How to carve with chisel?

How to carve with chisel?

There are a lot of wood carving tools and each type and each item has a specific purpose. And in this blog we want to share with you about how to carve with chisel.

Browse these articles:

Wood carving tips for beginners

How to choose wood carving tools? Types of wood carving tools

How to carve with chisel?

Before we get started on how to carve wood with a chisel, make sure to keep your chisel sharp and have the variety of chisels we’ve discussed earlier. 
  • Use a two-handed grip for careful paring. One hand (depends on whether you’re right-handed or left-handed) guides the cutting edge, while the other provides the driving power.
  • Wrap one hand around the handle, and use a mallet to drive a chisel when a greater cutting force is required.
  • To make an ideal cut, flip the board over to orient the grain properly. Always cut with the grain.
  • Face the bevel toward the waste area, and define the perimeter with vertical cuts. Do this when cutting a notch. Then, make slanted cuts from the stock face to the bottom of the perimeter incisions. It should form the notch walls.
  • You can already begin removing waste with paring cuts. Just keep the bevel up, and hold the chisel flat. Trim until you reach the desired depth.
  • Orient the chisel bevel up and use a swiveling motion for smooth cutting when paring thin slices from end-grain.
  • Use a block that matches the rabbet lip as a guide to trim the depth of the rabbet.
  • How to carve wood with a chisel to trim along a concave curve? Use a chisel that is wider than the thickness of the stock. Make sure to face the bevel downwards.
Carving chisels can be used in two ways: hand-manipulated or struck with a mallet.

Woodcarving chisels with straight cutting edges

Chisels that have a straight cutting edge (for a skew chisel) are used less frequently in woodcarving (compared to gouges) as their straight edges tend to dig into a piece of timber and they do not have the fluidity needed for cutting irregular shapes and curves. Straight-edged woodcarving chisels are, however, often used for defining straight lines and border work in relief carving.
Woodcarving chisels with straight cutting edge

Step 1 – Hold chisel correctly

A chisel should be held like you were holding a dagger though lower down on the handle so that you cover part of the blade with your hand.
Hold chisel correctly

Step 2 – Align cutting edge

If you have marked out your design (very much advised) then align the cutting edge of your chisel with your marking. Raise or lower the angle of your chisel depending on whether you are indenting a border or removing material.
Align cutting edge

Step 3 – Apply force

Tap the butt of your chisel with a mallet to make a cut in your workpiece. (For very intricate detailing you can simply hand-manipulate your chisel).
Apply force