Are you tired of your nine to five? Do you wish you could do something else? Something more fun or creative? Well, if you did a bit of woodwork in school or at summer camp or at any point in your life, you should consider turning this hobby into a serious business.
This wood carving guide will give you more insight on wood carving, tips to make your wood carving better and advice on how to make money selling your figurines! Let’s go!
HOW TO MAKE GREAT WOODEN FIGURINES
When compared to other crafty careers, wood carving is relatively cheap and easy and does not necessarily require a lot of high-end or expensive tools to create something great.
While many figures can be created simply by using a knife, more complex, detailed, and polished pieces require an oscillating tool like a Dremel.
So how does one make great wooden figures? Well, the first thing you need to know is the different types of woods that are used for wood carvings. You will also need some knowledge on the tools you can use to make your figurines
TYPES OF WOOD USED FOR WOOD CARVING
The wood you use determines how great your figurine will come out and how easy or difficult this project will be. Not all wood is good for carving. Here are a few great wood choices for beginners:
- Basswood: This type of wood is fine grain, very easy to carve and has a light to cream-colored appearance.
- Black Walnut: This dark brown, medium grain wood is harder to carve
- Butternut: Unlike basswood, this type of wood is coarse-grained and has a light brown color with a very distinct wood pattern. It is also easy to carve.
- Cherry: Identifiable by its pinkish brown appearance and wavy pattern, this fine grain wood is very hard to carve
- Mahogany: Mahogany has a beautiful, distinct reddish color with a medium grain. It is not hard to carve, but neither is it very easy.
- Sugar Maple: This light cream colored, fine grain wood is very hard to carve
- White Oak: White oak has a very light, yellowish color with a medium to coarse grain and is very hard to carve
- White Pine: On the other hand, the soft, cream-colored white pine is easy to carve and has a medium grain.
TYPES OF WOOD CARVING TOOLS
Without the proper tools, you will not be able to make great wooden figurines. Here are some of the most basic wood carving tools used to make wooden figurines.
- Chip Carving Knife: This long handled knife has a short blade made of stainless steel that is more appropriate for softer woods. It is inexpensive and easy to find.
- Chisel: For more intricate designs, chisels are used, along with mallets, to carve the wood
- Gouges: These U-shaped, V-shaped and spoon-shaped tools are perfect for scooping out large or small areas of wood and are also used for carving, shaping and smoothing wooden figurines.
- Mallet: This is a kind of hammer used to drive the chisel deeper into the wood.
IMPORTANT WOOD CARVING TIPS
- Start small: Before you buy huge chunks of wood to make some intricate wood carving design you’ve seen online, you should bear in mind that you are a beginner and you should start small and develop your skill.
It makes no sense to spend hours on a piece that comes out terribly, then discover that no one is interested in buying it. Opt for a bird, or a turtle, as these are easy to make, and even easier to sell once they are done properly
- Sketch your design before you start carving: The thing is, wood is not like paper where you can erase a mistake. Any wrong move can mess up your whole piece forcing you to start over or change your design to mask the mistake. In order to avoid this, lightly sketch your design onto the wood to help you make fewer errors.
- Be careful when using your tools: Before you even attempt to create a figure, make sure you know how to use your tools. They are sharp and can cause injury. You should also use protective gear such as special gloves and goggles.
- Cut along the grain: While this should be obvious, those who are inexperienced may rush into cutting and find that their wood rips at the end. Pay attention to the long dark streaks that run through the wood, that is the wood grain. This is the direction in which you should cut.
HOW TO SELL YOUR WOODEN FIGURINES
Believe it or not, selling your wooden figurines is the easiest part. Once you are able to perfect your craft and create a good product, you should have no problem selling them. Here are a few ways you can sell your wooden figures:
- Advertising online on Social Media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. This will help to build a local and even international market
- Going door to door can build a local market
- Selling sites such as eBay, Etsy, and Amazon
- Entering into partnerships with physical stores to sell your products for you
Based on this wood carving guide, you should be able to identify the various types of woods you can use to carve and the tools you will need to carve those figurines.
Your main focus, as a beginner, should be creating high-quality products at affordable prices. All this, combined with the tips given will guarantee sales!