5 Tips For Beginner Wood Carvers

So you are trying wood carving for the first time. Do you know that woodworking and carving is one of the most popular and satisfying hobbies? Woodworking and Carving bring out your unique talents and skills to transform ordinary objects into beautiful projects. Most woodworkers and carvers start out as apprentices and learn under the tutelage of a relative or a family friend. There are also carvers that learn from master craftsmen and trainers and teachers. But no matter where and no matter how woodworking skills are acquired, carvers and woodworkers need to remember a few tips for beginners.

Here are five tips.

1) Understand basic woodworking tools

A woodworker could only be as good as his tools, and a good woodworker and carver have a great deal of knowledge about his tools as well. There are so many useful woodworking tools, and these are classified as hand tools and power tools. Home Tips Plus has a list of the most common hand tools including a tape measure, carpenter’s handsaw, sanding clocks, sand paper, carpenter’s hammer, mallet, screwdrivers and a set of chisels. Power tools include a circular saw, driver/drill, jigsaw, a small table saw and power sanders. These tools will let you create anything out of wood; from basic shapes to intricate decorative pieces. A good understanding of what each tool can do will be useful in almost all woodworking and woodcarving project.

Meanwhile, Craftsy states that a beginner woodworker might get intimidated by the cost of these tools, but this is very important and must not be overlooked. Quality tools are not always expensive ones, and you could get good value when you review and compare different products. Also, investing in quality tools and learning how to use it well will take you a long way.

2) Get set for success

Focus on the success of a project. Craftsy suggest starting with simple and modest pieces than to embark on an elaborate project especially when you are just new to using tools and the fundamentals of woodworking. Lack of practice and mere basic knowledge of tools and concepts could lead to failure, frustration, and disappointment. Also, take note that a woodworking project has several stages including design, research, acquiring high-quality wood, learning new tools edge treatments and finishing. Taking time to learn all these steps will guarantee the success of any woodworking project.

3) Learn about different kinds of wood

Every polished woodworker understands different kinds of wood. There are many types of inexpensive wood, and according to DIY to Wealth, each type has its pros and cons. Learning about each type of wood lets you choose the ideal one that you can use for your project or work.

The most common type of wood is basswood because it’s strong, easy to use and easy to trim. Beech is another common type of wood used because it bends easily, stains easily but could be hard for basic tools to work with. Pine, on the other hand, is widely used as a home and office furniture. Meanwhile, pallet wood is salvaged wood that is mostly used for crafts and woodworking projects. Make sure to remove all nails first before using and to avoid using pallets with methyl bromide.

Learning the pros and cons of different types of wood also helps you select the ideal type of tool and the finish that would work well for the wood type.

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4) Reuse Items

Woodworking skills are learned over time and the course of your learning, you will likely accumulate heaps of discarded wood pieces but don’t just throw these away. You can use these pieces to help you with different woodworking tasks. Even small wooden blocks can still be used. The Family Handyman explains that these can be transformed into handy sanding blocks which hold sandpaper. Still, other wood waste can be used or recycled; check out this handy YouTube video from DIY expert Mary Tardito of how wooden pieces and pallets are transformed into different items around the house.

5) Creating your woodworking space at home

You need a good, safe place to store your tools and equipment and of course a place to work quietly and efficiently. The most common workspace is an extra room or garage but if you can, use a separate space away from your home so you can store your tools safely, avoid dust and other chemicals from getting inside your home. Having a separate place to work will also avoid noises which are usually emitted by noisy power tools. Popular Mechanics provides some tips on how to start a woodworking space in a small apartment or basement.

PM says that if a separate space is not available, the basement or a small space in an apartment will do. The guide says that a beginner woodworker who has very little space should think about his choice of tools initially. Thankfully, there are lightweight and easy to transport counterparts of large power tools including portable table saws, miter saws, circular and track saws. Sawdust control is also important and this is accomplished by using saw hoods, vacuums, dust extractors and air filtration systems. The key has space to work without disrupting every day home life. Here is a good YouTube video from Room for Woodwork that shows that a small space is not a hindrance to any woodworking dream.

Practice and more practice


Woodworking takes time, practice and patience. You must focus and prepare to retain different skills and knowledge learned through different projects. A beginner’s enthusiasm is not enough; he has to get to know his tools (basic and power tools), learn more about the material or wood that he plans to use and to recycle materials as well. It’s a must to have his space where he could work even if he has very little space at home. Finally, a beginner has to start with simple, modest projects to hone his skills.

These tips are meant for beginner woodworkers and those that are just starting out woodcarving and other woodworking project. If you like this article, like this post and share.

  • June 2, 2017
  • DIY