Tips and Techniques

The great thing about woodcarvers is that they are willing to share their knowledge and often have great tips and techniques to pass along to fellow woodcarvers.
Continuing this tradition, you will find some handy tips and techniques submitted by our members. Should you have a great tip to pass on please feel free to send us an e-mail with "tips and techniques" in the subject line and we'll add it to the collection. 

As you check back, please scroll down for newer tips.
Technique submitted by Alan Scott:

As carvers, we take inspiration from many sources. We don’t always have quick and easy access to patterns, and sometimes a pattern just isn’t available for what we want to carve. Club member Alan Scott has used a little high tech to help solve this dilemma. Using a laser leveling devise, easily obtainable from your local hardware store, Alan has come up with a way to lay out a carving using a few simple items. You will need: paper, pencil, a small ruler, a “go to”, a block of wood, and a laser leveling devise.

​                                                 Step 1. Trace the base of your “go to” onto the piece of paper. This will help you to make sure 
                                                         you are placing your “go to” in the same position every time as you carve and need to 
                                                       re-establish your center line.

                                                 Step 2. Use the laser level to find the center line on the “go to”. 

                                                Step 3. Use a ruler to measure out from the center line to the edges of your “go to”.

                                              Step 4. Transfer these measurements to your block of wood. You will be able to map the
                                                           contours of the “go to” onto your block of wood. 

                                               Step 5. Rotate “go to” and block of wood to do the same for the side view of the project. As                                                       you  carve and remove wood, you will be able to re-establish your center lines and re-map
                                              your design using the laser level.
Tip from Dave Kistler:

One of the benefits of attending club meetings, besides the great classes and fellowship is sometimes stumbling across a great idea. While walking the tables to check out projects and chat, I stumbled across such an idea. Some of our carvers, Dave Kistler one of them, have found that a traveling toothbrush holder makes a handy carrier for a knife. It is especially useful when bringing a project to work on that only requires a knife or two. It is suggested that you add part of a plastic tube or a piece of Styrofoam into the tube to act as a stop. This prevents the blade of the knife from breaking out the end of the plastic tube. You can find these toothbrush holders at many local grocery and convenience stores.
Tip from Greg Wirtz:

Greg Wirtz, one of our instructors for the Doane Experience came up with a great idea to re-purpose a stand used in storing scissors for scrapbooking.

This stand can be purchased at Hobby Lobby. It comes with a set of craft scissors that you could use or pass along to someone interested in crafting or scrapbooking, maybe donate to your nearest elementary school.

Greg has found that his Denny knives fit quite well in the stand. Since the stand has a carousel base, he is able to see the blades of the knives and gouges by spinning the stand. 

Mid-America Woodcarvers Association
Omaha, Nebraska