How to cut in wood for beginners

The basics of geometric wood carving

Lessons in geometric woodcarving involve learning the basics of this arts and crafts. Thanks to this you can learn about the tools needed for the job, the features of wood selection, the preparatory phase, the cutting techniques used and the safety precautions applied.


Wood carving, the geometry of the patterns of which often strikes its beauty and attractiveness, requires the selection of appropriate tools, such as:

  • Jigsaw blade. It is characterized by a beveled blade that allows you to create geometric patterns. triangles, squares, scythe lines, etc.д.
  • Flat chisel. A small piece that is no more than 2 centimeters wide is best.
  • Hacksaw. It is necessary for sawing small portions of the workpiece or to cut off unwanted wood elements.
  • Circular, square and semi-circular files. With their help it is possible to make notches and holes of certain shapes.
  • Rulers. As a rule, these tools are not used in woodcarving. At the same time often geometric ornaments must be symmetrical. So you can’t do without a ruler in this case.
  • Pencil. It is necessary for marking the previously selected workpiece. This improves the quality of the work and greatly reduces the time.
  • The compasses. This simple tool allows the correct marking of the workpiece in case a round ornament is created on it.
  • Eraser. It is mainly used to correct lines made with a pencil. It is also required after finishing work, if the wood has some blots left on it.

Thus, geometrical woodcarving does not require a large number of different devices. Often it can be done and with a minimal set of tools.

Wood (how to choose the wood?)

There are several types of wood, which can be used to perform geometric carving:

  • Hard. Most often this type of wood is chosen by professionals. It is connected with the fact that they have the appropriate knowledge and experience. That’s why, despite all the difficulty of working with hardwoods, they do a good job.
  • Very hard. Most often this option is chosen because of the aesthetic qualities of such trees. Hard wood is difficult to work with, even for professionals.
  • Soft. It is more amenable to processing. That is why, if the experience of creating sculptural compositions at the master does not have, it is best for him to stop on this variant. Soft billets are made of linden, pine or aspen.

As a rule, it is quite difficult to get billets from linden. This is due to the fact that it is often used, including professionals. The main disadvantage of pine is that it pricks when cutting. In turn, aspen is the best option, resulting in a really beautiful work.

Preparing to work

Getting started with the first lesson, it is necessary to prepare for yourself the appropriate board of such dimensions:

A beginner should begin the work with the process of sanding the previously prepared board. To do this, using a ruler and pencil to spend a lot of horizontal and vertical lines across the surface of the workpiece, so that the end result will be flat squares.

Next, you need to start drawing figures on the board in accordance with the previously selected sketch. It’s best to start by drawing bevels, rhombuses, twists, pyramids, stars, squares and rosettes. Using this ornament in the future you will be able to create your own unique patterns.

Cutting technique

There are two basic cutting techniques that allow you to create basic geometric patterns on wood:

Safety Precautions

Geometric wood carving for beginners is very exciting, but also quite dangerous. This is due to the fact that in the process of work the master needs to use a large variety of stabbing and cutting tools. That is why he needs to follow the following safety rules:

  • All movements should be carried out from the hand. This greatly simplifies the work and reduces the load on the shoulder girdle.
  • The hand holding the torch must be firmly pressed against the work surface of the workpiece. This will help to free up the movement of the brush.
  • The fingers of your free hand should not be on the workpiece when cutting. Otherwise they can be injured.

Thus, woodcarving can be very safe if you adhere to the above recommendations of experts.

Watch a video lesson on geometric wood carving:

What is the best chainsaw to use for carving

You can not just go to a specialized store and take any chainsaw for woodcarving, because all models of manufacturers differ in certain characteristics. So the choice of tool should be taken seriously, as well as the choice of any other technique. The key features of a saw that specializes in art cutting are:

It should be understood that a more compact and lightweight tool will allow you to get to places that the larger counterpart will not be able to hit. For starting work a chainsaw with the following characteristics is quite suitable: weight up to 5 kg, chain pitch up to half inch, bar size up to 14 inch. This is enough to carve wood for the beginner.

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After acquiring initial skills in carving, you can buy a tapered tire with a smaller size. this will make the contour, protruding parts, shaped patterns of the object more beautiful and clear.

Wood carving master class for beginners

Since ancient times people have tried to decorate their everyday life. It is not known who first thought to carve the first pattern in wood. Carving today is not as popular as computer technology, but is still valued by lovers of beauty. You can learn the ancient craft if you make an effort and get to know it better.

The Basics of Moldmaking

The design of geometric sculpture is based on various simple shapes: circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, trapezoids and rhomboids, which are complemented by straight and broken lines. Contrary to popular belief, ready-made compositions lack angularity and severity. The play of light and shadow emphasizes the relief of the painting. The geometric sculpture has no objects as such. It conveys the mood and brightly shows the skill of the artist.

The finished product can impress with the complexity and subtlety of the work, and sometimes adhere to the principles of conciseness, which does not affect its perception. Very often in the basis of the composition are traditional Russian ornaments, which used to be considered amulets against evil forces.

The work process in the technique of geometric sculpture is conventionally divided into the following stages:

  • Preparing. This involves making a semi-finished product and roughing its surface, t.е. Defects, chips and relief elements removal.
  • Work on composition with knives.
  • The final step. Final processing of the workpiece: sanding, impregnation with special compositions, coating with varnish or paint.
  • After drying the carved work can be used for its intended purpose.
wood, beginners

  • To work in the technique of geometric carving requires a minimum set of tools:
  • Pencil, COMPASS, and ruler (template) to create an accurate drawing.
  • Two types of knives: joint and feather (a kind of Bogorodsky knives).
  • The first type of cutters is used to cut straight lines that form angular geometric shapes, and the second type is used for grooves with soft curves.

Masters with a trained hand draw patterns right on the workpiece, using a pencil, protractor and ruler. For beginners, it is best to first draw a sketch on paper or use ready-made drawings, which can easily be found on the World Wide Web. The patterns are printed, then placed on the mannequin and traced with tracing paper. After the pattern is completely transferred to the workpiece, you can begin to cut out the composition.

Start with soft parts (circles, petals, smooth mowing line). Use a penknife for the job. It is clamped in the hand between the palm and the index finger. The thumb is set aside and rests on the workpiece. This will serve as a support. The bent index finger will act as a pressure and angle regulator for the tool. The depth of the groove will depend on this. Remember to cut away from each other. First work one part of the composition (left or right, depending on your guiding hand), then turn the dummy over and continue to cut the other part of the pattern.

Now comes the time to work with triangular pieces. This tool holds differently. It is clamped between your index finger and thumb like a pencil, but at the very end of the handle, closer to the blade. “The heel of the knife is driven into the workpiece at an angle of 45 degrees, but not at the very edge of the pattern, but with a small recess. It should be made so that the cut has a soft edge. Grooves with this relief look nicer. The edges of the triangles should converge. Use the same algorithm to cut the remaining pattern pieces. The cut pieces of wood should be pyramid-shaped, then the work is done correctly.

It is easy to check the sharpness of the knife while cutting. If the shavings continue as a continuous ribbon, it means the tool is well sharpened. If it crumbles and falls off in pieces, it means that the knife is not cut right. Even sharp tools need to be sharpened periodically in use. Use a piece of genuine leather, on which a small amount of any chromium oxide-based polishing paste is applied.

Crushing and impregnating the finished product

To smooth out the rough edges of the grooves, the surface of the workpiece is lightly sanded with sandpaper. Then the product is impregnated with a special mixture. Some people cover the crafts with varnish, but most artists prefer the process of waxing (wax polishing) or oiling the surface. In this case, the handicraft takes on a light, natural shine. Linseed oil, dandelion oil, peppermint oil and seventh grass oil are usually used. The same compositions are excellent for impregnating crockery. Cover the product tightly, then rub the oil into the wood. Let it dry. It is best to lay it outdoors so that it dries in the sun. Some people place it near a radiator or use a hair dryer to speed up the process.

Master class simple crafts

When you look at the finished crafts, it seems that to make them is not difficult. Therefore, many lovers of folk crafts took the tool in their hands and got down to business. To carve an ordinary flower it is necessary to prepare such a set of objects:

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Note that only special woodcarving chisels are suitable. They should be v-shaped, narrow and semicircular. The next step is the drawing. It can be taken from the Internet. To do this, a sheet of paper is attached to the screen, redraw the scheme, and then apply it to the wooden plane.

Begin the work with the central part of the sketch, carefully cutting out a circle. Then using a v-shaped chisel cut along the contour of the petals. Waste wood between them is removed in the course of the work. If one does not have such a chisel, professional woodcarving knives will do.

With a semicircular chisel cut the outer part of the petal. It becomes similar to the outline of a heart, but that’s okay. Then the incisions are made on the inside of the petal, connecting it to the center of the flower. It only remains to round it, and the flower is ready. Now you can admire the first creation of your hands. Invaluable help for beginners is a thematic woodcarving video, which encourages you to get to work immediately.

Care of engraving equipment and tools

In order for an engraver to work longer, to perform its tasks, you need to take care of the tool.

Before turning on, it is necessary to inspect the bur: whether there are any dents, cracks, chips.

When working the bur comes out a lot of dust, shavings, which clogs the tool. After each use it is necessary to clean the engraver, to shake out the debris.

If there is no forced ventilation, turn off the engraver after 15-20 min. To work long enough for it to cool down.

Experienced cutters do not recommend working with blunt cutters. They need to be changed or sharpened in time.

Note! The difference in the sharpening of the gear of the chisels affects the performance of the chisel.

Woodcarving for beginners: Chisel

Chisel. is a hand-held tool designed for work on wood, as well as other materials (leather, metal, etc.). д.). Used by woodcarvers, cabinetmakers for woodcarving, making grooves, recesses, notches. consisting of a handle, usually made of wood, and a metal part. So, a chisel, cleaver, spoon carver. all of these are chisels.


Chisels can be classified according to the method of advancement, handle shape, size and other parameters. The basic classification of chisels. Wood carving chisels are used by carvers to create grooves and notches in the shape, longitudinal or transverse to the shaped profile of the tool. And often a chisel is defined by these two parameters at once.

cross shape:

depending on the shape of the transverse, i.e. end profile, of the chisel blade, the following types of chisels are distinguished.

Radius chisels. which in different publications appear under the names: semi-circular, bent, semi-flat. In the classification suggested by Shamil Sasykov, the radius chisel. this is a chisel with a profile that is partly circular in cross-section. For example, a chisel number 20/2-1 has a blade half width of a circle 20 mm in diameter (symbol 20/2), and the last digit. 1. tool thickness characteristics in 1 mm. Another example: the chisel number 20/5-0.5. is a chisel with a blade width of 1/5 of a circle of 20 mm diameter and a blade thickness of 0,5 mm.

Flat. chisels with a straight, flat cross sectional profile. Chisels differ in width and thickness of the blade and in the shape of the cutting edge, which can be oblique or straight.

Boxed or stapled. flat straight chisels with jagged edges of different heights.

Corner. with a contour in the form of a corner, V. the size of such chisels is determined by the height of the side of the tool, as well as by the size of the angle, in degrees, enclosed between the sides. In most cases, it is an angle of 60-90 degrees.

Longitudinal shape:

Depending on the shape of the longitudinal, i.e. lateral, profile of the blade, the following types of chisels can be distinguished.

straight. chisels with a blade that is straight as a ruler, without any curves.

hacksaws. chisels, which have a rather steep longitudinal curvature of the blade, which begins closer to the end of the blade.

Curved. chisels with a longitudinal curve of the blade. But, unlike clavichords, they have a larger portion of the blade that is bent.

The classification given above makes it possible to distinguish the main kinds of chisels based on simple and clear parameters, which is important for a beginner carver. But it is worth remembering that there are other kinds of chisels, distinguished in other ways. We will tell you about them when necessary. For example, this list can be sharply extended if we distinguish chisels sharpened from the reverse side, which are usually called reverse chisels or reverse chisels.

Another important criterion for classifying chisels.

principle of operation

Type 1 Chisels are advanced by hitting the handle with a hammer, mallet, mallet, or electric tool (electric chisels), which causes the wood to be cut. These chisels are usually used in hardwood carving where a lot of force is required, or in softwood carving where a lot of material has to be cut at once.

These chisels look big and long and sometimes really big. You hold them with one hand and hit the handle with a hammer with the other. handle of such chisels is usually looped, so it does not fall apart. But sooner or later they do fall apart, and therefore it is preferable to use a rubber or polyurethane hammer to make the tool last longer.

Type 2 There are chisels, sometimes as long as type 1, but with a slightly narrower cutting edge. Worked with both hands, pressing and advancing with the effort of the hands. It is clear that this is mainly possible on soft wood. Their handle is rounded, smooth, easy to hold in the hand. A cudgel may be used in a limited way, but a rubber mallet is better: the handle, even of birch wood, can withstand many years.

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Type 3 And finally, chisels with which one cuts by moving them only with the hands. They are, of course, much smaller in size than those described above, even the metal part is thinner and sometimes harder. It is possible to work with them on any wood, everything depends on the angle of sharpening of the blade and the size of the object. It is convenient to use them to cut small things like netskeh, made of juniper, cypress, apple or cherry wood.

From the history of terminology

The word “chisel” is derived from German. Stemmeisen. The German word Stemmen is translated as “chiseling, chiselling, gouging”. This term in German is used to refer specifically to a chisel, but a thin one, advanced by hand without the use of a mallet. It was borrowed by Russian craftsmen to denote exactly this type of chisel.

This term most likely entered the vocabulary of craftsmen during the reform era of Peter I. Interestingly, a chisel was most commonly referred to as a flat hand tool, which today is called a chisel. Here is an excerpt from book A. А. Pchelnikoff’s “Conversations with Children” (1858).): “With this flat, which is called a chisel to cut and clean up the sawed studs or hollowed out holes, etc.”. A semicircular chisel is used to remove and clean a semicircular notch. With chisel tetrahedral chisels, wide and narrow, they hammer out apertures, remove slots for inserting thin slats into the frames, etc.”. And in the Dictionary of Church Slavonic and Russian (vol. 4, 1847.) the chisel is defined as “. chisel type. Wooden baseboards, flat and spiked. A more detailed definition is given by the authors of the Desk Dictionary for Reference on all branches of knowledge (vol. 3, 1864).): “A chisel, a carpenter’s tool used for gouging holes and replacing a chisel. made of steel, four versts long and one verst wide” (1 verst = 4.45 cm).

Exactly when the term “chisel” came to be used for semi-circular chisels is not known. But in the pre-late 19th-century editions that we found, this term is used specifically for a chisel, whereas the word “chisel” refers to cutters of various shapes, including half-circular. In the 1920s, the term “chisel” was first used to describe a half-circle chisel. there have been several editions, in which the chisel comes in various forms, including a semi-circular chisel. In the current linguistic tradition, including in the professional vocabulary of woodworkers, the chisel. the common name for a cutter of this kind (most often it is a semi-circular cutter), and the chisel. straight chisel with a hexagonal or trapezoidal profile, designed for making grooves, splitting material, and other operations.

About types of handles of chisels, recommendations on choice of chisels and about other features of work with this kind of hand tools you can read in other specialized articles on our site.

What is the difference between relief carving and other techniques?

What distinguishes the relief technique from flat-relief, contour, geometric and other types of non-volumetric carving is, first of all, its emphasized three-dimensional character. Here the main composition stands in the foreground by means of the cropped background, thanks to which the image becomes more expressive, with a characteristic abundance of light and shade.

If the main pattern of the composition rises only slightly, no more than half of the thickness of the entire product, then such a carving is called a bas-relief (and the product itself is a bas-relief). When a higher and more protruding relief is carved, the carving is called a high relief carving.

Cutting Board for Beginners | Woodworking Basics

Drawings for woodcarving. more than 100 designs

In this selection, I would like to bring to your attention woodcarving patterns. I’m going to assume that you have the technique, that you don’t need to explain how to carve, what materials to use, and so on. Today will be exclusively ornaments, patterns, and so on.

Round ornament

Wolf pattern for wood carving

Cute wolf pattern to carve.

Stylized dragon pattern

It will not be easy to carve such a dragon, but the pattern is very interesting!

Vegetable pattern for woodcarving rosettes sketch

Geometric wood carving round rosette pattern

Drawing for wood carving Posolon

How to prepare the pattern for work: I usually print the pattern on a laser printer, and then transfer it to the wooden surface by decoupage, and then work on the ornament with the tool.

Example ornaments for woodcarving

wood, beginners

Carved woodcarving patterns sketches of platbands

The woodcarving guide

Next, see Wayne Barton’s complete guide to wood carving. With my Комментарии и мнения владельцев.

It is best to start carving with simple patterns

Before starting woodcarving, mark out the pattern on the workpiece

You must have a wood carving knife. Pay attention to knives from Kogatana, Narex, Tatiana and Flexcut.

Example casket carving border and center circular ornament

Rope or rope carving pattern

Example of carved box design with a center circular pattern and rope ornament.