Intro to Chip Carving: 8 Steps

Intro to Chip Carving: 8 Steps

Emery cloth sandpaper is another easy to use sharpening tool, especially when performing relief carving. The most popular wood carving gifts grits used are 500, 1000, 1,500, and 2,000 – but there are finer and coarser grits available on the market.

New Chip Carving and wood Sculpting knife, with Curved Two-Sided Blade Wooden Handle

When chip carving, keep your hand above the surface and only your thumb rested. Rotated your hand by using only your thumb as a pivot. This will provide better maneuverability and allow you to perform more accurate chip carving.

Beginners should start with cheaper woods, such as pine or even scrap wood, at least until getting the hang of what they’re doing. Just wanted to say what a great job you’re doing in the name of chip carving. Your efforts have brought chip carving to the beginner and those interested in taking up this rare and beautiful old method of wood carving for the first time. Not to mention adding to the skill of experienced chip carver. I,m trying to find some wood carving sets to carve animals out of wood chuncks, and some faces out of it.

The more you chip carve, the better you get at it and the more complex patterns you will be able to make. Use wood patterns for your chip carvings if you need a guide. You can purchase wood pattern designs at hobby or craft stores. You can can also draw your own patterns onto the project surface, or you can work freehand if you have the skill for it. Beginners should work from a simple pattern containing very few design elements.

Best wood carving tool is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you’d like to add something or share your pattern with the community you are more then welcomed! We hope that these patterns will help you chip carving hobby. 4.

If not, you can always draw your own. You also need softening stones when working with those tools. You do not want a dull blade.

Knife Types for Chip Carving

When only two knives are used, give yourself every advantage by acquiring quality tools (see photo 3). The Premier knives shown here were designed by myself and are the result of many years of study and experience. They are manufactured through the Alpine School of Woodcarving in the US. Their blades are high carbon tool steel (not stainless) properly tempered to hold an edge longer; their handles are ergonomically designed for hours of comfortable use.The more used of the two, the cutting knife, is the one that removes all the wood, i.e., the chips.

  • Work on softwood rather than harder wood.
  • The following steps are for right-handed carvers.
  • Wood like butternut are very easy to work with and also pleasurable.
  • This helps keep the project from becoming too demanding.
  • Written by Wayne Barton, The Complete Guide to Chip Carving is a beginner-friendly guide to chip carving.
  • Beginners should start with cheaper woods, such as pine or even scrap wood, at least until getting the hang of what they’re doing.

The second position of the cutting knife puts the blade at the same angle but in the opposite direction (see photo 8). This is achieved by placing the first knuckle of the thumb on the spine of the handle. When preparing to sharpen the cutting knife, there should be a slight secondary bevel that blends into the primary bevel which has been established by the factory.

The tree (fir) pattern combines 11 chips; one of them is four-corner (rectangular) chip for the trunk. This pattern is interesting to carve as the big difference between the largest and smallest chips makes this pattern a little challenging. I like to chip carve this free pattern on a piece of basswood where the grain direction goes from side to side. It would be a little more difficult to chip carve the tree if the grain goes vertical to the pattern.

I used this chip carving pattern to carve Christmas tree ornaments. Since a larger board is easier to hold during chip carving I usually carve several projects on the same basswood board and then cut the board using a scroll saw. I usually carve on one side of a board that is 1/4“ (6 mm) thick; pick a thicker board especially if you plan to do chip carving on both sides. Copyright © 2019 Some posts may contain affiliate links.

Chip carving is a relatively easy form of carving they is often use to decorate furniture. Chip carving is much faster than other forms of carving and allows a new carver to practice individuals cuts before diving in on a project. If you are looking for a practical way to get into carving, chip carving may be it.

As we have seen, chip carving is not as easy as it seems. However, it is not too difficult either. We hope that our ultimate guide to chip carving has helped you up your game. At the end of the day, all that is required is practice.

Chip Carver’s Workbook

The process of chip carving is very simple, requiring only chip carving knives to complete, which makes it an ideal wood art for beginners. New knives come unsharpened. Sharpening a knife could be a challenge. The good news is that sharpening a chip carving knife is relatively easy because the blade is so small. 6 RepliesI designed several simple chip carving patterns that are suitable for making fridge magnets, various ornaments or using them as part of a chip carving composition.

Some experts even claim that chip carving has been around even since the early men started making decorative artwork. This is mostly attributed to the fact that all that is required to chip carve is straightforward tools and a piece of wood.

Here are a few of them. Last but not least, we have the Chip Carving Workshop by Lora Irish – a very well-known chip carver. She illustrates you the world of chip carving in very simple terms and newbies will have no problem following this guide, all the way to carving more complex patterns. This 144 pages paperback book has over 200 practice projects like making geometric shapes and free-form designs to can use to get better at chip carving. Written by Wayne Barton, The Complete Guide to Chip Carving is a beginner-friendly guide to chip carving.

Chip Carving Guide

Chip Carving Guide

If you’ve ever carved your initials or an image into a wooden surface, congratulations—you are, in effect, a chip carver. Now let’s refine that ancient impulse by applying a few standardized techniques and concepts that will allow precise, repeatable results whether you’re making a decorative panel or adding accents to a piece of furniture. Chip carving knives are held in a particular way. For the cutting knife, when gripping the handle in the first position, place the first knuckle of your thumb on the lower side of the handle (see photo 7). This will place the blade at approximately a 65 degree angle to the carving surface.

That is intentional. That helps to learn drawing patterns precisely – the paramount skill in chip carving.

SALE Vintage Wood Carving Mountain Man in Skunk Skin Hat Chip Carving Hand Carved Hand Painted Artist Signed Chuck Bishop

Chip carving is a nice and simple way to beautify wooden projects as well as a relaxing, calming and satisfying experience. Read my article about simple chip carving patterns. Chip carving is a decorative woodworking technique in which faceted “chips” are removed from a wooden surface to create geometric patterns, ornamentation, stylized images and lettering. The price of this course includes two Hock chip carving knives (carving knife and stab knife). PFW does this because it strongly believes that the design of these knives, which Craig had input on, makes a big difference in the quality of the carving.

these boards have good even grain that lends to chip carving well. In the order i received two out of 12 boards were warped. I consider the difficulty it is to ship these boards given the dimensions being 3/8″ by 5″ and that they travel through a variety of temperature and humidity changes. My project requires flat boards.

The layout pattern is very simple and perfect to practice and experiment with small chip carving patterns. The top rows will be small border patterns. The central area of the sample is used for larger, individual designs or rows of similar sized motifs. The bottom rows return to the border patterns.

Daniel Clay demonstrates the Swiss method of chip carving

chip carving practice boards

Even now woodworkers often decorate their projects with chip carvings of geometric patterns or free style figures such as birds or flowers. These basswood practice boards areclear grade! Carve the front and the back. An excellent wood for many small projects such as chip carving, model building, scroll sawing, wood burning, relief carving, etc.

We’ll talk about design considerations specific to chip carving, wood & tool selection, and the other resources you’ll need to continue to carving on your own. We’ll also take a look at traditional and contemporary examples of chip carving from around the world.

chip carving practice boards

  • These basswood practice boards are perfect for testing out a new pattern or honing your chip carving skills.
  • Border, rosette, and free-form designs on 3 basswood planks.
  • Chip carving is not difficult.
  • Or if you are new to our store, you can create a new account.
  • I think that is called as Old-World-Style chip carving.
  • We do promise you that at least one side of the board will be blemish free.

• Another way of removing a triangle chip easier is to do three vertical cuts on the lines where facets meet, than cut facets. I guess it is an old, easy and kind of traditional way of doing chip carving. I think that is called as Old-World-Style chip carving. I used it before and now I avoid it.

Marty is right it makes chip carver easier and faster. Give it a try.

Chip-carving is a very simple way of carving a flat or slightly curved wooden surface that produces faceted chips. Chip carving has been known for thousands of years but very few really old wooden pieces survived to these days as wood deteriorates with time relatively fast.

In essence, a needlework or needle-arts sample is similar to the practice boards we create for our wood burning, wood carving, and in this lesson our chip carving. I hope my friend will enjoy this practice board.

chip carving practice boards

The thumb shouldalways be against the handle so all cuts are made by pulling from the shoulder and not made as one would peel potatoes. Nearly all cuts will be made in the first position.

Their blades are high carbon tool steel (not stainless) properly tempered to hold an edge longer; their handles are ergonomically designed for hours of comfortable use.The more used of the two, the cutting knife, is the one that removes all the wood, i.e., the chips. Its blade angle is configured downward to facilitate the carving process.

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I have done several projects in wood and it is getting easier as I continue, but EZboard made this possible. EzBoard makes beginners look like experienced carvers. It finishes to look like chip carving wood wood. If you have hand ailments EZBoard and your knives work like butter and a hot knife team – allowing you to work for hours with no pain. With EZBoard grain is no longer an issue.

The stab knife does not remove wood but rather decorates motifs and designs with wedge-shaped impressions by cutting the wood fibres and spreading them with a downward thrust (see photo 4). In less than a week another friend decided to learn wood carving and here you go — a new chip carving practice board. This time it is a smaller basswood board – just 7” x 4” x 1/4” (18 cm X 10 cm X 6 mm) with similar chip carving patterns. The grid size is a little smaller (3/16” or 5 mm) to make the carving easier. As you can see this practice board has gaps in the patterns.

I can see why it is the wood of choice for most chip carvers. I have tried using other sources for small boards such as these and they are never as good quality as the ones provided by My Chip Carving. The grain is clear and consistent and the knife slices through them like a hot knife through butter! Great for practice boards or for Christmas decorations or whatever tickles your fancy.