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Craft Wood Carving Hand Tools

Woodcarving is a creative hobby that utilizes power or hand tools to create artwork and furniture from wood. A series of tools can be used in woodcarving. Here is a look at some of the hand tools that are popular in woodworking.

What is the difference between a chisel and a gouge?

The main difference between a woodworking chisel and a gouge is in the shape of the blade. The blade of a chisel is flat while the blade of a gouge is rounded or curved. Both tools usually have wooden handles. As in most other carving tools, the blades may vary in length, thickness, and degree of curvature.

What type of wood carving tools are necessary?
  • Carving Knife: A woodcarving knife generally fits in your palm and has a short blade. Made with a carbon steel blade, a carving knife is used for detailed carving or chip carving in which wood carving tools are used to remove small chips at a time.
  • Gouges: A ñUî gouge has a curved blade in a half circle shape, allowing for deep cuts. A ñVî gouge has a notched tip. A bent gouge has a bent shaft for reaching tight spots. A spoon gouge is only bent at the end of the shaft, and a back-bent gouge has an inverted bowl shape.
  • Palm Tools are pared down versions of all the wood carving tools. They fit comfortably in your palm and are a good choice for both hobbyists and professionals. They also can be used for chip carving.
Can any type of wood be used for hand carving?

Basswood is one of the favorite woods for beginners. It is relatively soft and easy to work with woodcarving tools and a knife. The grain is subtle, lending itself well to paint. Butternut and Jelutong are soft, easy to work with woodcarving tools, and have a beautiful grain. Walnut is hard but holds an edge. It can be carved with woodworking tools; however, a mallet is recommended for better control. Oak is a hardwood with a prominent grain. Aspen and Cottonwood Bark are strong softwoods that lend themselves well to a knife.

Is it necessary to sharpen woodcarving tools?

Keeping the tools in your set sharp, especially your knife, is different from sharpening your tools. A leather strop can be used to keep the tools sharp. The softer the wood is, the sharper your tools need to be. Sharpening is only needed to re-shape the blade. Sandpaper can be used to remove small scratches and nicks in the blade. Pumice stones or other devices can be used to sharpen your carving knife or your gouges.

Is there an all-in-one woodworking tool?

The "Carvin' Jack" by FlexCut was designed especially for wood carvers. It's lightweight and just over 4 inches when closed. Each tool set comes with a belt mount sheath and a sharpening strop for the blades.

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