4F whittling sticks

Adventurous children tend to also be talented, artistic children, who enjoy creating things and working with their hands.  That’s why wood whittling is not only a pleasant past time for many, but it has spanned generations.

During a whittling lesson I introduce a few basic principles that will make sure the children start with good technique and safe practices.

STEP 1 – Gather Your Wood Whittling Tools and Supplies:

Knife – A good quality, sharp knife is essential to wood whittling.

Thumb Guard – A good carving thumb guard is an important safety measure all beginning whittlers should use.

 Wood – While you can use any type of wood, there are woods that are easier to work with and whittle better than others – especially for a beginner.  Soft woods  are easy, have small grain, and are easy to find.

STEP 2 – Getting Ready to Carve

Before you begin carving your wood, you must first determine the grain (the growth patterns in the wood). When you are carving in the same direction as the grain, you are carving with the grain. When you are carving opposite the direction of the grain, you are carving against the grain.  This is important, so if you don’t understand “grain” ask. It is important to hold your wood block and whittling knife properly.

Remember to keep all of your fingers out of the path of the blade!

STEP 3 – Carve!

Now the children are ready to begin carving!  Once you have your knife and wood block in the right position, begin by pushing the blade and guiding the blade in a scooping motion.  Don’t push too hard.  The knife has to dig into the surface only a little bit and then angle back up to come out of the wood.  If you do this right, you will have created a wood shaving that isn’t too thick.  Most shavings that are done correctly will curl.  You can check to see if your shavings curl to know that you are doing it correctly.  If you whittle away thin shavings, you will be able to be more precise and smooth.  If you go too deep, your knife might get stuck.  If this happens, back it out and try again, but this time don’t go as deep.

Children are encouraged to take their time and have fun.  Before they know it, they have their own creations.

Enjoy the photos xxx

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