Idaho Woodcarvers Guild
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Carving Tips/Patterns

Listed here are tips and links to tips and patterns found throughout the web. Unless stated, the Idaho Woodcarvers Guild only lists them as an added resource.

NUMBER 1 PRIORITY when carving:

    1)   Safety first! When carving, always wear protection. It turns out that advice from your parents
          also applies when woodcarving. You should always wear a carving glove on the hand holding the
          carving, as well as protection for the thumb on the carving hand. Some carvers also cover other
          fingers that may come in contact with sharp blades or to protect the forefinger that pushes on
          the back of the carving blade.

     2)  Always carve with sharp tools. More people get seriously hurt when using dull tools than
          with sharp tools. A dull tool has a nasty tendency to catch or slip, and can severely cause a cut.
          Strop often when carving, on the average of about every 50 strokes, or every 30 minutes. But
          that is only a general rule. If your tool is not making a clean cut, STROP!

     3)  Always know where your knife or tool tip is. Do not place anything in the way of the blade
          that you do not intend to cut with that tool.

     4)  Carve often, carve much, and carve well. Good carvers become better carvers when they
          practice. Master carvers recommend at least 30 minutes a day, or several hours a week. This
          helps you practice how to use your tools, how to follow directions, and how to correct your
          mistakes. And let's face it, all of us make mistakes. A master carver once told me that the
          difference between a good carver and a beginner is the good carver knows how to fix any
          mistake they make.

     5)  Buy quality tools, wood and supplies. No one likes spending money on inferior quality items.
          So to prevent throwing inferior tools in the bottom of your toolbox, buy the best you can
          afford. You will never regret it.
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