Carving with Hand Tools
Many wood carvers prefer old-fashioned methods when they work with wood. They generally consider wood carving more of a hobby than a way to create income. They are interested in using hand tools to create what they see in the wood. Slow and careful is their method of carving because they feel good work takes time. It often takes days or weeks to whittle down the wood into the form they want. They do not mind the time because they are generally not in a hurry. For them, carving is what they like to do. They will move on to the next piece quickly once they are done with their current carving.
There are many hand tools that have been developed for carvers. Pocket knives are still used today, but some people prefer to use a sharp, curved blade for their carving. It is easier for them to cut against the grain with these knives. Because these knives are specifically made for carving, the handles are large and easier to grip. They are also form-fitted for the hand.
Wood carvings are three dimensional. Cutting out pieces of wood is how the final figurine or relief is achieved. Gouges are often used by wood carvers. A gouge is a slightly curved blade that is nearly flat. It will take out wider chunks of wood when used properly.
Some reliefs and figurines require deep cuts. The blades used to make these cuts are called v-blade and u-blade. The v-blade is pointed in the middle and has two straight sides on the edges. It is often used to outline a section that will later be gouged out. The u-blades are used in tight spaces where a gouge will not fit. All of these blades are sharp and capable of helping a wood carver finish their project.