Tree carving how to

How To Start Wood Carving?

Wood carving is suitable for anyone to try. It is a popular hobby that speeded widely all over the world. Some do woodcarving for fun, while others do woodcarving as a business. Whatever the purpose, woodcarving is a field that mostly depends on your creativity. When I was learning woodworking, I was curious about wood carving which is also known as a huge branch of woodworking. Si, I did some research about How to Start Wood Carving?

Here is what I’ve found:

To start wood carving you need to know about types of wood carving, wood carving setup, wood carving tools with their uses, best wood for wood carving and how to prepare it for wood carving, wood carving methods, techniques, and many more. Most importantly, you need to be more passionate about wood carving to achieve the progress you wish.

But that’s just a quick rundown of the question. So, in this post, we’re diving in deep into how to start wood carving by covering all the hot topics and frequently asked questions by beginners in wood carving.

We’ll examine wood carving tips for beginners, how long does it take to learn how to carve wood, how much does wood carving cost and many other common questions in beginner wood carving.

If you’re passionate about wood carving after reading this article you can straightly give it a try to make your first woodcarving project without any issues.

Lots of wood carving skills here…bravo!!!
What a cutie!!!💕

— JustMePam (@PamelaApostolo1) August 7, 2021

What do You Need to Know Before Starting Wood Carving?

I know you’re excited to jump into carving your first project. But before that like any other field, there are several things you need to be familiarized with. Here I have mentioned what you need to know, what you need to practice before starting wood carving. They are,

  1. Selecting the right wood – If you know the perfect wood to get the perfect output, it’ll save your time and increase the desire to learn more. So, selecting the correct wood is important to know before you go for carving.
  2. Selecting the right tools – never waste your money on unnecessary stuff before knowing about how and when you want to use them. There are some tools in wood carving applicable for multiple tasks. So, before anything you need to have a clear idea about what are the tools you really need and their uses.
  3. Always follow a plan – before starting any kind of wood carving, make a plan by yourself or download one from the internet. There are plenty of wood carving pans in there. You need to figure out measurements and where should you put cuts. So, take a piece of paper and a pencil and draw the plan before anything.
  4. Wear Gloves – Safety is important in wood carving. You have to work with machines, knives, cutting and peeling tools, and many other hard metals sharp stuff. So, make sure always you wear gloves for both hands. When you’re a pro at wood carving games, there is a certain point you can do things even without wearing gloves to get fine details that difficult wearing gloves. But until then wearing gloves is a must for wood carving for beginners.
  5. Sanding in must – whatever wood you going to carve, sanding is important. By sanding you can prevent happening lot of issues like cracks, dents, debris, and it smoothens up the surface. So, do sanding with fine-grit sandpaper before start carving. 

I like to share the good and bad on here. Just couldn’t get this tudor rose looking how I wanted the other night (practice for a possible #woodcarving commission). So made it bigger and will try again until I get the basics down. Practice Practice Practice is how I learn!

— Kev (@Englishomestead) August 4, 2021

By having good knowledge about all the above factors, it is easy to catch the methods and techniques of wood carving. When I was a beginner those are the things that I have mainly focus on before starting wood carving.

Types of Wood Carving

Wood carving can be categorized under several fields. I highly recommend going through each niche and find what fits you best.

Types of wood carving are,

  • Whittling
  • Chip carving
  • Relief carving
  • Pyrography
  • Chainsaw carving

When you come across wood carving you can select one field from them and continue learning through it or you can learn them all.

So, let’s dig into each type of wood carving to get an idea of what fits you perfectly.


Whittling is the oldest wood carving type. Whittling uses a straight knife/pocketknife to carve the wood. For whittling, we always go for softwoods, because hardwoods are difficult to cut and add fine details.

This is also known as the carving in the round. You can give various shapes and designs to the wood by cutting it using a knife. To display the marks of the knife, mostly wood carvings made by whittling don’t sand.

Bit more whittling#carving #relaxing #absorbed #happydays

— David Tommo Thompson 😊 (@tommo_david) August 10, 2021

By cutting small slices of softwood, you can make beautiful things like a wooden spoon, wooden bunny, wooden flower, and many more small figures. Whittling does not need huge and costly tools. Most of the wood carvings only need a pocket knife and a softwood piece.

If you love to make small wood carvings with fine details as a hobby, in my opinion, Whittling is the best niche for you.

Chip Carving

Chip carving is a perfect niche for beginners. You can make cool attractive designs using softwood and a good old chisel with some small cuts.

Chip carving is mostly used for decorative purposes. Other than that chip carving is great for picture frames, cabinetry designs, or other workbench tasks.

Whittling is for figures while chip carving is for designs. However, both types are great for beginners.

Chip carving knife with spalted beech handle – hopefully Liz will like it. #handmade

— Richard ♠️ (@craftsandtools) March 13, 2018

Relief Carving

Relief carving needs some advanced carving techniques. In relief, carving figures are made in flat wood. In relief carving the design has 3D look from the front and a flat surface from the back. There are two types of relief carvings known as a high relief and low relief that varies upon how deep the cut is.

By relief carving, you can describe people, places, animals, and activities easily because of its 3D look.

If you’re a beginner in woodcarving, it’s better to practice several other types of designs before start with relief carving, because of its difficult, advanced methods.

Great relief carving done by our very own Spirit Carver Dean.#timberkings #carverkings #finestloghomesonearth

— Timber King Martin (@tk_martin82) May 17, 2019


Pyrography is a unique wood carving type that use to decorate wood with freehand burn marks. Pyrography is also known as writing with fire.

This is done by a heated pen tool and the results are impressive. With a good pyrography kit, you’ll be able to make beautiful drawings with awesome textures.

Pyrography is also great for a beginner in wood carving, which needs to have good creativity.

This fiery piece of Beech is the perfect canvas for the 🐉 dragons! I’m in Alnmouth on sun 8th (Hindmarsh Hall) if you want to see our wood burning art up close. 🔥💥#woodburningart #pyroart #dragon #northumberland #rusticart #woodart #northeastengland #pyrography #dragonart pic.

— Charred Wood (@charredwooduk) August 5, 2021

Chainsaw Carving

Chainsaw carving is the most trending carving type in the world. If you like to combine wood carving methods with modern technology to create amazing masterpieces, this is the best niche for you.

With chainsaw carving, you can carve whatever you want like people, figures, animals, toys, places, and many more. As a woodworker, I’m 100% sure chainsaw carving will be the most useful hot topic in near future. If you’re a beginner, highly recommend chainsaw carving. You’ll not regret it at all.

Chainsaw Carving by Bob King.

— 🌊🌊Raymond Alvarado, LLM🌊🌊 (@Raymond_LLM) August 3, 2021

So, for your question, how to start wood carving, you already have good knowledge about types of wood carvings. So, let’s head into what are tools you need to have for wood carving. This section is important because most beginners tend to waste their money on unnecessary wood carving tools.

Wood Carving Tools

There are several wood carvings tools that everyone should have and need to have a good practice. But most importantly, you need to have good knowledge about the item you’re planning on carving.

For example, if you stick with classical wood carves like spoons, bowls, cups, all you want are the hook knife and softwood. But there are much wood carves that need specialized tools to get the fine details of them.

Wood carving tools can be divided into 3 groups. They are,

  • Chisels
  • Gouges
  • Knives
  • Power tools

Wood Carving Chisels

Wood carving chisels can push with your palm to make cuts and remove wood slices easily. Chisels are mainly used for chip carving and relief carving.

Wood carving chisels have blades on both sides. There are chisels with different sizes that use differ according to the item you going to make.

Chisels have a straight edge which is used for creating different shapes.

There are 2 types of chisels available in the market. They are,

  • Skew chisels – blade angle is 450 and use for dovetails cuts.
  • Fishtail chisels – the chisel looks like a fish tail and use to make deep cuts.

*Isaac sits at his work bench with a knife and chisel carving away at a piece of wood* almost got it… done! *he holds up a small wooden truck he, absolutely loves making toys and trinkets for people*

— nilNvoid (@Lovingwolfdad) November 22, 2021

Wood Carving Gouges

Gouges are known as the most important wood carving tool ever. If you’re a beginner at wood carving, the gouge is the tool that you need to consider buying in the first place.

Wood carving gouges do the same task as chisels for making different cuts and shapes on wood. Gouges also can push with your palm to make cuts and remove wood slices easily. Gouges are known as chisels with curvatures.

Gouge’s use for chip carving, relief carving, crevices, channels, and contours.

Well sharpened Gouges are curved tools that can scoop the wood.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by David & Michelle Rauenbusch 🌳 (@phoenixcreationstas)

There are 3 types of gauges available in the market. They are

  • U gouges – They have curved cutting edges.
  • V gouges – They have a V-shaped tip that helps to cut a wood piece from the main wood block.
  • Bend and spoon gouge – these gouges are used for special purposes like making spoons with bends in front, back, left, and right directions.

Wood Carving Knives

Knives are mainly used for whittling. Wood carving knives have long-handled and fixed blades. The pocket knife is great for some basic wood carve like spoon making and bowls. But for many other wood carvings, you need to buy a chip carving knife that is uniquely designed for wood carving.

Whittling knife is great for advanced wood carving projects, because of being able to accurately add very fine details to the wood.

Because of having long handles, you can easily hold the knife and do the cutting without slipping it away.

So i found a cool log 3 years ago, let it dry out, cut it in half and used a hook knife and chisels to make a mancala board and i am really proud of it 🙂 still needs legs and a cost of varnish but wanted to share

— Tom Lavery (@TomLavery89) August 5, 2021

Wood Carving Power tools

Most of us use the strength in our hands when wood carving. But with power tools, carvers can give power to the wood carving tools outside from their physical strength. Power tools are mechanized tools built for large and small wood carving projects. If Power tools can handle any large task pretty easily whenever labor power is not enough.

Chain saw is the best example of power tools in wood carving. Apart from that, there are many other types of power tools available in the market, that can use without beating a chisel to carve. They are,

  • Electronic wood chisel tool – Useful for sculptures
  • Rotary tools – Able to do multitasking functions.

Sneaky peek of something I’ve been working on for literally the last 10 hours – involving wood carving, power tools, glue guns, stain, and at least 1 cry LOL

— Aureylian (@aureylian) February 9, 2020

Tip: Always keep in mind that, you don’t need expensive tools if you’re a beginner at wood carving. Go for cheap wood carving tools and practice with them enough until you feel it’s time to switch for the better once.

Wood carving is a passionate hobby that completely depends on your skills, not on expensive tools and stuff. So, always try to improve your wood carving skills rather than focusing on expensive stuff.

5 Tips to Get Started in Wood Carving

Here I have mentioned some useful tips that’d be helping you to get started in wood carving.


Setup the Workbench for Wood Carving

This is important and you don’t need to have a fancy expensive workbench. Plywood board is good to use as your workbench. Garage or shed space is also fine.


Learn to use Wood Carving Tools

Learn how to grab and handle your knife properly. Learn how to place the knife on the wood and start carving. Get a good idea about using Gouges and chisels. Practice them continuously until you feel good at handling wood carving tools.


Carve Along the Grain

Always make sure to cut along the grain. This will easily slice the wood without splitting. If the wood tends to tear while you carving, change the direction as soon as possible because you were carving in the wrong direction. If you’re cutting the wood in the wrong direction, you can notice it even from the sound as well.


Hold the Wood Firmly

Always try to clamp the wood onto a table or workbench without placing it on your laps. Do the cutting and shaping from your knife. In the beginning, you don’t need to rush. Always try to be safe and learn from each mistake you do. Take the time as much as you want and learn with discipline.


Sketch the Design Before Start

Take a piece of paper and pencil and sketch your design before touching the wood. Mention the measurements and imagine how you should give a 3D wood model for that design.  This method always gives good results in the end. It’s like converting a design from 2D to a 3D model.

5 Cool Wood Carving Ideas for Beginners

As a beginner in wood carving, I recommend you start with some simple classical designs. Those designs can teach you lots of techniques in wood carving and you can correct your mistakes while doing them. If you directly head into advanced designs, you’ll be exhausted with lots of issues. So, here I have listed some of the wood carving ideas for beginners to give a try and practice frequently.


Wood Carving Spoon

Estimated Time Needed – 2 Hours

Carving spoon is known as the easiest wood carving project anyone can go with. Even though it’s the simplest, you’ll be able to learn lots of wood carving techniques and whittling methods by making it.

Start of a new venture – green wood carving! First (crooked) spoon, lots to learn! #wood #woodcarving

— Alexander Wood (@AljawWood) May 15, 2015

In my opinion, the carving spoon project is an experiment you can learn a lot of new stuff about positioning the knife and can get a good experience. At the end of this project, you came to know that wood carving is fun!


Whittling a Bunny

Estimated Time Needed– 30 Minutes

This project will teach you how to add fine details to the bunny, especially when whittling its ears, eyes, and paws. Softwood and whittling knife are enough for the whole project.

Little present for rabbit loving wife. A few minutes wood-carving therapy this afternoon with new vice and coping saw.

— AdrianNickBennett (@AdrianNickB) June 27, 2020

Make sure your knife is sharp because in this project there are many small cuts to do. The knife should be well sharpened to get a satisfying result.


Whiskey Barrel

Estimated Time Needed – 45 minutes

This can carve using a hook knife. After the barrel part is done you can do the decorations using the pocketknife. This not only gives you a good knowledge about how to handle knives and make good cuts but also is an incredible gift for a whiskey lover.


Whittling a Flower

Estimated Time Needed – 30 minutes

There are different carving methods you can try to carve the flower. Firstly, draw the basic shape of the flower and transfer what you have drawn in the sheet to a wood chunk. By doing this you’ll be able to learn about its dimensions and you can easily remove excess parts from wood chunks as well.

I looked through my gallery on the phone and found a photo of my first hairpin. Made of Walnut.#walnut #wood #carving #flower #art #hairpin

— Twistedwood (@TwistedWoodPl) February 29, 2020


Carve a Heart

Estimated Time Needed – 20 minutes

This is also known as one of the simplest wood carving projects. By making a wooded heart, you’ll be able to know how to get the curved shape by adding small cuts all over the wood chunk. This can be a perfect valentine’s or birthday gift for your loved ones as well.

There’re lots of beginner wood carving projects you can try out to sharpen your knowledge and to learn lots of new woodcarving ticks and techniques.

What is the Best Wood For Wood Carving?

Softwoods such as Basswood, Pine, Cedar, Aspen, Butternut, Balsa wood are known as the best and strongest wood for wood carving.  Apart from softwoods, hardwoods such as Poplar, Birch, Maple, Cherry, Black walnut, Apple are also excellent choices for wood carving.

How Much Does Wood Carving Cost?

Wood carving is not expensive. The only expensive thing is the wood you’re going to choose. If you do wood carving 2-3 times per week, I’m pretty sure wood carving cost is less than half of your petrol bill.

Never stop learning wood carving because of money. You only need a pocketknife and a small piece of wood to start wood carving as a hobby.

How Long Does it Take to Learn How to Carve Wood?

The amount of time needs to learn how to carve wood depends on your skills. If you practice well and learn new skills and techniques quickly, it takes less time to learn wood carving. This depends on how passionate you are about wood carving.

As a full-time woodworker, I know there is no exact time frame for learning wood carving because there is always something new to learn for anyone. The wood carving world is full of mysterious things. 

Did I cover all you wanted to know about: How To Start Wood Carving?

In this post, we walked through how to start wood carving and what you need to know before starting wood carving.

Apart from that we also looked at types of wood carving, wood carving tools with their uses, wood carving ideas for beginners.

Finally, we have answered all frequently asked questions from beginners before starting wood carving as a hobby or business.

But most importantly, we learned how to start wood carving without any problem and how to be passionate about this subject.

I advise you to keep learning, keep practicing until you become a pro at wood carving.

So, let’s give it a try for your first wood carving project!

What is Wood Carving? Learn the Basics of This Popular Hobby – Schaaf Tools

Are you looking for a hobby that allows you to create beautiful keepsakes or practical items without spending hundreds of dollars just to get started? Wood carving checks all of those boxes.  

This article explains the basics of wood carving, including the tools, terminology, and types of wood carving.

Wood carving is a type of woodworking in which people use knives, chisels, and other hand-held wood carving tools to create figures or designs in pieces of wood. Woodcarvers make everything from duck decoys, cufflinks, and epic three-dimensional storybook scenes to furniture, home decor, and life-sized sculptures of animals or people. 

When woodcarvers talk about their craft, they mention the tools they use, the kinds of wood they carve, and the types of carving they do. 

Wood carving tools

A wood carver’s most basic tools are carving knives, such as whittling knives, chip carving knives, and hook knives. Whittling knives are all-purpose tools while chip carving knives feature a thin, short blade that allows carvers to chip away small bits of wood. A hook knife, or spoon knife, has a bent blade shaped like a hook and is ideal for carving spoons and other pieces with hollowed-out areas. 

Chisels and gouges make it easier to carve curves and angles. Chisels have flat edges while gouges have curved edges and rounded ends. Gouges allow the carver to scoop out chunks of wood. When woodcarvers carve grooves or add detail to their carvings, they often use a veiner, a special gouge with longer sides. If their project needs angles rather than curves, they’ll choose a V-tool (or a skew chisel).

Chisels and gouges differ in size and the amount of curve--or sweep--they have. A tool’s size and amount of curve are known as its profile. In a typical toolset for woodcarvers, each instrument would have a different profile.

Among the nearly endless supply of carving accessories, two critical items are a wood carving mallet and a sharpening tool. Woodcarvers use a mallet to strike the ends of chisels or gouges so they can make a deeper cut into the wood block. 

Carvers keep their tools sharp by using a wood carving sharpening tool such as a stone or a belt grinder for initial sharpening and a strop to polish the edge of the tools and remove burrs that sometimes appear during the sharpening process. 

Types of wood

A block of wood is classified as being either a hardwood or a softwood. Softwood is easier to carve and generally less expensive than hardwood. Beginning woodcarvers usually start by carving a softwood like basswood, butternut, or pine. 

Although their hardness makes them more challenging to carve, hardwoods often have a distinct hue and a defined grain. Because of this, experienced carvers sometimes prefer working with hardwoods like cherry, mahogany, or black walnut

Types of wood carving

There are several types of wood carving, each of which employs unique methods and requires specific carving tools. However, they share an essential characteristic--they require the carvers to use very sharp tools. Many woodcarvers wear safety goggles and wood carving gloves to protect themselves from cuts and flying bits of wood.  

Here are 5 common types of wood carving. Most of them work well for beginning woodcarvers. The exception is chainsaw carving, which is generally best suited to experienced carvers.


Most woodcarvers start by whittling. They find a small piece of softwood and use a pocket knife to create a toy or a trinket. Whittling is the most basic type of wood carving since the only essential tools are a wood carving knife and a honing strop.

Chip carving

Chip carving starts with a flat piece of wood. Carvers “chip away” bits of wood to form a design in the wood’s surface. Chip carvers use gouges as well as carving knives. 

Relief carving

In a relief carving, the design protrudes from the piece of wood, giving the piece a sense of depth. Relief carving is one of the oldest forms of wood carving and requires a variety of carving tools.

Carving in the round

Carving in the round yields a completely 3-dimensional piece. The design can be viewed from any direction because the wood is carved away from all sides. Depending upon the design they choose, folks carving in the round may need knives, chisels, gouges, and V-tools.

Chainsaw carving

To do chainsaw carving, carvers fit a chainsaw with a special blade. They also need a grinder and sanding tools if they desire a smooth finish. Safe chainsaw carving requires the carver to wear safety boots and earplugs as well as gloves and goggles. 

Artifacts from around the globe reveal that people have been carving wood for centuries. Why is it still popular with people of all ages? One compelling reason is that wood carving lets artists and craftspeople create something useful, lasting, and beautiful using only their two hands and a few small tools. It’s easy to get started into wood carving, and there’s a perfect project for virtually every carver. 

Additionally, several characteristics of wood encourage people to become woodcarvers. As a carving medium, wood is:

  • Plentiful. Trees grow abundantly in many parts of the world, ensuring a constant supply of wood.
  • Easy to use. Basic hand-held tools will carve wood. 
  • Varied. Each variety of wood has a unique color, hardness, and grain pattern.
  • Lasting. Wood that’s finished or protected from the elements will last several lifetimes.
  • Versatile. Wood can be fashioned into virtually anything.

Learn more about the tools woodcarvers use in our guide: Best Wood Carving Tools for Beginners.

Wood carving for beginners: types of carving, tools and materials, drawings and sketches, photo and video workshops

Wood carving is an amazingly beautiful and very popular type of manual wood processing in our time. Carved interior details captivate with their magnificent appearance and reflect rich national traditions.

Creative people, whose hands just “itch” to do something very interesting and useful, should pay attention to woodcarving. Girls and women may think that this is only a male occupation. And they will be wrong, because there are no less women masters of woodcarving than men.

Tatyana Boeva ​​from Kamchatka


  • About woodcarving for beginners
  • Types of woodcarving
  • What can be carved?
  • Choosing wood carving tools
  • Basic Toolkit
  • Chisels for carving
  • How to protect yourself from injury when carving wood
  • Work materials
  • Geometric thread technology
  • Master class "Geometric woodcarving on a cutting board"
  • Drawings for woodcarving
  • Video wood carving workshops for beginners

About woodcarving for beginners

Various carvings and techniques can be used to decorate interior and exterior spaces. If you are interested in this type of needlework, then you should understand that you need to master the methods and techniques of wood processing, acquire the necessary tools and improve your carving skills.

In the modern world of smartphones and tablets, a wooden stand decorated with wood carvings looks very original.

Skillfully executed carving in the form of simple and ornate patterns and ornaments seems to enliven the world and endows it with sophistication, charm, emphasizes the taste of the owner of luxurious things and the talent of the master.


Chopping boards

Wooden icons

Works of the best carvers adorn churches. Pay attention to the photo of the iconostasis of the upper church of the Savior Not Made by Hands, which is located in Moscow, in the Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos in Fili.

Modern craftsmen with fine taste create real masterpieces.

And thanks to the technologies of finishing and protecting the finished product from the damaging effects of mold and insects, these wood carvings have been serving people for hundreds of years.

Note the magnificent carved pieces of furniture:

Stylish doors:

Delightful handmade figurines:

Very often connoisseurs collect handmade carvings. Wonderful chess worthy of any collection.

Perhaps, over time, your masterpieces of woodcarving will be carefully kept by collectors or decorate temples.

back to contents ↑

Types of wood carving

Of all the types of wood carving, openwork or through wood carving is very interesting, which has some transparency, in which only the image remains, without a background. An example is an overlaid carving - this is an ornament that is attached to a finished background after being made by a master.

Geometric wood carving is a type of carving in which a pattern is formed using many simple geometric shapes (often a rhombus).

Oriental wood carving is characterized by bizarre forms. Egypt is the cradle of oriental wood carving.

Relief carving in wood. In this technique, the image is located above the background or at the same level with it. These are carved panels of various shapes with a three-dimensional image.

Baroque carving is a flat-relief carving, but distinguished by an abundance of carved and stucco decorations, various flowers, curls, leaves, figures of people in unnatural poses, fabulous fantastic animals.

Kudrinskaya carving originated in the village of Kudrino. Well-known products in this type of carving are caskets, vases, dishes, ladles, and home decor items. The main element is a floral ornament: rosettes, curls and twigs.

Volumetric (sculptural) carving is excellent for making sculptures, figurines of animals and people, toys. Bogorodskaya carving - a subspecies of volumetric carving. This is the main craft of the village of Bogorodskoye in the Moscow region. The famous Bogorodsk toys are figurines of animals and people made of linden and alder.

Scandinavian carving was most often used to decorate wooden Scandinavian churches. With images of Gods and various animals, wood carvers decorated inside and outside church buildings.

Contour thread is the simplest and rather peculiar type of thread. On a flat background, the master cuts grooves - grooves, forming a pattern. Carved landscapes - images of landscapes on a tree.

All these types of thread are quite conventional. Each master chooses the most acceptable of them, taking into account work experience, wood quality and creative inspiration.

back to contents ↑

What can be decorated with carvings?

The simplest staircase is transformed with carved balusters. Balusters are figured columns in the form of columns, stylish and noble decoration of stairs. Wooden balusters look organic with a spiral wooden staircase.

Bas-relief. Another name for "low relief". This is a sculptural image on a plane. Most often these are figures of people and animals .

back to contents ↑

Choosing tools for wood carving

As in every business, wood carving has its own secrets, nuances that allow you to reveal the beauty of wood in a wonderful ornament. It is necessary to pick up special tools for woodcarving and stock up on the necessary blanks and sketches for woodcarving, which will be embodied in the form of drawings, borders, lace or genre scenes.

Basic toolkit

Very high demands are placed on the quality of carving tools. Of course, craftsmanship plays an important role, but well-chosen and sharpened tools will help bring your idea to life. Experienced carvers at first glance at the tool will tell about its quality, and beginners are lost in the store from a huge selection.

Wood carving basic set includes:

  • several knives and chisels;
  • needle files;
  • hacksaws;
  • vise;
  • sandpaper;
  • drill with several types of drills;
  • bars.

Knives should only be made of high quality steel. It is better to buy them in specialized stores for creativity. Although at the initial stage, just sharply sharpened knives will do. Knives from Tatyanka, Narex, Kogatana and others will serve as an excellent start.0003

As your skill grows, you may need a set of tools, a milling machine, a drill, etc.

back to contents ↑

Carving chisels

Sometimes a sharpened screwdriver or file is used instead of a woodcarving chisel.

Flat chisel is a long rod with a flat cutting edge at the end. Very often it is used for the primary processing of wood.

Round chisel is one of the most important tools for the job. They differ somewhat in the degree of roundness, that is, they are medium, round and sloping.

There is also V - a shaped version of chisels. It can be useful for geometric woodcarving, which we will introduce you to below.

For beginners, a small wood carving set, but of good quality, is enough to immediately get used to the correct movements and pressure.

In this video, the wonderful craftsman A. Yuriev shared with us what tools to choose for carving.

back to contents ↑

How to protect yourself from injury when carving wood

Any tool of a master carver can be compared with a straight razor, therefore, when working with it, you must strictly observe safety measures. The material must be positioned so that the knife or chisel can be worked freely, eliminating the possibility of a sharp edge hitting the hands.

The place to work should be comfortable and clean. All unnecessary tools at the moment should be neatly folded, because they are very sharp and can cause injury.

to contents ↑

Materials for work

Each type of wood for carving has its pros and cons. It is easy to work with soft wood, but there can also be a lot of marriage. These are aspen, linden, birch. For beginners, this wood is best suited.

Oak, boxwood, mahogany are more expensive and complex woods. It is hard and durable, so it is difficult to carve from such wood. Very often there are troubles when working with such types of wood. Either the instrument or the master may be damaged.

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

Whatever tools are chosen for wood carving, safety precautions must be strictly observed!

back to contents ↑

Geometric carving technology

Geometric wood carving is considered the simplest and perfect for beginners. To create a conceived drawing, you need to have a small set of tools for wood carving and clearly withstand the drawing. For geometric woodcarving, symmetry and repetition are of the utmost importance. This achieves a wonderful play of light and shadow.

Cutting boards made using this technique and wooden panels look great in the kitchen.

Geometric carving consists of sequential sawing of simple geometric shapes: rectangles, triangles, squares, rhombuses. But the result is a wonderful ornament that looks different in different lighting conditions.

The sequence of execution of any wood carving is as follows:

  • First, a wood blank is made (board, deck, blank).
  • Further rough leveling of the surface of the workpiece, in which all defects and roughness are removed.
  • Then a decorative relief is formed with special cutters.
  • After completion of the main thread, finishing - grinding, impregnation, painting, varnishing.

Do not work on your knees! The master must have a table to work with.

to contents ↑

Master class "Geometric wood carving on a cutting board"

Tools . You will need 2 wood carving knives: a triangular joint knife and a pen knife, a ruler, a compass, a pencil.

The Triangular Jamb Knife is essential for cutting triangular shapes of various shapes, as well as for cutting long straight lines. To cut long lines such as a petal or a groove, a pen knife is used. Carving knives should be sharp and comfortable.

First stage. Sketching the pattern on the board. It can be applied with a compass and ruler. Or you can print the patterns for carving taken on the Internet and transfer them to the prepared cutting board using a carbon paper.

Second stage . Cut out the petals. We use a pen knife.

During operation, the thumb is firmly pressed against the board, and the index finger lightly touches the wood. This will help to adjust the depth of entry of the knife into the surface and the angle of inclination. And the thumb will help move the blade smoothly. First, cut in one direction at an angle, then turn the board over and cut on the other side.

If the chips curl like a string, the knife is good and sharp. It must be periodically undermined with a piece of leather with GOI paste.

Third stage . Cut out the triangles with a cutter. With a “heel”, at an angle of 45 degrees, we cut the knife into a tree, without bringing it to the edges of the pattern on three sides. The slots should be joined on all sides in the form of a pyramid. The sliver, falling out, forms a beautiful triangle.

Fourth stage. What could not be cut, carefully clean it so that the edges are frequent and even. By the same principle, we cut grooves and triangles around the perimeter of the board.

Fifth stage . We grind everything with sandpaper, process it with natural impregnation. All! The work is done. We decorate the kitchen with a useful and beautiful cutting board with wood carvings.


back to contents ↑

Drawings for wood carving

Photographs, drawings and sketches are essential for wood carving. A large pattern for wood carving is used for dimensional products: for the facades of houses, interior decoration with carvings of churches, windows.

For interior items and furniture, carvers use fine patterns, which are carefully worked out by the master.


We offer you an archive of 80 woodcarving patterns. Choose, print, create.

back to contents ↑

Video wood carving master classes for beginners

Of course, wood carving looks especially impressive on video. Channel "HAND WOOD CARVING" shows the features of geometric carving for beginners.

A feminine take on woodcarving. Channel tatiankacarving shows us how to make flower petals and leaves.

Konstantin Belyaev on his channel talks in detail about woodcarving chisels.

And this video by Ivan the Builder shows how to make relief plane carving:

We will be very happy if this article inspired you to take up wood carving!

Author — Lyudmila Sontseva

"Cross" will not advise bad! :)

sketches, drawings and necessary tools

Interested in wood carving for beginners, usually people who do not have art education. For them, this art is a hobby. Due to the fact that the knowledge of most of these carvers is scattered, we will try to streamline them. There is nothing difficult in wood carving itself. In Russia, this type of creativity has always been the main one. Even in the processing of stone, at first they used techniques that had long been accustomed to.

Drawing a pattern on a piece of wood

Today, this art form is of genuine interest, despite the fact that many of the skills are already being lost.

Return to the table of contents of

Material Content

  • 1 Types of thread and equipment
  • 2 The workplace of the carpenter
  • 3 Requirements for the tool
  • 4 When creativity

types of

, if we say, then we say, wood carving can be attributed to plastic art. Traditionally, relief and three-dimensional sculptural woodcarving are distinguished. A novice carver should first master the techniques of creating a relief.

This technique has several thread options:

  • geometric;
  • flat carving;
  • openwork;
  • blind thread with matched background;
  • slotted contour thread ;
  • waybill.

The list does not end there. There is still a lot left behind. From the names you can understand how this or that technique of performance differs. Classification is often complicated by the fact that our country is large. In different regions, the names of the same technique may differ. However, the essence does not change, so we outline the general methods of work.

All beginner carvers are introduced to geometric carving. She is simple but beautiful. This type of thread is divided into three types:

  • contour;
  • trihedral notched;
  • nail or staple.

For execution you will need:

  • lime board;
  • joint knife;
  • ruler and pencil.

Drawings in the form of a geometric pattern are applied to the board. The carver can come up with an ornament for carving on his own or copy the one he likes. You do not need to immediately take on complex elements if there are no skills and the hand is not strong enough.

Several ornaments for woodcarving

The board must be smooth. Such a surface is achieved by planing. Under no circumstances should the surface be sanded with sandpaper. If abrasive particles remain in the fibers, they will not make the thread clean and neat. In addition, the cutting edge of the knife will dull faster.

Beginner carvers are advised to choose hardwood for making geometric patterns.

They allow you to draw straight lines with a knife. Creating straight lines on softwood boards is much more difficult. So, the tip of the knife cuts into the surface vertically. Depth - 1.5-2 mm. Then the entire line is cut, the knife is pulled towards us. In this case, the blade is tilted at an angle of 40°. Movements should be smooth. Note that you need to start carving the line and finish with the tip of the knife.

Having made one line or notch, we make the next one. Only now the slope of the blade should be in the opposite direction. The chips will separate, and a geometric recess will appear on the board. If the edges are sharp and the surface is shiny, then everything was done correctly. Gradually cut out the entire element, and then the entire ornament.

It must be remembered that the knife moves more easily along the fibers. When cutting through the transverse fibers, more effort has to be applied. The hand can slip, and here you need to know the rules:

  • work safety;
  • workspace organization;
  • preparation tool.

Back to TOP

Cutter's workplace

Work with sharp tools should be carried out behind a workbench that meets all the requirements of stability and strength. If it is not possible to make such a workbench, you can limit yourself to a countertop. It can be of any size, but the height should not be higher than the level of the carver's belt.

The worktop must always be smooth and clean. Often during work, the knife slips and hits the table. Chips form and need to be removed. Professionals always monitor the condition of the surface of the workbench. They do not recommend hammering nails, chopping with an axe, or throwing a sharp tool onto a workbench, as these can damage the countertop. The board on which the ornament is cut out is carefully fixed with clamps. Work on your knees, on an unstable table or stool should be excluded.

An example of a well-equipped carver's workplace

A woodcarving workbench should be well lit. You can install it near the window. However, there is little daylight.

If there is only one light source, dull dark shadows appear that interfere with clean carvings. Therefore, 2-3 more lamps are installed above the table.

They should illuminate the work from different angles, especially if it is dark outside. Lamps should be installed above the carver's eyes. During work, the eyes are stressed. This is noticed even by experienced craftsmen. A novice carver gets tired faster, and high-quality lighting makes working conditions comfortable and safe.

Back to TOP

Tool requirements

Modern carving tools open up a wide range of opportunities for artists. In wood processing, they are used with success. But we will consider a tool for manual work.

A selection of chisels for wood carving

After all, getting the skill to work with such a tool is more important and more difficult.

The master's arsenal always contains:

  • saw;
  • hand drill or brace;
  • planer;
  • semicircular and flat chisels;
  • knives of various sizes;
  • small axe.

Many manufacturers have already taken care of the cutters and create a variety of sets. It is impossible to unequivocally assess their quality and usefulness. There are disputes about this. We only note that not a single professional master has such a set. All tools are purchased separately and finished by hand.

Any saw with large teeth will work with wood. It can be a hacksaw, a bow saw or a jigsaw. It is good if there are saws of different sizes and types. A beginner should monitor the condition of the canvas. It should always be well stretched and sharpened. In addition, do not forget about the wiring.

Various types of saws for woodcarving

A planer is an indispensable tool when working with wood. For a novice master, one medium-sized planer is sufficient. Sometimes this tool is called a plow, which reflects its function. Experts attribute the planer to one of the varieties of plow. In the future, you can purchase jointers and scrapers, with the help of which the surface of the tree is perfectly leveled.

The main tool for carving is a chisel. This is true. The carver should have a set of chisels of different thicknesses and shapes. Experience shows that at first it is enough to have 3 flat chisels:

  • wide;
  • medium;
  • narrow.

The same can be said about semicircular chisels.

Proper sharpening and cutting edge condition is essential. Chisels need to be sharpened frequently. Sometimes it is recommended to do this before starting work, but most often the chisels are prepared in advance. Do not use blunt tools. This is dangerous. An unsharpened chisel breaks more often and serious injury can result.

The carving in this case will be ugly, and the work will be long and difficult. To sharpen chisels, you can use a grinder, sandpaper and a piece of genuine leather with polishing paste to finish the blade.

Return to the top

When creativity begins

If a person is interested in wood carving, this indicates that he has a creative nature. Having mastered the skills of carving geometric patterns, he will not stop there.

Learn more