to the required degree.

The toolbox contains all the major tools required for basic wood carving along with the advanced refinement of the model. 

Wood carving:

In order to produce beautiful sculpture and figures from wood, it is important to understand the wood being used as well. Wood tends to have longitudinal layers of grain which when carved in a particular direction produce a specific kind of effect on the sculpture. It is important that the chisel is used to carve the wood in the direction of the grain, since it allows the structure to be fine and clean. Carving diagonally and against the grain is always discouraged since it causes the wood to tear and damages the wood greatly. In order to determine the direction of the grain in a block of wood, the user needs to locate the dark streaks present in the wood. The direction of these streaks is in fact the direction of the grain. 

While using the chisel, the direction of the grain is of utmost importance, however, the chisel is a tool which can be used in making large or medium-sized sculpture. In order to make smaller sculptures, a knife is used instead of the chisel. A knife does not need to carve the wood according to the direction of the grain but can be used freely by the user. In order to ensure that the knife remains in control of the woodcarver, it should be balanced against the thumb of the hand used for holding the wood piece. This causes the knife to only cut the wood when the force is applied by the user. However, since the knife is sharper than a chisel, it is important that the knife remains in control of the woodcarver since it might harm otherwise.

Both the chisel and knife are designed and used for carving and smoothening the wood figure, however in order to target the hollow areas of the wood gouges are used. Gouges are fairly similar to the chisel except for its shape. Moreover, gouge requires extra effort and force while using since it is harder to carve wood using it. It is mostly suggested to use the gouge such that the user is able to apply their body weight on the tool and carve the wood. U- and V-gouges are also available but are specifically designed for detailing of the sculpture.

The most important aspect of wood carving is to remove the extra pieces of the wood by roughing up the sculpture. Instead of leaving the figure with sharp edges, it is always advised to curve them. In order to do so, the users must use sandpaper and ensure that they graze the edges equally.

Wood carving is a commonly practised form of art; however, it requires extreme patience. Along with patience, skill and developing expertise is also essential for getting exceptional results. Using sharp tools also play an important part in the neatness of the sculpture, since blunt tools cause the surface to be grazed and nicks the wood.

Leave a Comment