Introduction: Wood Carving As an Hobbist

Greetings, as an hobbist I seldomly try to carve something out of wood.

First of all you will need to protect yourself, with personal protective equipment:

  1. Polymer visors/glasses: they protect the eyes from any object projected towards the face. If condensation forms due to sweat and heat of your body, simply stop and clean them safely.
  2. gloves: they manage and allow to maintain good grip and do not lose manual skills
  3. face mask: certain essences grew up in swampy areas can make an horrible dust that makes you cry and other issues you don't want to test.
  4. an helmet: if you move/lift objects, somewhat that goes out of control like pieces shot due to rotary tools, or anything that can hurt you.
  5. suitable work clothing: that protects and adheres at your body.

Remember to read carefully safety instructions for each tool you will use.

It's also important to rest, so take a break when you feel it's the moment (I usually take few breaks every 30-45 mins due to physical issues) practice stretching exercises for some mins (especially hands and fingers to keep a good grip) then back to your hobby.

Object position: must be comfortable for all body in general but a lot for backbone, also angle of the arms and eyesight are important.

In my personal experience I've tried various essences and I find comfortable with cherry, oak, ash (really hard) maple and other varieties that I find in lab, now let's see some ideas...

Step 1: Tools

I use manual and power tools.

Manual: chisels, gouges, cutters, sandpapers of various grains (from 60 to 120)

Sometimes I sharpen old tools as chisels and are really good (even if a file is made to polish and not carve)

Step 2: Ideas

First you draw something on paper or directly on wood, I suggest to use graphite pencils having caution because if you keep touching the piece you will work on, graphite goes off with hands (maybe use other stuff like ink pen or whatever).

In the image an example of sketch and transfer to wood with carbon paper.

It's so easy to do, believe me... you draw on paper, put carbon paper on the wood and fix it with some adhesive paper, keep an angle in position so you can peek areas already done or not.

Step 3: Carving Time

Some examples (guitars and an MTG deck box) of wood carved with Dremel and refined by hand, using chisels on edges and smooth with sandpaper.

After the engraving is done, I added a mixture of stucco/plaster and wood glue with pigments (colored dust) to fill carved areas.

Power tools: I prefer to test dremel tips on some scrap wood, until I feel confident with rotation direction and the effects it has on a certain essence; wood vein and hardiness, seasoning of wood are really important variables to consider.

Also testing the Dremel engraver on stone and seems ok, be careful for hardiness, work temperature and protect yourself very well especially eyes, nose and mouth avoiding rock dust.

Engraver on soft wood essences can ruin your piece because it goes out of control (no matter if fast or slow velocity) because literally demolish the veins and is not precise as the other one, so if you plan to use it on wood do only on hard essences.

Step 4: Decorate at the End

Certain pieces could require to be carved before assembly, but in most of the cases could be useful to mount and test an object, then add some fine details or anything that is not functional but only visual.

It's quite pointless to spend time and effort to draw something that can be really interesting on something that doesn't work at all, trust me I really felt disappointed after an initial emphasis.

Step 5: If All Goes Well

Well, all seems good, for real?

I usually don't really like the final result, very often I find flaws in the object made and am very critical of myself.

The mirror method really helps me, if I look at the product mirrored and I like it, I keep it as it is; it works!

Like on the 2 photos, try to implement what you have created with other things...

Well it is not sure that they can result in a decent composition but better to have fun trying, at least it's free. :D

Step 6: Conclusions

It's my really first try with this kind of things, so i need to apologize due to lack of more WIP photos but I've lost them with an SD long ago... also consider that english is not my mother language, apologizing for syntax and grammar, I try to use the translator as little as possible.

I hope you will use your creativity well and don't use tools alone or put in risk, if you are underage.

(always be careful and let your parents use risky tools or powertools for you), also work together with family can be really fun and entertaining.

Most important thing that can be read millions of times but maybe not understood, TRUST IN YOURSELF.

Have a good day!

Step 7: