Wood Carvers Tools

Wood Carvers Tools

Anyone starting out to buy tools for his shop can go one of two ways. He can buy a lot of tools or he can restrain his impulses and buy tools as he develops the need for them. I suggest that the latter step is the wise one to take, for this reason: the carver’s chest can be filled with tools that are used once a year as well as those he uses constantly.

Most companies that sell carver’s tools have beginner’s sets. Un­doubtedly they are the result of long experience on the part of the dealer in selling this sort of equipment and therefore are worth con­sideration.

All carving tools are sold according to their shape, length, and size. They are classed by the form of the tool; such as “long bend” (or “bent”), “straight,” “short bent,” “firmer,” and “skew.”

These classi­fications are further broken down into the following categories: gouges, chisels, skews, and parting tools. All of these are sold, for the most part, by the actual shape of the cutting edges, which are numbered. Each shape is given an identifying number which is, so far as I know, a standard one.

Never let other people handle your carving tools any more than you would lend them your toothbrush and don’t use carving tools for carpentry work.   Buy carpenters’ tools.    And vice versa.


Avoid the cutting edges of your tools at all times. By that I mean never have your hand or arm or body in the direction of the tool’s travel.

Don’t let anyone stand directly in front of you when you are carving because sometimes the tool slips out of your hand and if, by chance, you are driving the tool, it can go across the shop in a hurry, cutting as it goes.

Never use a carving tool to whittle with. Use a sharp jackknife. Never use a dull tool. More accidents are caused by dull tools than sharp ones. Take care when you use these lethal weap­ons.   They don’t care what they cut, but you do—presumably.

Wood Carving Tools You Should Have

For the sake of argument let’s suppose you don’t want to buy any machine tools or that you haven’t any to start with. The following hand tools should be acquired:

A short jack plane, i.e., an 8-inch plane.

A jointing plane, i.e., an 18-inch plane.

A “turning saw,” usually called a scroll saw. This is a hard tool to manipulate, but you can use it to advantage, although it will take a lot of practice.

A hand drill—the eggbeater type.

A set of fractional drills, running from 1/16 to ¼ inch in 1/64 inch sizes, high speed steel.

A countersink.

A prick punch.

A couple of good hand screw drivers.

A set of nail sets.

The best claw hammer you can buy.

A bit brace and four bits, ¼, ⅜, ½, and ¾ inch ought to start you

off.   If you are going to use plugs and screws for jointed parts, buy,care of the plug cutters because if you have to sharpen them you have to file down the lips of the bit to fit the reduced size.

You also should have:

A good backsaw, sometimes called a “tenoning saw.”

A good 10-point cross-cut hand saw, commonly called a “panel saw.”

A pair of carpenter’s dividers and a carpenter’s scribe (pencil com­pass).

A good casemaker’s square.

An accurate try square or combination square is a “must.”

A good wood straightedge.

If you are not skilled in the use and application of any of these tools, learn how they are used and why. Handbooks on their use are available.   Keep the edged tools sharp and clean from gums and rust.

A set of rifflers—specially cut and shaped files—is a necessary part of your carving tool collection.

A wood rasp.   I find a 10-inch, half round rasp is best.

There are two more tools you can use to advantage, a spoke shave and a draw shave.

Another point I want to make. Have a place in your shop for every­thing and keep everything in its place.

All the tools I have mentioned have their place in a wood carver’s scheme of things. All of them require skill in their proper use, and they can be abused, too.

Sharpen edged tools in the list given above in the same manner as is described for carver’s tools.

Keep in mind the fact that a lot of strength need not be put forth in using tools of any sort. Let the tool edge do the work; your primary function is to guide the tool in the direction you want it to go and in the manner you want it to cut.

It is more advantageous to make a lot of light cuts than a couple of heavy ones. The final results are better, and less effort is required. Also, the tools can be guided better.

Please See A Quality Set Of Wood Carvers Tools Below:

Deluxe Wood Carvers Palm Tool and Knife Set-Flexcut

See Also:

Tips For Sharpening Tools

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