Wood Carving: Whittling as a Hobby
Whittling is a type of woodcarving that uses a carving knife or whittling knife. Unlike relief carving or techniques whittling produces a sculpture instead of adding details to a piece (like Furniture).
What stands out in Whittling is that the stroke of the knife are clearly visible and gives a rugged natural feel to the final piece.
There is a variety of wood you can use. But, as you are starting out at this hobby, you may wanna stick to the finer, softest woods, some of the popular choices by hobbyists are:
• Basswood: The wood as a creamy color, it's soft and easy to carve and it's the preferred choice for beginners, you can find them at any local craft shop for very reasonable prices.
• Balsa: This is another softwood, mostly use to make model airplanes, it can also be found at your local crafts shop.
• Pine: the softer wood you'll find, you can find them very white or slightly yellow colored and is another great choice for beginners.
• Butternut: This one, is the most difficult to work with as a beginner, because of it courser grain which makes it more difficult to avoid chipping during the whittling. Butternut can be found at lumber yards.
Now that you have the wood, you'll need a couple more thing, the carving knife, and a sharpening stone.
Carving Knife: In the old times whittling used to be done by using a pocket knife. Nowadays is more common, easier and comfortable to purchase a Whittling Knife. Generally, they have a fixed blade and a long handle. Beginners starting knife can be very cheap that makes it a good investment.
Sharpening Stone: Obviously carving through wood will constantly dull your blade, so you'll need to keep it sharpen for joy and safety.
Another good safety recommendation is to wear gloves, you can purchase specific gloves design for wood carving, they'll protect your hands and are comfortable.
There is no need to rush, Whittling is known to be a relaxing hobby, rather than a fast one, chill, take it slow. Don't get frustrated or you'll ruin your piece and cut yourself.
Go with the flow, it's much easier to carve with the grain decreasing any resistance from the wood and avoiding any tearings. You can identify these grains as dark streaks running through the wood, run your blade parallel to these streaks.
It'll be a good idea to trace out your design on the piece using a pencil before the whittling starts. This will help you to keep oriented as the piece begins to take shape.
Another good idea is to divide the work into stages, the first stage could be getting the basic shape, the next one will refine closer to what you have in mind and a final stage could be the completion of any left out details in the shape, taking light cuts off the wood and finally getting the piece you want it.
Now that you have the basics, you can complete the knowledge by looking for some magazines related to the hobby and start whittling around.
Related hobbies: creativehobbies, arthobbies