How to choose a project to carve from wood?
Besides choosing the right projects, be ready to learn about the right tools and key safety supplies. Because carving involves handling sharp knives and gouges it is definitely a safety-first hobby (that, like all woodworking, you take on at your own risk).
First, cabinet and furniture makers are looking for clean lines, 90-degree angles and a smooth finish.
But wood carving is different.
Taking a project into three dimensions requires an artistic touch, a good eye and lots of patience.
Which is why starting out with a simple project will hone your skills, let you determine what tools work best for what cuts and minimize wasted wood and frustration.
Every type of woodworking project has a certain skill and technique to it. And with wood carving it is important to:
Understand wood selection
- Know the types of carving knives and tools
- Use wood grain in your favor
- Select projects suited to your skill level
- Understand finish techniques for curved surfaces
- Which means spending time being a student of this trade before just diving in and tackling your first masterpiece.
Safety Is always first
Other safety solutions include:
- Wood vises to hold workpieces
- Bench clamps
- Making sure your tools are sharp (like knives, a dull tool is more dangerous)
Beginner woodcarving projects you can make in a few hours
And don’t plan your first few finished carvings will be used in the house, gifted or even make its way past the scrap pile. Because wood carving is economical to start, a few mistakes are learnings.
Beginner wood bird carving
With wood carving demanding attention to balance, one of the best projects is to make a simple bird, like shown above, that will allow you to learn basic shaping and forming techniques.
- Block layout to rough dimensions of the bird
- Cut the overall shape on a bandsaw
- Use your tools to create the level of detail you are comfortable with
- Mount the wire feet
- Distress, paint or finish