Wood carving is a form of woodworking by means of a cutting tool (knife) in one hand or a chisel by two hands or with one hand on a chisel and one hand on a mallet, resulting in a wooden figure or figurine, or in the sculptural ornamentation of a wooden object. Good carving comes from practice and experience. And a lot of that comes from bad judgment along the way. It’s never too late to start carving. Many artists have taken up carving after retirement and for some reasons they have found themselves stuck at some points in their early stages of carving due to lack of experience. That’s why we have decided to reveal few wood curving tips and tricks that will ultimately sharpen their curving skills
Soften your piece of wood.
When working with wood that is either too hard or too soft, to achieve good detail, you should apply a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water to the area. Once the mixture is absorbed into the wood, you should find that it cuts much more easily. This also works well for cutting against the grain or cross grain. As an alternative, you can sometimes also apply a coating of Howard Feed N Wax. It is a mixture of orange Oil and bees wax that acts as a great finish. But, it also absorbs into the wood and accomplishes the same thing as the alcohol mix. One material difference is that it does not evaporate as the alcohol does. This is particularly good for hard wood but for soft wood you may use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.
Wearing a carving glove when holding a piece being worked on is a good idea, such as with whittling. Place the glove on the hand holding the piece itself. It could save you from a needless injury. Some people hurt themselves by driving a small palm gouge into the fleshy area at the base of their thumb. Needless to say a glove would have saved them from a painful and expensive error… not to mention not being able to carve for some time. And don’t try to catch a dropped knife or chisel. It is easier to sharpen a dropped tool than it is to repair a finger or toe. If you are wearing sandals, jump back. A small sliver can often be removed by placing a piece of tape over it and pulling it gently off. While any tape can work well for this, duct tape works the best.