View Full Version : Wanting to learn simple carvings....

Donny Lawson
01-04-2010, 10:07 PM
I would like to learn how to carve a simple face or head on a 3/4" square that is about 1- 1 1/2" long.Will this be hard to learn.I know nothing at all about carving.Where do I need to start?????

Phillip Bogle
01-05-2010, 12:11 AM
Well, none of us are every really done learning how. It will take a lifetime or until you stop which ever comes first.

It sounds like a good place to start would be wood spirits. Many resources for that style and that is a good beginning. I know that both Woodcraft and Rockler carry carving supplies for beginners, and information on Woodspirits. You can watch quite a bit of information on You Tube. Fox Chapel publishing has several books, and your library will have or can get through the inter library loan system, any book you can think of.

This link is through the SC Amazon Store. (yes we have one) and it is a good book to start with.

You might want to look at our Sawmill Creek Store on the main page. You can shop most anything in Amazon and the creek gets a little cash.

Good luck, this is addicting.

Frank Guerin
01-05-2010, 5:26 PM
I need to order that myself but am yet undecided on new or old.

"2 new from $9.95 3 used from $27.94"

Jeff Nicol
01-06-2010, 4:31 AM
Donny, When I started carving about 40 years ago all I had was a little pocket knife and I whittled a lot of sticks into things that may or may not have resembled faces or other things I thought I was attempting to carve. If you are not a natural at it and want learn fast the books and videos are great, but try and find a carver or club that could show you some simple techniques. The more you practice the more your own style will emerge, get a nice soft pine 2x4 and cut it into blocks and start carving, you will be amazed at how things just take shape as you pare away the wood.

Good luck and have fun, many hours can disapear while carving!


Phillip Bogle
01-06-2010, 10:43 AM
You recommend Pine -- which I have heard suggested before -- when I tried it it was harder than heck and never really cut the way I wanted. I tried Basswood and I got the look I wanted -- except for all the fuzzy splinters -- and all with relative ease.

Are there very different varieties of Pine and some easy to carve? I know the Pine I get here in Oregon is tough stuff, but if there is a variety that is softer or smoother cutting I would love to know what to ask for.

On the same line of thought, the NW Native Americans carved in Cedar. I have very sharp tools and I still do not like the look of my cedar carving attempts. Long grain splits, shredding, and tear out are much of the pitfall in Cedar.

Any ideas? Find a different lumber yard? Buy online? Give up carving and take up underwater basket weaving?

Phil Bogle

Gord Pat
01-06-2010, 10:48 AM
I would like to learn how to carve a simple face or head on a 3/4" square that is about 1- 1 1/2" long.Will this be hard to learn.I know nothing at all about carving.Where do I need to start?????

There are numerous books, woodcarving DVD's etc that can teach you how to carve, a face in particular.
But I would suggest you taking a look at Gene Messer's free tutorials on Youtube. If you look at his earlier videos he shows you how to carve a face in the flat plane manner.
All you will need is a knife and maybe a small "v" tool as well as a small gouge, but you can do it all with a knife, oh yes and piece of wood.:)

Try it you will like it.

Chuck Nickerson
01-06-2010, 12:51 PM
Donny - two things. First, since you're starting physically small, you should only need a carving knife or two; no gouges. That will keep your cost down. Second, faces can be a tough place to start. The actual proportions of a face surprise a lot of beginning carvers. Try to track down an article or book that discusses face carving in terms of proportions.