Question about how to start carving…

In response to my post tonight about my carved tool tote, I got a question about how to start carving similar stuff.  The answer I thought might be of more general interest, so I thought I’d post my answer here.

“I was reading your blog post about carving your tool tote.  I would like to get started doing some really small and simple carvings. Do you have a book/dvd that you recommend and what are a few needed tools to get started?”

The answer kind of depends on what kind of carving you want to do really, but since the question was about the stuff I have been doing I’ll answer in that regard.

  • Peter Follansbee – 17th Century New England Carving
  • Peter Follansbee – 17th Century New England Carving: Carving the S-Scroll

Scroll down a bit for the first one, it’s the best for starting out.  Then follow up with the S-Scroll dvd.  Absolutely top notch stuff, and very easy to understand and learn from.

Reading Peter’s blog: from start to finish. :)  That is if you are a geek about history and woodworking like me.  Otherwise search on carving.


I posted a while back about my starter set of tools, based on the recommendations of Peter Follansbee and his basic kit.

this has the list of Tools I started with and how I got the list.

  • Pfeil Gouge #9/10 mm
  • Pfeil Gouge #6/20 mm
  • Pfeil Gouge #8/13 mm
  • Pfeil Gouge #8/20 mm
  • Pfeil Gouge #5/12 mm
  • Pfeil V-Parting Tool #12 8mm

I did about 4-5 fully carved pieces with that set before I started expanding.  I’ve added about half dozen chisels so far, but only as I need them for specific projects.  The set above is a decent starting place I figure for the kind of carving I do.  It’s hard to say specifically what you’ll need since you might have a different design style in mind, but a good V tool and small variety of gouges will be a good as place as any to start.

Here is part of my current kit, which I used nearly off of these for the Tool Tote carving.

Some of my carving tools...

Hope that helps.



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