Wood carving is a technique through which different objects, patterns or decorative elements are carved or shaped from wood. For a successful wood carving project, the correct choice of wood as well as carving tools is essential. Different types of carving tools are required for different wood carving styles. For a beginner, a basic set of wood carving tools would be sufficient. However, as you progress to more intricate and detailed carving techniques, you will require advanced carving tools.
Any carving tool can be defined according to the shape of the cutting edge of the tool, the width of the cutting edge and the profile of the cutting edge. Some of the most essential wood carving tools are gouge, cutting knife, mallets, coping saw and chisels. Given below are some of essential carving tools that you would require for a wood carving project.
Essential Tools Used in Wood Carving
Carving Knives: One of the most widely used tool for carving wood, carving knives find a variety of applications in different wood carving techniques. Carving knives comes in different sizes and shapes and are used for cutting, paring and whittling wood pieces.
Bench Knives: A bench knife is a specialized carving knife that is useful for tracing around the wood pattern. It is generally used for scoring and for carving intricate patterns.
Chisel: An indispensable carving tool, a chisel is a tool that consists of a sharp cutting edge called the blade which is connected to the handle. A chisel is one of the most versatile carving tools and there are many different types of chisels that are used in wood carving. The shape of the cutting edge of the chisel and the width of the blade will determine the style of a particular chisel. One of the most popular type of chisel that is used in wood carving is the bevel-edged chisel.
Gouge: A gouge is an important tool that is used for wood carving and no carver, whether amateur or professional, can do without a gouge. A gouge has a curved cutting edge and it is basically a chisel which has a curvature to its cutting edge. Gouges are used for creating deep or shallow hollows and curves on the wood.
Veiner: A veiner is a small gouge that has a U-shaped cutting edge. It is used for making deep round hollows or round curves into the wood.
V-tool: A V-tool is used for making curved lines and for undercutting details in relief carving. The cutting edge of a V-tool is V-shaped and it is also used for outlining a particular pattern in wood.
Riffler: A riffler is a small curved file which is used for smoothing out a carved piece of wood.
Fluter: A U-shaped cutting tool that has a very large curvature of the cutting edge is called a fluter. It is used for carving deep and wide hollows into the wood.
Carver's Mallet: A carver's mallet is used for taping chisels and gouges so as to drive the tool(s) deep into the wood piece. A carver's mallet is usually made of hardwood or plastic and is rounded in structure.
Skew Chisel or Corner Chisel: When the blade of the chisel is cut at an angle to the axis of the tool, it is called a skew chisel or corner chisel. It is basically a bevel-edged chisel with an angled cutting tip.
Coping Saw: A coping saw is a small hand-held saw that is used for cutting external shapes in wood working.
Long Bent Tool: A long bent tool is a special type of gouge that has an upward bend along the length of the cutting tool. This gouge is very useful for relief carving.
Fishtail: A fishtail is a chisel or gouge whose blade is thin and light and the cutting edge of the tool is broader than the shaft.
Short Bent Tool: A short bent tool is a chisel, gouge or V-tool that is used for shaping recesses or for reaching into the corners of a wood carving pattern. The blade of a short bent tool is straight but it has a deep, curved end.
Sloyd Knife: A Sloyd knife is a small knife (about 5 inches in length) which is used for whittling wood. The blade of a Sloyd knife is only slightly shorter than the handle.
These were some hand wood carving tools which are used for carving wood. Electric wood carving tools consists of rotary tools, scroll saws, reciprocating chisel holders and electric chain saws. The use of electric tools for carving wood, makes the whole process of wood carving easier and faster. However, for making intricate and detailed carvings, the use of hand wood carving tools is indispensable. If you are a beginner and would like to pursue wood carving as a hobby, then it is advisable that you purchase a set of some essential hand wood carving tools which can be found in any good hobby store. With the right carving tools and judicious selection of wood for carving, there is no reason why you cannot create beautiful wood carving projects.