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So. You want to learn how to carve?

What you must have?
What can wait?
What really isn't necessary?

This page is set up just for you -to explain what you absolutely must have, what can wait and what would be nice, but not necessary. Includes links to sites for all the necessary equipment and information. Gets you headed in the right direction and answers some of your questions. If you have a specific question please don't hesitate to contact us.

What you MUST have to start wood carving:

2 basic items:
- a knife
- wood

Knife: What kind, what size, what shape?
Most of us wood carvers started with a jack knife or our mothers kitchen knife (much to her dismay). But, once you are ready to step up to the next level we recommend that you start with a smaller bladed knife with a straight edge. Something like the "Detail Carver (1-1/4 inch)" or the "Slim Scalpel" with a straight blade.

Wood: What kind, what size?
Go outside, pick up a branch and start carving on it. This is how most of us get started. There is no pressure to make something beautiful, and the wood is free and plentiful.

But when you decide you'd like to try something a little more involved, it may be time to look for some carving wood. Most wood carvers start out using Basswood. It is easy to carve and if it is a good quality piece it will not have any knots in it.

The size of your wood really depends on the project. Buy as close to the size as possible, so as not to waste too much.

Where can you get basswood?
Amazon and Ebay have a good selection, just search for "basswood for carving".

Also, ask around your neighborhood or at the local carving club for local resources.

What can wait, but you will eventually need:

Sharpening Strop and Compound-
You will at some point need to sharpen your carving knife. For this a simple sharpening strop with sharpening compound will work. It is something you can make yourself or purchase.

If you don't want to make your own strop, we offer a sharpening strop for sale- CLICK HERE
We do offer a premixed compound for sharpening, but if you prefer to make your own you can find sharpening compound at your local hardware store. We recommend the white compound in the DICO brand. If you are not sure how to sharpen, here is a link to show you how. SHARPENING INSTRUCTIONS

Patterns - although you can surely make up your own ideas, some of you at some point may like to have patterns to show you what to do and how the project should look in the end. We do offer some free patterns on our site to get you started - CLICK HERE. There are also websites that offer patterns to buy and most books have at least one pattern included in them. 

What is really not necessary, but may come in handy:

This could be a very extensive list, but we will only list two. Just stick to the basics, add carving knives and equipment as you develop a need and your skills grow.

Books - this may fall more under the category of "don't go crazy" one or two good ones will do. Here is a great beginners wood carving book that is inexpensive and we thought covered a lot of the basics. Beginner Wood Carving Book

Expensive Sharpening machines - you should really only need a strop

Some of the best advice is free. Check your local library, they are sure to have the book you wanted to buy. Also, look for, or start a carving club in your area. There are many of them out there and they are just itching to show you what you need to know.

Any questions? Just ask: Send Us an Email