A Beginner’s Guide to Whittling

Whittling is an ancient woodcarving art using a carving knife. Whittling means producing sculpture not detailing a piece of woodcraft. What makes whittling special is the visible knife stroke on the final result that can give natural look. This kind of art can be a complicated job for some craftsmen, especially the beginners. Worry not! Here we elucidate for you the ultimate guide of whittling.

Choosing your wood

We do have two kinds of wood: the hardwoods and the softwoods. But, a beginner may start the whittling with a soft wood and or the one with a finer grain. The next question will be: what kinds of wood are good for beginners?

There is the soft and easy to carve wood called basswood. It comes with a fine grain. This kind of wood can be a great choice for a beginner as you can simply find this at most of craft shops around you with a reasonable price.

The next excellent choice of wood for beginner is pine. Try to find a slightly yellow pine to make your whittling process even easier. Pay closer attention to this wood as it is quite similar to the previous one.

Selecting your knife

After choosing your material, here we go with the tool. To make your first steps in whittling world easier, try to use a purpose built knife for whittling. This knife is advisable as it has a longer handle and a fixed lade. Besides, this knife is affordable enough for a beginner. With around $20, you can buy your whittling starter kits.

Deciding the best technique

Creating an excellent piece of art needs to go together with your well-considered safety. Take a look at the following guides when working with your whittling technique:

  • Sharpen your knife!

Keep your knife sharp all the time as you are more likely to hurt yourselves with a dull knife than with a sharp one.

  • Put on your glove!

Wear a glove on the hands not holding the knife to protect it. Find a most comfortable one so you can still work easily.

  • No need to rush!

An excellent result of whittling doesn’t come from a fast working. Take it slowly but sure. Take your time as needed. Rushing will more likely ruin your work and put yourself in risk of getting hurt.

As a novice, now you don’t need to worry anymore as the ultimate guide for whistling is summarized above. Wood, knife, and technique are the top three things you need to consider before commencing your whittling activity. Again, as whittling is not a fast paced activity, you can always take your time to find the best material, tool, and method.