Wood carving tools are typically cutting tools that are used to sculpt wood into different objects or to add ornamentation into the wood. This type of carving can be used to describe anything from molding to individual sculptures.
One specific type of wood carving is figural carving in which the wood is carved into animals or objects found in nature. Often decoys and fish carving are two of the traditions that have been carried through the years. The basic wood carving tools include the gouge, carving knife, coping saw, V-tool, chisel, sharpening equipment and veiner. The gouge is a tool that comes in many different sizes and forms and has a curved cutting edge. It is used to create sweeping curves, round curves and round hollows. In particular the veiner is a very special deep gouge that has a cutting edge shaped in a U.
Wood carving it not to be confused with wood turning. Wood turning is a process which wood is fixed in a manner to turn on a lathe. In this manner creating objects of wood for decorative or practical uses the wood carving patterns. In turning the wood one may use a type of”carving” tool but this is different than in wood carving. Turning on a lathe is more to shape the object. Where in wood carving it may be more of a figural in nature. It also may be decorative in building home building or furniture building. Decorative carving may enhance the end product or enhance a piece of furniture.
When first carving wood the coping saw, a small saw, is used to cut off chunks of wood all at once. When the basic form is ready a carving knife is used to smooth, cut and pare the wood. This carving knife is different from other knives and is specifically for wood carving patterns.
To keep the tools and knives sharp, sharpening tools such as the strop and sharpening stones will maintain a sharp edge. The curve of the cutting edge is known as the sweep. Sweeps that are classified as low numbers will be flat and shallow while higher sweep numbers will be highly curved, such as those found on a deep gouge. A chisel is a tool that has a straight cutting edge. Chisels can be large or small and can smooth and clean up flat areas or be used to create lines.
Another wood carving tool that is used for flat work and lines is the V-tool. Another basic tool that is commonly used are a mallet and screw. The screw will fix the wood to the workbench and mallets are used to apply force to chisels and other tools. Those that like to whittle or add decoration to wooden pieces will use a sloyd knife. The blade is about 5 inches shorter than the handle. The name Sloyd derives from where the knife was developed, in Sweden, where students were taught wood craft known specifically as Educational Sloyd. The fishtail is a type of chisel with the end formed as a fishtail, with a flare. This tool is used where space is tight and a larger tool cannot fit.