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What You Need for Knife Wood Carvings

selective focus photography of mask sculpture

Volume sculptural woodcarving is considered as the most complicated form of carving. DIY decorative wood carvings are created in several stages during which you need various tools for carving as well as lots of inspiration and patience.

Very often carvers choose figures of animals to create sculptures. Creating wooden creatures is a fascinating and beneficial activity. How beautiful they are in their variety – elegant, powerful, calm or impetuous. Image one of these beautiful masterpieces would be a significant part of your home interior. Professionals are looking for new inspiration for work both in various photographs and drawings depicting animals and in observing interesting specimens in zoos or zoological museums.

Preparing to create wood figures

After the idea has been formed and enough material has been picked up, it’s high time to make a sketch. If together with the figure of an animal or bird, a whole composition has set, it also needs to be drawn in detail. It’s desirable to parse a complex figure in space from all sides. The sketch is transferred to tracing paper and then to the wooden blank.

At the preparation stage, experienced carvers strongly recommend that you do not start work immediately on the tree. In the beginning, you should make a model by molding it from clay or plasticine. A measured, carefully thought-out stucco model will help not to make mistakes and the work will be done much faster and better.

Carving tools

Although you can cut out a tree with any sharp item using special tools to make a beautiful figure with your own hands is much easier and more enjoyable. So you will need the following tools for carving:

  1. Cutter. Knife with a short beveled blade. Depending on the width of the cutting edge, it can have a very different purpose. For example, a hatchet cutter is used for rough processing of wood. Cutters with a narrow edge of up to 16 mm are perfect for hard-to-reach spots and cutting small parts.
  2. The Bogorodsky knife. Suitable for almost all types of work from rough processing to creating a fine study. Perfect for sculptural carving.
  3. Chisel knife jamb. For the professional, this is an almost universal knife. The jamb blade is short and beveled. Most often used on a flat surface.
  4. Bent chisels. They are used to sample the background and have different cutting edge widths from 5 to 10 mm.
  5. Chisels semicircular, flat, angular. They are used for rough notching, obtaining concave parts and indentations on the surface of the product.
  6. Rivets. Chisels with a pointed blade. Used to work on small elements and parts.

Wood selection

DIY carving can be made from almost any wood – logs, glued boards, chocks, branches of an unusual shape, snags and other things. For example, trees with roots are great for creating animal sculptures. And from branching trunks, wonderful wooden cat figures are obtained. The main thing is that the material is well dried and free from defects in the form of cracks, rot or damage by insects. So you can easily store and work out your projects for your perfect designed room.

The ability to effectively use the material comes with experience, and the following softwoods are suitable for training:

  • linden;
  • aspen;
  • alder;
  • cedar;
  • nut;
  • apple tree.

Wooden blanks from these grades are cut without extra effort and do not blunt the tools. There are other options for the material but it will be more difficult to make a thread and process them:

  • Oak. Very durable and decorative but difficult to process due to the high density of the wood.
  • Maple. It has a dense structure and resistance to chips. From maple, you can make small ornaments and details.
  • Pine. It has a pronounced beautiful pattern but prone to chips.
  • Spruce. Worse than pine, it can be cut but it has a more uniform structure.
  • Birch. It has a sharp structure but it lends itself well to decorative processing, is perfectly polished and takes on a color.