Carving Tip #1
Wearing a carving glove when holding a piece being worked on is a good idea, such as with whittling. Place the glove on the hand holding the piece itself. It could save you from a needless or serious injury.
Carving Tip #2
Never try to catch a dropped knife or chisel. It is easier to sharpen a dropped tool than it is to repair a finger or toe. (and if you are wearing sandals, jump back)!
Carving Tip #3
It is recommended that you hone your tools approximately once for each hour of use. Doing so keeps a fine razor edge on the tool. When honing a knife, make sure that the blade is absolutely flat against the hone.
Carving Tip #4
Clamping or affixing your work to a hold down device so both hands are free is always worth the effort – not to mention the added safety. If you use a vice hold your work, place wood over any metal jaws so in case you accidentally run your tool into the jaw, it will not damage the tool.
Carving Tip #5
Carving takes practice – lots of it. Practice does not mean that you sit down as a beginner and try to replicate the Statue of David. One can simply use a practice stick and make random cuts. Try a practice stick incorporating a ball, a cube, and a spiral, etc. Try to use as many varied cuts as possible.
Carving Tip #6
Hang around with other wood carvers. One great way to do that is to join a carving group and to listen to all the experiences offered by members…and if their work impresses you, ask them about their techniques, their tools, and anything else you can think of!
Carving Tip #7
Always invest in good-quality wood carving tools. If you do not know or are unsure what the difference between lower-quality and high quality wood carving tools, ask some who does know. Many wood carvers spend a lot of money on disappointing tools. Good tools are a must to create the carvings you crave to complete!
Carving Tip #8
Take the time and make an appointment with yourself to carve. Make your time commitment realistic. Practice and be proud of your work. Do not become disappointed if something does not turn out like it was done by a master carver. Carving success takes tim so go ahead enjoy the carving experience. It is a wonderful one.