Today in Wood Carving For Beginners: Style Of Cuts, Knife Skills we’ll be focusing on the different styles of cuts to use in your carvings.
Style Of Cuts:- Super Easy Process
Rough Cut:- Middle of the blade cut-pushing away from you
All carving projects begin with the rough cut.
You will be using the Roughing knife for this cut, it looks like this.
Hold your knife with your fingers wrapped around the grip and your thumb resting flat on top of the blades back. Placing your thumb here will give you control over the blade
Hold the wood near the bottom of the piece, to keep your fingers well out of the way of the blade. You’re going to be using the middle of the blade for this cut.
You want to place your blade at a slight angle and push gently through the wood, going away from you. This is a twisting motion with your wrist.
DO NOT use your whole arm for this, you’re not trying to power through the wood. You want to shave off pieces, instead of taking out large chunks. Cutting to deep will have a tendency to break off pieces instead of cutting them.
This is what the wood should look like after you’re done cutting. Notice the small shavings on the table. This is what you want. This cut will enable you to take off a lot of small amounts (that will add up to a large amount), and rough out your basic shape.
Thumb Cut: Middle of the blade cut-pushing away from you
This style is used when absolute control of the blade is needed. The thumb cut is used for small changes to a project, when only a smidgen needs to be shaved off.
Hold your knife in the same manner as described in the rough cut style.
Hold the carving in your left hand with your thumb on top, close to where you want to cut. Now place your left thumb over your right thumb and gently push your right thumb through the small cut.
You’re guiding the knife through the cut with your left thumb. This is a twisting motion with your right wrist.
Sometimes I find the point of the blade gets a bit too close to my fingers with this style, notice how close it is to my gloved finger, so I use a modified version to solve the problem.
Hold the knife the same way, but instead of placing you left thumb over your right, place your left thumb on top of the back of the blade next to your right thumb. This gives you just as much control and keeps the tip further away from your fingers. Then gently push the blade through the cut using the middle portion of the blade.
To simplify, you’re using your knife hand to control the blade while your other thumb supplies the pressure for the cut.
Middle of the blade cut- pulling toward you
WEAR YOUR THUMB GUARD:
I didn’t have mine with me when I took these pictures, but you should wear one. Do as I say, not as I do. Giggle.
Your knife blade will face your body for this cut. Your right thumb will be directly opposite the edge of the blade to stabilize the wood. Here the blade in slightly angled into the top of the cut.
You’ll pull the knife towards your thumb, just like peeling an apple. This cut causes safety concerns as the blade is drawn toward your thumb holding the knife. However, using a thumb guard protects you from the blade. Now the blade is around half way through the cut.
Be very careful while using this cut, so you don’t injure yourself. You want to make small cuts, not large ones. Your cut should look something like this.
Notice the left edge isn’t even. If you want it to be clean and even, go back over the left edge again with a slow straight cut angling the blade slightly down, and pulling it toward you. . You can do this several times to even it up and make it look how you want it.
Tip of the blade cut-pulling toward the right/
middle of the blade cut -pushing away from you
The stop cut is done in a two-step process. The first uses only the tip of the blade. The second uses the middle of the blade. You hold the handle like this.
The first step is cutting along a line with the tip of the blade. Only do a shallow cut and a short distance, removing the blade after the cut.
Now place the blade tip back in the middle of the cut you just made, and repeat the same process going a little further each time. Do this until the line is fully cut.
The second step is to remove wood with a Thumb cut, going toward the stop cut.
You want to angle the blade into the wood then push it toward the stop cut, leveling the blade flat as you go. It’s a twisting motion with your wrist. A side view should look like this. \_____ You’re using the middle of the blade for this part of the cut.
The cut you just made will end at the stop cut. (Hence the name.) If you want the line more pronounced or deeper, just repeat the two-step process again or as many times as needed to achieve the look you want. Your cut should look something like this.
Tip of the blade cut- pulling toward the right
This is a notching movement used for hair, fur, or deep cuts to outline something. It’s a two-step process.
Hold the knife with your fingers up around the top of the handle, having your middle finger at the handles tip. This position leaves your index finger hanging out there.
Now gently rest your index finger along the side of the blade and slide it toward the blades base. Having your index finger in this position gives you control over the blade for this cut.
Your hand position should look like this.
Your thumb rests either on the side of the wood or on the top of it to stabilize the knife. Your thumb should be here, or here.
Make a cut into the wood at a 30 degree angle to the desired depth and length, pulling the blade toward the right. Don’t go to deep, so the wood doesn’t chip out. Pull the blade back out and make the same 30 degree cut parallel to the first cut. You will be angling your second cut to meet the first.
To simplify, you’re making a v shape into the wood. You should have a groove the whole length of your cut. Your cut should look something like this.
Summing it all up:
Today in Wood Carving For Beginners: Style Of Cuts, Knife Skills we learned the five basic knife skills to use in our wood carving tutorial. You learned the rough cut, the thumb cut, the paring cut, the stop cut, and the v cut.
You’ve learned a lot; now let’s move on to the next step.
If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment please feel free to do so. I would love to hear from you and help in any way I can.
Founder of Carved Fairy Houses