The 3 Must-Haves to Start Wood Carving

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned whittler, the importance of a good set of wood carving tools should be a given to anybody looking to get stuck into the art form. Arguably a straightforward discipline, wood carving can be easily jeopardised by scrimping on your toolkit and a fault creating an issue with your completed sculpture or figure.

Here at Alec Tiranti, we have been helping artists – new and seasoned – in their creative endeavours since as far back as 1895, meaning that we know a thing or two when it comes to the ideal basics kit for wood carving.

Today, we’ve compiled our 3 must-haves to get started with the wood carving ideas you’ve been musing over:

  • Chip Carving Knife

The most obvious and the most reliable of wood carving tools, you’ll want to find a chip carving knife that comes in at around an inch and a half long blade, with a proportionally long handle to avoid hand cramping. The prices of chip carving knives vary substantially – you can pay up to £50 for a very high-quality model – so it’s important to do your research before you jump into your purchase. Look for chip carving knives that are made of high carbon steel.

  • Chisel 

Usually most beneficial when removing wood for inlay or flat cutting, chisels are great for finishing rough edges in lettering and accessing tight areas of carving. Available in a large range widths, they are incredibly sharp tools and are both adept at laying the foundations for whittling or carving and applying finishing the touches to your work.

There are two common kinds of chisel, flat chisels used in carving often feature a double-bevelled blade unlike their single bevelled carpentry counterparts. The skew chisel shares the same double bevel but has its blade typically angled at 45º to the leading edge that can access even the tightest of details.

  • Gouges

Dependent on the shape of the gouge, this tool will scoop out a large or small area of the wood you are working on. The gouges come in different sweeps – whether it’s a U-gouge or V-gouge, or even a spoon gouge – it’s all about looking into the correct type for the ideas you’re working on.

A great all-rounder, gouges can be used for a multitude of purposes, including carving, smoothing surfaces and shaping. Again, it’s a case of investing in the best possible kit you can afford when you start out, so be sure not to scrimp out on quality.

Contact us today here at Alec Tiranti, where you can find your very own wood carving toolkit manufactured with only the finest materials. Our team are on hand to answer any wood carving related queries you may have – whether it’s picking up the phone or through email – we’re always here to help and love a good natter about art supplies.

Don’t forget, we also have a range of wood carving furniture that can help you create a comfortable atmosphere in which to work. If you’re not comfortable enough with your woodcarving supplies, you won’t be able to channel the flow to create your best work.

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