Wood carving was not original to any one population. Historical wood carvings can be found that date back to 4000 B.C. in Egypt, the Middle Ages in Europe, and the 5th century in Rome.
From monstrous structures to family keychains, wood carving is an art that can be learned in your home and expanded into businesses and museum-bound pieces. Here are our tips and tools for wood carving for beginners.
Handheld Tools for Wood Carving for Beginners
When it comes to wood carving for beginners, starting with handmade tools is best. Despite the more automated and digital ways to carve wood (which we’ll get to later), starting with hand carving will allow you to better understand how wood feels, bends, and breaks.
First, you can start whittling wood to create statues and even centerpieces. Whittling requires only a carving knife, although you can also use a V-tool. You can identify whittled wood pieces by looking for carvings with visible knife marks. No sandpaper required here.
Is creating a whole statue in this way intimidating? Consider chip carving instead. Chip carving knives are best used with softer woods, and allow you to create beautiful pieces from the negative space created from removing wood “chips.”
Wood carving for beginners doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Visit your local crafts store and pick-up a few wooden blocks and knives to start.
Caring For Your Wood Carving Knives
If you want your wood carving knife to last, you’ll eventually need to sharpen it. Grabbing a sharpening stone is essential to ensure that your knives remain sharp and up to the task.
Ensure you know which type of steel you’ve equipped on your knife before choosing your ideal sharpening stone.
Detailed Designs Using CNC Machines
For more details wood carving or cut designs, you may need a CNC machine. Essentially, CNC machines, or computer numerical control machines, are machines with motors that control exactly where perforations or cuts are made on your wood.
The first such machines were built in the 1940s, with more advanced machines being built with higher levels of intricacy in the 1950s. Today, you can use design software to draw and formulate where you want cuts and wood etches to go, then click “print” to have your connected CNC machine cut your wood exactly how you wish: from the comfort of your own home.
There are even CNC machines such as the X-Carve made by the Inventables that easily pair design software with the CNC machine’s cuts. Consider investing in one of these machines for more automated and large-scale production options in your wood carving journey.
Creating From Wood at Home
Wood carving for beginners doesn’t have to be difficult at home. By starting with softer wood and even a handy pocket knife, you can begin to make trinkets, small sculptures and even large pieces with whittling alone.
By diving into the world of CNC machines, you can even start an at-home business capable of taking mass orders at once. Ready to grow your at-home learning and new woodcraft business? Explore more of our tips to grow here on Young Leaders.