Wood carving tools with their own hands

Tools for wood carving what a beginner needs?

All beginners carvers ask: “What tools do I need first of all?” First we will need a small number of tools. Instead of buying a full set of carving tools, buy tools as needed. Usually when you buy a set you do not save a penny, but there are always things that you almost do not need. Buy the best quality tools you can afford; good, sharp, high-carbon steel tools will last you a long time and save you money.

You’ll need a good knife to work with. There are three types of knives with a folding blade ( knife), with a fixed blade and knives with a changeable blade. I prefer to use fixed-blade knives because they are the safest. Knives also vary in blade shape and steel type.

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I recommend a high-carbon steel blade with a hardness of 55 to 60 RC it will keep sharpness longer than a stainless or low-carbon steel blade. For finishing and shaping, I use a blade that is 4 mm thick and 3.8 to 5.1 cm long. A knife with a narrower and shorter blade is better for detail work. Some carvers prefer knives with an interchangeable blade, because in this case, instead of sharpening the knife, it is sufficient to simply change the blade. Another advantage is that. that the handle of such a knife can be used with small chisels.

Types of cutters

It is believed that the true craftsman to work enough one or two tools, which also include woodcarvers for the lathe. But practice shows that to achieve the best results and simplify the work is possible only with the help of a complete set of devices, which include chisels with different blades. Experts in this field advise acquiring the following tools:

  • Chisels-joints. a type of tool with small triangular-shaped blades. Such handcrafted wood cutters can have different bevel angles, which allows you to create patterns of complex configuration. These versatile cutters consist of three parts: the heel, the toe, and the blade itself;
  • Cutters are considered to be the most popular cutting tools. Chisels come in semicircular, angular, flat, inverted and stapled. Such a set allows you to create a variety of notches and grooves, as well as create a particular surface texture;
  • Hacksaw. tools for finishing, which have a curved working area that allows you to create clear contours of those or other elements;
  • Spoon-cutters have a circular or semi-circular shape. They are designed to carve spoons. It is not uncommon for master cabinetmakers to make such cutters themselves and adjust them to their own needs.

There are also additional tools that carpenters use. They can include planers, jigsaws, grinders, and other electric and mechanical tools, which can also be of different configurations. For example, hacksaws can be archer and saber (for finishing and roughing, respectively).

Specialists who deal with large size constructions often use shaped chisels (axe cutters). Beginners are not very familiar with the types of tools, so it is important for them to adhere to one simple rule. quality comes first. Due to the fact that good-quality knives are quite expensive, some people make cutters by their own forces. In addition, you can now find relevant instructions on the Internet.

How to make wood cutters with my own hands

One of the most important topics for every cutter.where to get good woodworking tools?? Quality well-sharpened wood cutters can bail out even the not quite experienced craftsman. The cuts are smooth, clean, and it is much easier to work with such a tool! Having tried different variants of source material for making woodworking tools, from scalpels to razors, I stopped at metal cutters.

They’re quite fragile and strong at the same time. Carbon steel keeps the edge of the blade sharp for a long time, it will not get blunt even on hard wood. So, first we cut the cutter on the metal cutter according to a pre-drawn drawing of the future cutter.

In our case it is a small knife-cutter that is the main tool of the carver.

The presence of such an abundance of sparks when cutting indicates that the steel is good, carbon steel, so it is suitable for wood carving.

It is desirable that the part, which will be in the handle was larger than the blade. It’s for strength. We grind the blade of the knife, always dipping it into cold water so it doesn’t overcalcify.

Now it is necessary to make a handle for the knife. For this purpose we take slats of a strong wood species. In one part we draw the contour of the knife, and the other part is like a lining.

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Cut a notch in the wood in the shape of the knife, so it sinks flush, soak both parts with Pva glue.

We glue the knife in a vice. For gluing it takes about 12 hours to 24 hours.

After gluing, we grind the handle, and use a sharpener to bring the knife to the desired sharpness. This principle can be used for making the knife with your own hands. By the way, excellent wood chisels are made of metal drills.

You can make a jamb knife from a rapier saw.

Here are some more wood cutters, which I made with my own hands from a metal mill.

What is the marking tool?

A wood marking knife is needed to draw the lines along which the cut will be made with other tools, including electric. And so it is a tool with the following parameters:

  • A long straight handle;
  • beveled or arrow-shaped blade with a size of 3.2-3.5 cm and a width of 1.4-1.5 cm;
  • total size of about 20 cm;
  • double-sided or single-sided sharpening of the blade;
  • with a point of 40-45 degrees.

The tools are more accurate than pencils for marking due to thinness of blades and a narrow edge. Cost of such. 800-1100 p.

How to make it yourself

Using improvised tools, you can make a chisel yourself. In some cases it is enough to make a slight correction of shape and sharpening, and in other cases it is necessary to resort to forging.

Chisel from a cutter

Often a cutter is used as the base material for self-made chisels. The metal of this piece is strong enough. It is easy to give the desired shape. Principle of manufacture:

  • From the mill cut out a piece of metal necessary in size.
  • The surface of the workpiece is carefully sanded. The desired shape is given to the workpiece.
  • The next step is to make the handle out of wood.

At the end is the assembly of all the constituent elements. Usually handle is made of 2 parts, which are connected by pins.

A tool made from a metal drill bit

To make an angular version of the work blade, one can use a drill bit. How to make a tool from such a base:

  • Select a drill of a suitable diameter. Flatten the tip, forming the desired thickness and width.
  • Using sanding, you can shape the blade into the desired shape. The drill bit can be an excellent base for creating a “nail”.
  • The final stage of manufacturing will be the handle. It is necessary to prepare two halves of wood and twist with a pin.

If you use a drill bit as a base, you can obtain a working part of any parameter.

Semi-circular chisels

A semi-circular wood carving chisel can be made from a punch that has a similar shape. Algorithm of making a semicircular chisel from a puncher:

  • Prepare a puncher of approximate size.
  • Remove the excess radial part with an angle grinder.
  • As long as the metal is not cold after cutting, it is necessary to grind the edges immediately.
  • The last step is to sharpen the blade with a grinder.

We use a file

A file can become an excellent basis for making a straight chisel. The sharpening wheel serves as the working tool. But first it is necessary to select the right file. Take into account the desired parameters of the future tool, the type of metal and grit size of the file.

Use a sharpening wheel to file off all unnecessary material and form the desired shape. The next step is sharpening and forming the handle. It is the handle that is worth special attention. Often a standard file tip is used as a base, but it is not suitable for a chisel. You need to flatten the narrow piece and only then attach the wooden base.

If properly cut cutters and subsequently make a quality sharpening, then from the file can be obtained and angle chisel. In this case, more effort is needed.

Wood Carving Tools & Techniques for Beginners

Hand files

Nadfil is also a good basis for the formation of homemade tools for woodwork. Features of manufacturing and processing:

  • The nail file needs to be heated firmly and evenly. This is necessary in order to perform actions similar to forging.
  • After heating, conduct the bending of the base to obtain the desired shape.
  • Already ready workpiece should be dipped in water. This cools the metal and hardens it.

Sharpening the “blade” and attaching the handle will be the final step in creating the tool.

Angular chisels

Angled chisels can be made from profile tools by heating the metal. After sharpening the workpiece, the desired shape is given to it. Then the tool is hardened, sharpened, and the handle is attached.

The chisel is the basic tool when working with wood, if you want to create a beautiful pattern, remove excess wood or form a groove. There are many kinds of this tool, each with its own specific use. You can also make a tool yourself if you use improvised materials.

Sharpening technique on a vertical sharpening machine

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Sharpening is done “hanging”, without resting on the table or other devices. The whole trick is that you need to learn to feel with your fingers and hand how the chisel or knife “fits” the chamfer on the surface of the stone. To do this, do not put too much pressure on the chisel, pressing it against the stone. Allow blade to drop into position independently.

For your first practice, take a flat file and try sharpening it into a flat chisel. Practice on any metal objects to practice sharpening flat and semicircular planes.

Professional Engraver Nozzles Overview

Professional tools form a separate (high-quality and expensive) category of equipment, which is able to withstand considerable operational loads without negative consequences. Such devices are usually equipped with appropriate consumables.

Professionals qualitatively process the smallest details of workpieces. That is why they need such a wide variety of consumables when performing work.

Specialists involved in engraving various materials professionally recommend buying sets of tools from well-known brands, such as “Dremel” or “Dexter. Considerable cost of products of these companies is fully justified by the fact that their products are reliable, high quality and durable. The use of wood, metal and other material cutters produced by these companies increases the accuracy of workpiece processing.

Often professionals have several sets of tooling designed for processing different materials and performing various operations. Also, some elements included in their composition, have their own design features. Usually such kits include:

  • cutters for metal, wood and other materials, different designs;
  • drills;
  • felt, diamond, as well as abrasive burrs;
  • Wire brushes, for cleaning surfaces;
  • engraving rods;
  • cutting discs.

Also included in the kits are straight edge milling cutters.

Interchangeable tooling brands “Dremel” and “Dexter” can be used not only by specialists in workshops, but also by home craftsmen who wish to improve in the art of engraving.

According to professionals, one such tool can last as long as 10 low-quality nozzles of unknown manufacture.

Some master engravers recommend products. lower quality than the “Dremel” or “Dexter”, but cheaper. A set can include up to 180 pieces of consumables of popular varieties. But Zubr products generally fall into the semi-professional and household categories.

Wood carving for beginners

Each person has certain talents, some are acquired, others are given by nature. In their pursuit of the beautiful people are constantly trying to make not only something new, unusual, functional, but also beautiful, aesthetic and beautiful. Working with wood is one of the oldest crafts, which remains popular and relevant today. Those who wish to learn how to carve wood, must master a lot of wisdom, to understand the technique and gain experience, but for this you need certain knowledge.

Woodcarving dates back to Rus, when in addition to creating wooden furniture and utensils masters have tried their hand at arts and crafts.

Because of the variety of variations in woodworking, it is worth distinguishing between different types of craftsmanship. These include:

In addition to this classification, there is also a division of woodwork into relief and volumetric sculpture carving. The most simple technique is considered to be the creation of relief, which is subdivided into such variants of carving:

Each technique has its own characteristics, so it is necessary to study each type in order to fully master the skill of working with wood.


Contour carving is considered one of the easiest techniques, as the patterns are applied to a flat prepared surface, slightly deepening inside the material, which allows you to form the contour of the future figure.

This type of work belongs to the geometric carving and is subdivided, in addition to the contour one, into three-sided carving and staple technique.

To start the work, it is necessary to think up or pick a favorite pattern and apply it to the wood, which should be as smooth as possible.

Do not use sandpaper or other abrasive products for processing workpieces, because small particles will interfere with the accurate carving and will cause the cutting tool to blunt.

The optimum depth for the cutting is considered 1,5-2 mm and the angle of inclination of the tool is 40°. After you have made one line, you can start the next one, but tilting the cutting tool to the opposite side to make a geometric depression. If the movements were made correctly, the edges of the lines will be flat, and the surface will be shiny.


A more complex technique of carving after the contour technique is considered geometric, it differs in the fact that the pattern is created not by using lines but by creating geometric shapes. Most often beginner carvers use wedge-shaped notches in the wood.

Performing geometric carving, it is necessary to select the optimal working material and prepare it, and then apply the desired pattern.

When drawing the sketch, a pencil, ruler and compasses are used to make sure all the lines are straight and correct. If you cannot create a drawing by yourself, you can use a ready-made sketch by printing it out and piercing the intersections with an awl.

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Sketches in geometric carving often consist of triangles, which must have a notch, because the wood is trimmed at different angles, and the excess wood is removed. Once all the triangles are trimmed, you can move on to carving other elements. After the main work it is necessary to clean up the problem areas for which a sharper tool is used. The finished pattern is sanded and coated with a stain.


Another technique that allows you to create a pattern on the wood is called flat-pitched. The essence of this method is that on a flat surface it is necessary to create hollows, thanks to which the desired result will be formed.

This activity can have varieties, these are:

  • through carving, which can be applied or through; through carving. the work is done with a chisel or chisel; profile. for the work you need a jigsaw or a saw; openwork. the carving is done in the form of a relief ornament;
  • Blind carving, when in the process of work on the surface there are no through holes;
  • house carving, used to decorate the facades of houses.

Each type of work with wood has its own characteristics, tools, which are needed in the process, as well as techniques, through which you can learn the basic and more complicated techniques.


The most complex technique of woodcarving is sculptural carving, which differs from other types by the fact that the work takes a billet, a branch, a piece of rootstock, which is given the desired shape. In addition to skill, the most important factor is the right choice of working material. Thanks to this technology, it is possible to obtain figures of animals and people from wood.

A sharp instrument is used for the work, thanks to which a piece of wood acquires immediately the shape, then the desired outline and gradually becomes the object that the master intended.

On the workpiece with a pencil to outline a sketch and try to stick to it, so that the product is symmetrical and beautiful.

Tools and materials

Before you start working with wood, you should allocate a separate room or at least a corner for this. After all, in the course of carving will appear quite a lot of debris.

In addition, you will need a lot of space not only for direct work with wood, but also for storage of tools and materials.

It will also be necessary to stack individual parts somewhere.

Carving wooden sculptures is impossible without special tools. Among them there are the basic ones that are just necessary to work with wood. It is worth noting that they are suitable for both simple work and quite complex and delicate.

  • Cutter-knife is a knife with a shortened and beveled blade. Both small and large parts can be cut with it.
  • A joint is called a knife with a shortened blade. It is used to cut out an ornament.
  • Chisels are used to form indentations in the piece. A distinction is made between flat, curved and semi-circular types of chisels.
  • Chisels with a spear-like blade are called pincers. As a rule, they are used for making various small elements.

Once you have mastered the basics of woodworking, you can acquire other tools, too.

  • A drill allows you to quickly and accurately create through holes.
  • The sanding-machine makes the surface of the product perfectly flat and beautiful.
  • To create blanks can not do without a saw. And it is better to have several different kinds at hand.
  • The processing of the finished product is impossible without rasps and sandpaper.

In addition to good tools, the right material is also important. For example, for small figures it is necessary to choose compact logs or even knots. Larger sculptures are best made of massive logs. Preferably, the workpieces should be free of any damage and chips.

Experienced professionals recommend that beginners use rectangular bars. This is due to the fact that it is easy to transfer images to them.

However, the most attention should be paid to choosing a workbench. Its design should be as comfortable as possible and meet the individual requirements of the craftsman, including his height and arm length.

Perfect if the work table is equipped with a mechanism by which you can quickly fix the wood you want to work with. It can be a clamp, a carpenter’s vice or a shaky block that can be rearranged.

Also, when working with wood, you may need a planer, angle grinder, electric jigsaw. However, before using the more complex tools, one should work on the wood with a knife as much as possible. This is done in order to get as much feel of it as possible with your hands.

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