Welcome to the Woodcarving Illustrated Message Board, an online wood carving forum community where you can join thousands of carvers from around the world discussing all things related to carving. To gain full access to the message board you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
  • Browse over 90,000 posts.
  • Communicate privately with other carvers from around the world.
  • Post your own photos or view from 3,500 user submitted images.
  • Gain access to exclusive wood carving promotions offered by Wood Carving Illustrated and Fox Chapel Publishing.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact the Woodcarving Illustrated Message Board's Support Team.

Go Back   Woodcarving Illustrated Message Board > Wood Carving > Wood Carving for Beginners
Connect with Facebook

Nicholas Woodcarving
Wood Carving for Beginners

Reply
Share Thread:
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:20 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Question Tips for a beginner?

Hey everyone,

Just got out of the military and I decided to take up wood carving as a constructive way to calm myself and be productive. I was thinking about attempting to carve an easter island head as a first project due to its simplicity, whether its 'actually' simple or not for wood carving I'm unsure because of my lack of experience. Here's a list of supplies I have, I'd be appreciative of any tips or recommendations.

16 pc. chisel set - not high quality but I'm just starting
Leather thumb guard
Murphy knife - approx. 1 1/2 inch straight edged blade
10 lb 'grab bag' of basswood

Thanks for your time
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-05-2010, 05:51 AM
William's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 523
Thanks: 1
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Tips for a beginner?

You made a good start with your new tools.
You will likely be holding the wood in one hand so a carving glove would be a good investment, and some way to keep your new tools sharp.

Bill
^v^
__________________
My WCI Gallery

Started wood carving in October 2005
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-05-2010, 09:26 AM
mpounders's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Posts: 2,143
Thanks: 29
Thanked 227 Times in 146 Posts
Default Re: Tips for a beginner?

I recommend that you take a look at Lynn Doughty's free videos, particularly carving a cowboy head. His is a relatively simple process that you could duplicate using just a small square of wood and a utility knife. Definitely buy a carving glove!
Out West Woodcarving Videos on Vimeo

You are starting out with the correct wood, so just keep practicing! It usually takes a little while!
__________________
Mike P.

"I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure."

http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:23 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 410
Thanks: 0
Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Default You can save some major bucks starting out by.........

getting what Lynn calls an "old reliable"
That is a plain old box cutter knife for a couple dollars, and a whole 100 blade pack for another few dollars.
I use mine a lot, and have found that even these so called "razor knives" need stropping to keep a clean sharp edge.
Start with a simple project, and go on from there.
Glad to see you home safe and sound.
We all thank you for your service, as a Vietnam vet, I know what a simple thank you can mean to a guy coming home. Good luck on your new hobby.
WEAR YOUR GLOVE!! Happy carving.
post your efforts too, we're all beginners at some point.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:43 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Up North
Posts: 560
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Tips for a beginner?

Hello and welcome to the forum and welcome home prowlermech. I also want to thank you and JD Jim for your service to this great country of ours.
God Bless You both.
Now prowler, you couldn't have chosen a finer hobby, and as a few have said here, you have a great start on your collection of tools.
Be safe and have fun,
Jim
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:56 AM
arfer1943's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Jersey C.I. UK
Posts: 226
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: Tips for a beginner?

Good to hear from you.

Coincidentally today I have just waxed an Easter Island head too!

Tips?

  1. Start simple.
  2. Dont try a miniature, about 6 inches high about right.
  3. Check you know where the grain lies and carve down into and with the grain at first.
  4. Try to slice as you push (bit like sawing).
  5. If possible sketch or model your subject in clay before you start to ensure you really are familiar with your subject first.

Don't be discouraged. We all make great firewood before we produce adequate carvings!

Any help?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:50 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: colorado springs
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Tips for a beginner?

Thank you for all the tips, I'll definitely attain something to sharpen my tools and keep them in good condition. Thanks for welcoming me back stateside, definitely easier for me to talk to people in English haha.

Is there any kind of carving glove recommended? I have a few tight fit leather mechanics gloves lying around from working on aircraft, would those work?

I'll be looking through guides and updating on my progress, thanks for all the great help.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-08-2010, 12:43 AM
mpounders's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Posts: 2,143
Thanks: 29
Thanked 227 Times in 146 Posts
Default Re: Tips for a beginner?

Leather gloves are good if you are using large burs for power carving, but a good knife will cut through too easily. Most people use some form of kevlar type glove, like these Wood Carving Gloves from Smoky Mountain Woodcarvers on the hand holding the carving.

They provide protection from slicing cuts, but not from stabbing type wounds. Many also use separate thumb guards and/or tape on the thumb of the hand holding the knife. Take small cuts, keep your knife sharp and it will be easier to control, and take your time.
__________________
Mike P.

"I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure."

http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-08-2010, 11:26 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: metro kansas city
Posts: 740
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Tips for a beginner?

start with "slices" of wood--not cuts-- you should be slicing like you would a very ripe tomato-- not sawing like with a dull knife or hand saw. this will mean that you want your knives "scary sharp" look for a link here in the search column. last week end i broke thru a carving because my knife wasnt sharp enough and made a bad cut in the lower joint of my index finger--someone earlier suggested inches tall, good place to start--but get a glove too--and learn to sharpen your tools. and you will get as many more answers as you get responses-- and each will have good points to consider.
__________________
Chuck Bolton


I'm in favor of saving the planet-- Its the only one with chocolate.


Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-09-2010, 09:01 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 108
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Re: Tips for a beginner?

As the others have said, thank you and welcome home.
I just started carving a short time ago but Ive learned a few things from the forum.
Youll need a strop. I made mine from a piece of old leather belt nailed to a flat piece of scrap wood.
Definitely get a carving glove. Properly sharp tools will go through leather.
For a cheap and effective knife, try a Stanley model 199 style utility knife. I got the house brand version at Lowes for a couple of bucks. Make sure it is the fixed version, not retractable. It is not only surprisingly useful but it is very comfortable in my large hand.
If you are looking for a first (or second) project, try the 5 Minute Owl in the Fall issue of WCI. It was my first project, although it took a lot longer than 5 minutes. It wasnt good but it was recognizable, so I claimed a moral victory.
Finally, you made the right choice for a hobby. My wife says in over thirty years together she has never seen me as calm as when Im carving.
Jeff
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Most used Tips TexasSteve Pyrography and Woodburning 3 11-04-2011 11:56 AM
What would you say - best beginner tips One Thumb Carver Wood Carving for Beginners 34 06-15-2011 08:25 PM
Another beginner.. tips anyone? saiyris Wood Carving for Beginners 5 08-08-2010 05:04 PM
Need tips for a beginner n00b Welcome Members 6 07-06-2006 09:04 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:47 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2000 - 2010 Fox Chapel Publishing Co., Woodcarving Illustrated

SEO by vBSEO 3.3.2