Tools for woodcarving with their own hands

Sharpening tools

Sooner or later any cutting tool gets blunt. To buy a new one because of this, of course, makes no sense, as the price of it is quite high. If you sharpen the tool, it can last quite a long time, and you can do it yourself.

The process of sharpening torches and other wood cutting tools is as follows:

  • The first thing to do is to sharpen the cutting parts with a fine abrasive. For example, with sandpaper or diamond grit. First one side is sharpened, and then the second. You can also use a special power tool for this operation.

tools, woodcarving, their, hands

Resharpening a cutter with an electric tool

  • Next, it is necessary to eliminate the irregularities that appeared as a result of the initial sanding.
  • After that it is necessary to grind the blade with a special compound until a mirror shine. It will reduce the friction between the wood and the working part of the tool.

After all the above operations it is necessary to determine how sharp the tool is. The instructions are quite simple: you have to run the blade across the wood along the grain. If the trace is straight, then the blade is sharp, but if the trace is rough and the fibers are fluffy, then the tool needs to be sharpened further.

The cutter knife

Purpose Cutter knives are auxiliary tools for geometric and relief techniques, less often for contouring and volume. In geometric threads, they are used to create sockets and other curved incisions. In the contour. they are convenient to perform a variety of roundings and curves of the mowing line. In flat-relief and sculptural carving, it is a second tool used for selecting the background and working out convex elements.

Features of the blade A distinctive feature of the cutters is a shaped blade with a curved cutting edge. Shapes of the blade that are most commonly used by wood carvers are shown in the diagram. Otherwise, these tools are similar to jointed knives: they have the same length, protrusion of the blade, and handle.

Sharpening In most cases, a single-facet sharpener is used. For soft wood it is made at an angle of 20 °, for hard. 35-40 °. Two-sided sharpening is used less often.

Angular chisels

Obtaining a complex surface can be carried out when using angular chisels. They are also made of profiled products. The procedure for obtaining the desired product is as follows:

  • The metal is heated and the excess material is cut off.
  • The next step is to create the handle, for which in most cases wood is used.

In order that the resulting product can be used to remove the wood from the surface it is necessary to sharpen the blade. Such work is carried out with the use of grinding circles.

Tools for carving

General principles

Wood carving is a rather popular technique for decorating various items.

As a rule, the process itself takes place according to this scheme:

Take note! Sometimes undisturbed parts of trees are decorated with carvings. In this case a fragment is chosen, the form of which has the maximum decorative potential.

A wide variety of tools are used for shape carving

  • After that the surface is machined with special cutters, with the help of which some of the wood is selected. The decorative relief is formed due to this.
  • After the actual carving is complete, a finishing process is carried out: sanding the cut-out areas, impregnating with protective compositions, full or partial painting, varnishing, etc.д.

The most important tools in this process are wood carving cutters. In addition to the skill of the carver himself, it is on the quality and proper selection of the cutter depends on how clean the ornament or scene image on the wood will turn out.

That’s why below we will consider the main varieties of such tools and describe where and how they are used.

Main types of cutters

To create three-dimensional images, craftsmen use a variety of different types of wood cutters. In principle, if you have skill, you can do without some of the following products, but for best results it is better to assemble as extensive set as possible and use each tool according to its purpose.

The main varieties of cutters are presented in the table below:

  • These are knives with short blades in the shape of a triangle with different angles of bevel.
  • Are a versatile tool, because they can be used to form a variety of relief objects, ranging from flat lines and ending with small recesses.
  • Three functional areas are used when working with a jib knife: the toe, the blade, and the heel.

Depending on the shape of the edge, the chisels are:

  • Flat. used to form smooth lines and recesses. Flat chisels with a wide blade are also used for roughing in order to cut or scrape away surface defects.
  • Corner chisels are used for cutting V-grooves and notches, as well as for forming figured elements. The smaller is the angle of closure of the planes of such chisels, the deeper is the relief formed by it.
  • Semicircular. one of the most common in figural carving. The rounded shape of the end blade allows you to effectively extract the wood from the solid, forming a recess. Small, semi-circular chisels are also used for texturing and notching on even surfaces.
  • Beveled. functionally similar to semicircular, but when extracting the wood a groove with distinct inner edges is formed.
  • Reverse (rounded and stapled). used to form semicircular and rectangular protruding parts, as well as to draw parallel lines.

A cleaver is usually used for finishing carving with a strong penetration that allows you to form a clear topography.

As a rule, these tools are classified by the shape of the blade:

  • Straight.
  • Semicircular.
  • Oblique (distinguish between left- and right-handed cutters).
  • “Dovetails.
  • Tapered.
  • Reverse.
  • Corner.

auxiliary tools

But a master carver, besides chisels and knives of various shapes and sizes, also needs other tools.

The required minimum of additional equipment includes:

  • Wood saws (hacksaw or sabre saw for roughing, onion saw for finishing).
  • Jigsaws.
  • Drills and keyholes.
  • Planing plane saws.
  • A set of wood files (rasp files).
  • Mallet for hardwood chisels.
  • The accessories for sanding wood.

If the master is working with quite large-sized structures, then in addition to simple cutters, he may need and shaped axes. the so-called tesla. On the principle of action they are similar to cutters (of course, with a correction for the scale and purity of work).

Selection tips

If you plan to master the technique of woodcarving with your own hands, then you need to start with the selection of the appropriate tool. And here we are faced with a dilemma: really good quality cutters are pretty expensive, but if you buy a set for beginners “on the cheap,” then work with uncomfortable and constantly losing the sharpness of the device for a long time will discourage engagement in this type of art.

The optimal solution would be to buy a few good cutters, and then expand your toolbox as needed. To begin with, we need at least one medium-sized jamb knife, as well as four or five chisels: one flat, a few angular and semi-circular with different bending of the blade.

Quality products from foreign manufacturers

As for specific copies, you need to pay attention to such features:

  • Blade must be solid and well hardened, without rust or other flaws.
  • Cutting part should be firmly, without play, fixed in the handle.

Pay attention to! This does not concern knives with interchangeable blades. they will in any case have a minimum backlash that you will have to put up with.

  • Material of the handle. wood or durable plastic. However, the second option is still somewhat worse, because the wooden handle sits in a sweaty hand is not by far more comfortable.
  • Naturally, the handle must be flat and smooth, without burrs and cracks.
  • If we talk about the shape of the handle, the most common are cylindrical variants (suitable for percussion carving with a mallet), conical and mushroom-shaped models.
  • Some manufacturers produce chisels and jambs with handles of anatomic shape supplied with a groove for fingers, but many beginners have some complaints about their convenience.
  • An important role is also played by the manufacturing company: today in the market you can find both domestic and foreign forms, producing a very decent quality products. And here’s something to give up, so it’s from the blatantly cheap Chinese and some domestic cutters: yes, the purchase you will save, but cut these products if and will, then not long.

How to choose a drill

The key to success in this activity depends largely on the selected tool. First of all, you must decide on the workload of the drill. It is recommended to pay attention to two aspects:

Basic Hand Carving Tools Explained

  • Micromotor power, which will determine the duration of operation of the equipment under mechanical stress.
  • The number of revolutions of the working body, in which the nozzles will be fixed.

Those wishing to engage in this activity professionally should know that they will need to purchase two tools. To date, drilling machines with high power and high speed have not been invented. For this reason, novice masters should buy:

The next step is to choose a blank. Experts recommend giving their preference to wood species with a dense homogeneous structure. Lime, pear, beech, or alder are better choices. Oak, spruce, and pine blanks would not be the best choice. The disadvantage is the poor reflection of the texture of the pattern.

Materials for the job

Each type of wood for carving has its pros and cons. It is easy to work with soft wood, but there can also be many rejects. It is aspen, basswood, birch. For beginners, this wood will suit the best.

Oak, boxwood, mahogany are more expensive and difficult woods. It is hard and resistant, so it is difficult to carve from such wood. Very often it is not easy to get into trouble with such wood species. Either the tool or the craftsman could suffer.

An experienced carver can easily work with different woods, including juniper. Well, for beginners it is better to use inexpensive materials. spruce, pine, pear or birch.

Whatever tools you have chosen for woodcarving, you must strictly observe safety techniques!

Impalement carving

It is one of the methods of carving, when the background is completely removed from the blade. It also has other names: woodcarving or through carving.

This term accurately describes the process of woodworking. A perfect combination of geometric carving and carving in relief. This is one of the oldest techniques, it requires a certain skill and dexterity, such as delicate through-carving. The technique is as follows: the workpiece is fixed, traced, the basic pattern is applied and holes are drilled for the saw. On the contour, sawing and subsequent preparation of the material for work: chamfering with a chisel and sanding the workpiece. The effect of airiness, lightness, weightlessness is created. The work is so delicate and exquisite that sometimes it’s hard to believe that wood has been used.

Woodcarving. variants of work and the equipment necessary for it

Such an art form as Slavic wood carving has a history that goes back to very ancient times. Since then, technology has come a long way, and many new tools for woodworking have appeared. We will consider what options exist, and what devices and tools can be used.


Carving in relief: from basic skills to a proficient technique

Of all the types of carving, the relief technique is one of the most expressive. Realistic wooden bas-reliefs, with careful detailing, a spectacular play of shadows and correctly constructed composition, can truly fascinate. It can be considered as a stepping stone to sculpture carving, which is rightly considered the crown of the carving art.

This article is about the basic principles of carving in relief. Our tips will be useful not only for beginners carvers, but also for craftsmen who have already tried their hand at this technique. By the example of the offered project you will get acquainted with basic principles of clean and accurate cutting, learn how to model the volume correctly, learn professional secrets which will help to emphasize the three-dimensional qualities of the carved composition.