This form of wood carving involves the use of knives and chisels to remove small chips from the surface of a piece of wood. It can be used to decorate existing objects, easily drawing intricate designs with limitless possibilities.
It is advisable to use hard and high-quality wood for chip carving, as designs tend to look better in such materials. For experts, oak is the classic and traditional wood for carving. Beginners, however, are advised to work with wood that contains softer grain, such as lime, as it is easier to work with.
It is advisable to make cuts along the grain of the piece of wood to ensure fibres don’t tear at the cut line. A depth of 1/8” is the recommended maximum for the chipping cuts, and the chips should be carefully removed so they do not damage the wood. Cutting away from the previous chip ensures smooth removal.
Choosing a knife
A knife with a thin, wedge shape will allow for precise cuts.
For beginners, one knife will allow the creation of simpler designs. This knife should have a cutting edge as parallel to the handle as possible, as this will be easier to use.
Other knives may have a cutting edge in a rectangular shape, ideal for stabbing, and knives with a fine point that permit delicate woodwork. A knife with a round cross-section can be manipulated more easily, allowing the creation of more natural lines.
Gripping the knife
Gripping the knife correctly is vital if the cuts are to be made correctly and the design faultless. The back of the knife should be gripped with the fingers, and the thumb placed on a flat side that can be found on the front of the handle, under the blade. Keeping the thumb on the hand is crucial to preventing injury.
Another grip involves placing fingers on the front of the handle and the thumb on the back of the blade.
Both grips require that cutting is done at a 65° angle.
Creating intricate designs can be achieved by transferring patterns to a piece of wood of approximately 3/4” and 3/8” thickness. It is necessary to sand down the surface that is receiving the transference, as sanding dulls the designs after the carving process.
Graphite paper can be used to transfer designs to oddly shaped woods or, if preferred, a photocopy of a design can be placed against the wood. With an iron at medium temperature, the design is easily transferred as printer ink is heat sensitive.
Three corner chip technique
The wood should be placed either on the lap or on a table if is too big to be handled.
The first step is to use a plunge cut, involving a piercing motion into the wood at a 65° angle. Starting from where the plunge cut was made, a slicing cut should then be performed. Starting at a shallow depth, it should deepen until it reaches the depth of the plunge cut. The last step is to perform another slicing cut similar to the first one, in order to create a triangle. The piece of wood should pop out easily.
--G&S Specialist Timber 10:12, 06 Dec 2016 (BST)
Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
What will the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) mean for you when they come into force in May?
Business Secretary chairs a new taskforce to monitor and advise on mitigating the impacts of Carillion’s liquidation.
Sir John Armitt is appointed the new chair of the National Infrastructure Commission.
High quality and high density homes - is it what we need or is it storing up trouble?
Government announces its intention to strengthen planning rules to protect music venues and neighbours.
National Audit Office reports that there is little evidence that PFI offers better value than other forms of contracting.
What is liquidation and how does it apply to contractors in the construction industry?
Scrutiny is placed on Carillion's controversial 2013 decision to extend subcontractor payment terms to 120 days.
RSHP unveil their involvement in a boundary crossing which will provide a new entry point into Hong Kong.
With PFI currently under the spotlight due to Carillion, this introductory article explains what they are.
Estimates suggest that up to 30,000 small firms could be at risk of non-payment as a result of Carillion's collapse.