How To Carve Animals Out Of Wood

how to carve animals out of wood

Welcome to my guide on how to carve animals out of wood. I hope you learn something new here !

Wood carving is a unique and valuable passion as well as a hobby that could turn out to be profitable as a money making venture done in your spare time from your home.

It is a rare art and only a few people get past to the initial stage to learning wood carving. Overall, it is not an easy job to carve objects out of wood. Before I start, keep in mind that effective wood carving requires consistent practice and a lot of time.

Following is the ultimate step-by-step guide to carving animals out of wood.

How Would You Want to Carve Animals ?

Well, there are generally four types of wood carving i.e. whittling, carving in the round, relief carving, and chip carving. We are talking about whittling here as it is the most unique yet simplest carving type.

Selecting the Wood Type

After you have determined the type of carving, the next step is to choose an optimal wood. Instead of getting the wood from a lumber pile, it is recommended to buy a high-grade purchase labeled wood from the craft store – specifically for wood carving.

Selecting the Best Carving Knife for Whittling

Efficient grip, sharp, and rigid are some common characteristics of a carving knife. When it comes to whittling, chip knives are the best option. Chip knives, V-Tool, and a small chisel is an ideal choice for beginners looking forward to carving animals out of wood. The blade in these knives are somewhat 1.5-2.5 inches long and can be handled easily. A carbon steel blade is preferred for long-term use.

Practice Prior to Starting the Project

If you’re a beginner, practice by making few basic cuts to get a clearer idea of nature of the wood and blade. Make sure to use the same tools you will be using for the wood carving when practicing. Hold the knife correctly and get a hold of the wood with your non-dominant hand.

Carving Animals Out of Wood

Carving animals out of wood is a lot easier than most woods crafted designs. Obviously, one cannot get a 100% idea or expertise to craft the exact structure just by reading this guide. But the below step-by-step guide on how to carve animals out of wood will certainly help you a lot…

• Determine the picture of the animal you want to carve out of the wooden block
• Use a graphite to trace the front of the picture on the wood
• Remove the wood from unnecessary surface i.e. between legs and tail
• Cut the whole wood piece into a basic shape. In simple words, remove as much as you can to form a simple shape of the carved animal
• After this, use lager knives and u-gouges and work on the sketched form to give it a more realistic look.
• Complete the process by adding fine details using small knives. You can give a more realistic look to the animal’s hair, eyes, tail etc.

When carving, you don’t need to be afraid of ruining the design if you carve outside the sketched design. After you have carved your desired final piece, you can protect and enhance the final piece using paste wax, Danish oil, and / or wood sprays.

Now we will go into the details of carving specific animals from wood, starting with a dog…

How To Carve A Dog Out Of Wood

how to carve a dog from wood

Are you a DIY enthusiast and interested in wood carving ?

Well, wood carving, especially whittling, is almost too much fun to be considered legal. 🙂 Wood carving is a unique skill and only a few people end up mastering it.

The best thing is that you just need a piece of wood and a wood-carving knife to start a simple wooden craft. As this article talks about how to carve a dog out of wood, let’s get straight to the point.

Carving dogs out of wood is so much fun as well as the best way to master your wood carving skills. First, make sure you have all the material needed to start carving.

Material Required

Following is the list of all necessary things required to carve a wooden dog :

• The right type of wood. Butternut, Basswood, and white pine are considered the best wood types. They are relatively and can carve into a fine art piece. You can get them at any craft store.
• Choose a rigid, sharp, and easy to grip knife for the best results. Get a chip carving knife and u-gouges. Knives with carbon steel blade are preferred for long-term use. Chisels are also needed for wood chipping.
• Furthermore, you may want to use paste wax, Danish oil, or wood spray to finalize the carved dog. However, they are optional.

Carving a Dog Out of Wood

You must take it slow and consistent as wood carving is a meditative and relaxing activity. Rushing into the job can cause accidents and ruin the subject. Following is the step-by-step guide to carving a dog out of wood

1. Plan and Outline the Model
The very first step is to finalize the dog you will be carving. Determine the dog breed and take a picture. Though you can always start carving with the picture, it is recommended to make an initial model with self-hardening clay. This will help you to carve with the same design and size.

2. Carve the Initial Block
Now transfer the outline measurements to the wooden block using a pencil. You can also use a try square to make more accurate measurements. After this, try to carve the block as much as you can. In case of dogs, it is recommended to start with the dog face. However, make sure to stay out of the dog outline.

3. Secure the Wooden Design
For better results, it is recommended to clamp the wooden piece or on the table. It will free both of your hands and you can have a better grip on the wooden piece. Note that you should not carve while keeping the wood in your lap.

4. Final Shape
In the end, switch the smaller knives and tools to add details to the masterpiece. Always use sharp tools at this stage because dull tools can ruin the shape of the dog. Add final details critical parts like legs, ears, and face.

Though the wooden dog is already completed, you can still refine the finished piece using certain paste wax, wood spray, or Danish oil. It will enhance the finished piece and take out the natural color of the wood.

How To Carve A Cat From Wood

how to carve a wooden cat

Carving a cat out of wood is certainly a unique do-it-yourself woodcarving project. To be honest, carving a cat from wood is a lot easier than most of the animals. A cat is one of the few animals with minimalist body structure. Note that we will talk about whittling here. As this article talks about cat woodcarving, let’s get straight to the point.

This tutorial does not guarantee a 100% perfection in woodcarving but will surely cover more than enough tips & trick to start your cat woodcarving project. Before starting the project, make sure you have all the basic tools needed for effective wood carving. Some common carving tools used in carving are as follows

  • An illustration sample of the cat
  • Carving knife; Chip knives, V and U-Shaped Gouges, and Chisels.
  • Transfer Paper
  • Wooden block. It is recommended to buy the wooden block from a craft store. Butternut, basswood, and white pine are recommended for carving as they are softwood.
  • Clamps and a vise (optional)

After you have gathered all these things, follow the below steps to carve a cat from wood :

Transfer the Illustration

The very first step is to transfer the illustration on the wooden piece using a transfer paper. You can also sketch the same illustration by hand if you’re good at it. One benefit of hand-drawing is that you can customize the size of the cat.

Mark Stop Points

After transferring the illustration on a wooden piece, use a chip knife to make stop cuts on the neck, face, legs, and tail of the cat. Generally, these stop-cuts will help you say within the boundaries of the structure.

Chip and Make a Rough Outline

Now start chipping the wooden piece using a chip knife and chisels to give it a rough outline of a cat. It is recommended to stay away from the outline. The main goal of this step is to exclude the excessive wood from the block. You can also use a U-gouge to scoop the extra wood out of the wooden piece.

Finalize the Design

After making a rough outline, use small knives to chip the wood exactly along its boundary. Remove the extra wood along the next and face and in between the legs. After this, set the cat onto the table using a vise and start finishing the structure per your illustration. Take it slow and be consistent when finishing the face of the cat. The nose is the most critical part and many people end up screwing up the nose.

Polish the Finished Piece     

You are done carving the cat, but it doesn’t look appealing, right ? Well, it’s not done yet. You can use wood oil, paste wax, or Danish oil to polish the wood and give it a more realistic look. Also, don’t forget to sand the finished piece.

Note that choosing a sitting cat will make the whole process much easier. I hope this article could help you get started with your cat woodcarving project. If so, I’d love to hear your experience in the comments section.

How To Carve An Elephant Out Of Wood

carve an elephant from wood

Looking forward to some useful tips to carve an elephant out of wood ? Well, you’ve come to the right place. No doubt, woodcarving skills are mastered from years of practice, but this post will certainly educate you enough to start carving an elephant out of wood.

Initial Stage of Wood Carving

Before getting busy to make an elephant out of wood, make sure you follow the tips listed below:

  • Choose a softer wood from a craft store instead of obtaining it from a common lumber pile. Butternut, basswood, and white pine are some preferred wood for whittling.
  • Select the right type of carving knives. Chip carving knives with a 3.5-4cm (1.5 inches) blade can be an ideal choice. Furthermore, get a useful piece of the gouge. You must have 1 U-shaped and 1 V-shaped gouge for the best results.
  • Chisels play a key role to help you dig deep into the wood. It is helpful when making deep cuts to give appropriate shape to a wooden
  • Check your wood carving tools by applying some basic cuts. You must be very familiar with the sharpness and grip of your carving tools.

Whittling an Elephant out of Wood

Unless you’re an expert with years of experience, one must need a sample illustration to get started with the elephant carving. Well, of course, an expert wouldn’t be reading this article. After getting an illustration from a magazine, internet, or anywhere else, trace the picture on the wooden block using graphite.

Make Initial Cuts

Make sure to choose a wooden block slightly bigger than the illustration. After getting the elephant on the wooden block, make large cuts to exclude wood out of the boundaries. Make sure to start with a small chip. Making large cuts can split the wood block into the half.

Start with the Head

As the elephant head and nose follows a round shape, make several small cuts along the nose to make the stop cuts. Make sure to always make cuts along the wood grain. Using a sharp chip knife will make this easier. The elephant trunk is the most important part, be consistent while narrowing the elephant trunk.

Define the Elephant Ear

After you have completed the elephant trunk, make stop cuts around the elephant near towards the bottom of the ear. Make sure not to cross the stop cuts during the whole carving process. Similarly, give a definite shape to the whole wooden block.

Finished Piece

When giving it a final touch, hold the wooden piece into the clamps or inside a vise. It is not recommended to carve while keeping the wooden block in your lap. Use small knives to finish the piece and make certain details per your illustration.

Final Verdict

Though the carved elephant is already completed, you can still polish the final design with a wax paste, wood spray, or Danish oil. It will give a more realistic to the carved elephant – enhancing the natural color of the wood.

Now, the last step is to show off your new wood carven elephant to your family and friends and awe them with your wood carving awesomeness ! I hope you enjoyed this post about how to carve animals out of wood and will please consider sharing this on Facebook, Pinterest or on X.

You may want to check out this list of the best beginner wood carving tools.

How To Carve A Bust In Wood

carve a bust from wood – When it comes time to carve a bust in wood, the process can be challenging. In order to keep you from experiencing the issues that we normally experienced, we have prepared this helpful guide that is designed to eliminate the usual concerns.

This tutorial is geared towards the beginner and we have separated each step so that your life is made even easier.

By using the tools that you already have on hand, you can avoid the typical pitfalls. While we will mention a few of the tools that you can purchase, even the most inexperienced carver can get the most out of a single knife such as this one

There are a few key steps that need to be taken when the bust is being carved and we are going to go in depth on each one of them. As you might have expected, we are going to start with the head and work our way down from there.

1. Carving The Head

It all starts with the blank. It will be 2″ thick, 4″ high and 2 3-8″ wide. From there, draw a line from the top of the head that starts at the center of the neck. The front plane is then divided into three sections that are equal. This is done in order to establish the nose width. At this time, we can then remove all of the excess materials between the line and form the basic shape of the face.

If you would like to shave down the neck post, this is your time to do so. In order to block out the ears, you will need to draw a C shape from the top to bottom on the center line that was established earlier. There are no hard and fast rules to follow when it comes to this step. Have fun and choose a shape that works for you.

Raising the ear plan is easy. Just make your cut straight into the head by using the pencil line as your guide. If you are not happy with the ear’s position in relation to the head, a second stop cut can be made around your bust’s ear. Don’t worry too much about specific shapes right now. This will come later.

The nose is next. Use a pencil line (drawn horizontally) and stop drawing roughly a quarter of the way down the nose’s front plane. Once the line is drawn, carve a stop cut. This cut should take place along the pencil line. Carve upwards to remove the chips that are left behind. Carving up from the bottom of the bust’s nose to remove the chips is the next step.

carving wood bust for beginners

Remove chips from the center if you would like the nose to stand out. Pencil the jaw line in just below the ear. The hair line should be drawn from the back of the ear and have a slight backwards slant. Stop cuts are then made along the lines that have been established. Chips must be removed so that wedge shaped grove that is being created is deep enough.

To get rid of any rough edges, round the neck down. Focus on the neck post and the corners of the jaw line. Draw a center line in the front to keep everything well balanced and scoop out wood to define the nose’s sides. These depressions will typically reach the top of the head.

Separating the nostrils is as easy as slicing two parallel lines along the nose’s plane. This creates the ball of the nose and from there, you can slice inward at the nostril bottoms to make openings. Gouging up the nose’s bridge gives you a chance to shape the face as you desire. Don’t be overzealous or you will miss this wood down the road.

Carve along the nostril sides to create an external boundary. This may look blocky but it will all come together. Round off the nostril corners and be sure not to chip off any valuable sections. If you want to round off the ball and bridge of your bust’s nose, just knock the corners off.

Step 2: Carving A Hat (optional)

The blank that is used for this step is 1 3/4″ high and 3 3/4″ long. It will be carved from a 2″ thick piece of basswood. Draw the pencil lines that give you a frame of reference. The center line should be drawn from front to back along the top of the head and on the back and bottom of your chosen blank.

A horizontal line comes next. Remove any sections of wood that keep the hat from being able to form a rough wedge shape. Round off the back side and draw some helpful lines along the blank’s bottom. If you want a rounded contour, remove the corners. Remove any wood around the reference line that was drawn horizontally.

Those who do not wish to add a hat to their bust are welcome to move onto the next step….

Step 3: Carving The Torso

A 4″ tall blank that is also 1 5-8″ at the bottom and 3 3-8″ along the shoulder lines is needed for this step. Make sure that the blank is oriented vertically before you start to cut. Start with the side profile. Follow the pattern line and cut slightly below the surface in order to free the pieces.

Leave the cutoff sections attached to the main pieces. This will allow you to cut along the front as needed without experiencing too much difficulty. Make your three cuts and then turn the piece around. Get rid of the waste pieces and cut out the front profile. Some may decide to cut out these pieces completely and duct tape them back on later.

A hole must be drilled in the top of the blank. Hold the head beforehand and draw a line so that you know where this hole will be located. Drill the hole straight down into the wood. The neck post should be able to fit squarely inside of the torso and give you some latitude to play with the head’s positioning.

Round off the edges to start carving the bust’s torso. Don’t cut against the grain. The shoulders’ edges should also be rounded off at this time. Carve away the top corners first. From there, you can start to shape the bottom of the torso. Round off any sharp corners that still exist.

This gives you a rough shape to work with. Take off enough wood, so that your bust is not too block shaped. It is better to err on the side of taking off more wood, as opposed to less. If you would like to add a shirt to your bust, this is your chance to do so. You can redraw your lines and add the necessary gouges at this time as well.

steps to carve a wood bust

Step 4: Crafting a Base

The base is going to have two tiers. Each will be 3/4″, one should be made of oak and the other should be made of pine. You can use whatever wood works best for you, though. To create a pivot point for the circular jig, slice the tip off a finishing nail. Mark the point where the circle is going to be cut out and if you have a band saw, this is your time to use it.

If you don`t have a band saw, click right here to check out the current pricing on a high quality one offered at Amazon.

Put the pivot pin into the marked spot. Cut out the circle by making sure to advance the jig forward. It should bottom out at the cleat that has been attached to your bottom. Spin the stock until the circle has been freed. Don’t worry about the base remaining exactly circular.

Locate a hole that allows for slight overlap over the edge. Use a disk sander to clamp to the table and move your jig until the circle and the disk are touching. Spin the circle completely but make sure that your sander is turned off. You can continue to sand the edges down if need be.

—> On a side note, I was disappointed with all the disk sanders I previously owned, until I got this one made by Black and Decker.

If you would like to create a bottom piece for your base, you will repeat the same steps that were taken for the top piece. The only difference is that the blank will be 4″ in diameter.

Once you have completed this step, all that is left is the painting. We hope that this tutorial has provided you with the knowledge needed to complete your next project. After all, carving a bust in wood is actually much less difficult than it appears (when you know how).

Before you go, you may want to read this post which lists the 5 best wood carving tools for beginners.

5 Best Beginner Wood Carving Tools

Wood carving may seem deceptively simple but there is definitely an art to it. That is why beginners must take the time to learn more about all of the best wood carving tools. There are tools that are specifically designed to assist those who are just getting started out and they offer a number of advantages.

wood carving tools for beginners

Unless you are willing to put in the proper amount of time and effort when it comes to select your beginner wood carving tools, you are not going to experience the same level of success as those who do. The tools that are selected in these instances should be geared towards making sure that the learning curve is as smooth as possible.

There are a number of questions that are bound to come up when we are in the process of learning the intricacies of wood carving. That is why we have prepared this guide to all of the best beginners’ wood carving tools so that you are able to find out more. Since there is a wide variety of wood carving tools to choose from, this guide is here to assist you…..

A Knife

A knife is the most common and basic tool that a beginning wood carver will need to obtain.

A sharp knife will mostly be used for chip carving and whittling.

The knife blade should be approximately 1 1/2″ long with a handle that is easy for you to hold so as to avoid the knife slipping out of your hands while using it and prevent you from cutting yourself.

Cutting yourself while carving wood is not that much fun, take my word for it !

High carbon steel is the material of first choice when selecting a knife for wood carving / whittling. It should retain its sharpness for quite a while after you sharpen it.

A Chisel

Another basic beginning tool for wood carving is a chisel. This tool comes in different cutting edges, depending on the hardness of the wood. A mallet is generally used to hit the chisel into the wood. For its small size, you get a lot of bang for your buck with a high quality chisel.

A chisel is extremely useful and practical tool to have in your wood carving tool collection and should provide you many years of service if you take proper care of it.

Wood Carving Chisel Set

A wood carving chisel set is one of the first items that you should be purchasing when you are looking to get started in the world of wood carving. A chisel set is the best starting point for anyone who lacks experience. These sets are designed to provide us with the tools that we need to handle a number of different wood carving tasks. These kits also tend to come with tools that have already been sharpened.

These sets often come with wooden handles as well. This makes it much easier for beginners to handle the tools without experiencing any difficulties. They also have their own carrying case. For beginner wood carvers who may need to tote their tools from one class to the next, these sets are an absolute godsend that cannot be ignored.

best beginning tools for wood carving

Power Grip Carving Tools

These tools offer beginners the chance to enjoy a much more solid grip when they are completing their projects and best of all, they are incredibly durable. That means that you can purchase your power grip carving tools at the very beginning of your wood carving journey and still have them by the time you are rounding into proficiency.

Grip is everything when you are selecting tools of this nature. This is how a beginner carver learns how to control their tools. Simple wood carving tools become even easier when you have access to the precision that power grip carving tools have to offer. These tools are typically offered along with a helpful carrying case that makes organization a total snap.

Power Carvers

This is a tool that is truly designed to remove all of the guesswork from the proceedings. These electric wood carving tools make life simple. They are essentially fool proof and anyone can use them to their benefit. Power carving tools are designed to be light to the touch. There is no vibration for the beginner wood carver to be worried about when using power carvers.

Best of all, they offer a certain amount of precision that cannot be matched anywhere else. When we are just learning how to handle various wood carving tools, it never hurts to have the versatility of a power wood carver on hand. All of the projects that you have in mind are well within your grasp when you equip yourself with the proper tools. Power carvers are just one of the few that every beginner wood carver should have.

Whittling and Roughing Tools

While there are a number of woodcarving tools that come with various tools, the importance of whittling and roughing tools can never be discounted. This tool is also easier to store because there is just one knife to worry about. These knives are designed to handle any whittling and roughing concerns that are bound to come up. When we are working with wood that needs to be roughed out a bit, this becomes important.

These tools are especially effective when delicate wood carving tasks need to take place. Making cuts in hollow areas has never been easier. The same goes for beginner carvers who are looking to make smoother and shinier cuts. The accuracy that a whittling and roughing tool has to offer cannot and should not ever fall by the wayside. With these tools, you are also not limited to any specific projects.

Children’s Carving Tools

Parents who are looking to make sure that their little ones are not being exposed to any dangers when they are learning the ins and outs of wood carving should definitely take the time to seek out carving tools that are geared for their youngsters. There are some children who may have the ability to handle using adult tools but this tends to be the exception. It is not the norm and should never be treated as such.

Children who are given adult tools and expect to learn wood carving may or may not experience the desired level of success. It is a true “sink or swim” proposition. That is why it is best to equip children with tools that are specifically designed for their needs. This allows parents to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their little ones are safe while they pursue their new favorite hobby.