Beginning a Project; Concept to Design Latest Topicshttp:// a Project; Concept to Design Latest TopicsenI have a Deer Antler, raw and whole.... now what? I have recently gotten hold of a 70cm long deer antler and I want to turn part of it into a set of runes as a Christmas present for a friend... The only thing is that I have absolutely no idea how to do that.

I have never really done any carving, but have always been crafty and prefer using my hands to make things. Any suggestions, tips, links, book/video recommendations, tool suggestions, etc. welcome. and very much appreciated. I've been looking forward to diving into something like this for a long time.

4089Wed, 21 Oct 2020 06:35:23 +0000
Drawings to finished workhttp://,

I think drawings should be part of showing any piece. People can see the how the design evolved and developed. I often do extensive drawings and designs of some of my pieces. The way I work, often making a hindered or so pieces and brazing and soldering them together, forces me to design and draw the piece to the last detail. I try to solve problems before they occur to save time. Here is a piece I created with the drawings showing the design process.





1288Thu, 24 Jan 2008 18:14:16 +0000
Boxwood Root, what to do with it? I have this for over a year, look at it looking for some idea , looking for the wood to show me, what to carve. The out sides are very busy with lots of openings, twisting grain .etc . 

I am hoping someone will see something that I didn't. I'm almost ready to cut the outside to flat so I can do some carving. I hate to cut away such interesting grain, but I can't seem to find something to work with. 

Any and all ideas ,suggestions will be greatly appreciated.





3695Wed, 22 Mar 2017 22:20:55 +0000
Frog/Branchhttp:// I prepare for a new piece, I sketch a rough idea of placement in the particular piece of wood. For this piece, you can see a two sided suggestion for placement. In reality, there is not as much angularity to the branch as in the drawing. Things change as the wood is worked. I have live tree frogs to refer to, so most drawings of the frogs are rudimentary, though if I have time for a portrait before one moves I will try for a more detailed drawing. I have also included a photo of the removed negative areas. The piece of wood held up alongside the cut wood is similar to the piece being carved from. I liked the two pieces standing on end, one behind the other, and started having some ideas for other pieces, but likely not this time with these pieces. No more hints about that until the seedlings grow.








To allow the piece to have a sense of greater space, the bottom has been sanded to an angle, to cause the piece to lean rather than stand straight up.



1353Sun, 16 Mar 2008 03:55:25 +0000
Need Patterns For Begining Practicehttp:// have not had much inspiration lately but i do want to carve. so i had thought to do some simple carving to practice and build up my technique and skills with my carving knives. i started looking for some patterns that i can cut out on my band saw and then start carving but i didnt have much luck with my google search. i am trying to find carvings that have both a front and side view of the project so i can rough it out on my band saw. if anyone can recomend a web site that i can get some free patterns that is not santa clause i would apreciate it. i am mostly inturested in charicture carving right now but any good patterns i will squirl away.

3072Sun, 31 Mar 2013 02:13:01 +0000
Cicadahttp:// a new carving,post-107-0-49256100-1469205877.jpgpost-107-0-39282600-1469205891.jpg Boxwood Cicada on a small branch.

3653Fri, 22 Jul 2016 16:45:49 +0000
Help With My Urushi Projecthttp:// everybody,

This is my first post, please be gentle with me! Lol. I started a urushi project... a pen. But I have a problem I didn't solve myself.

When I'm sanding, some halos of moisture appear and don't disappear? They are invisible before the sanding. My question is How they come?

thanks for your time and yours answers.


3631Mon, 04 Apr 2016 08:20:03 +0000
Oak Leaves And Dragonflieshttp:// 2 carvings of Oak Leaves with a Dragonfly on it. The leaves are Lace wood.


3594Fri, 23 Oct 2015 03:01:45 +0000
Small Blue Crab. a request to make a small crab, found a pic to use as a guide and I have a piece of boxwood,

1-1/4"sq. this is where I am at now. Have removed most of the background , will soon start shaping the crab. Will be a pendant for a necklace. Any and all comments welcome.


3110Mon, 06 May 2013 21:29:46 +0000
Work In Progress Updatehttp:// been awhile so here is the update with a brief description:

The secondary throat feathers have been drawn in and are being carved. These are not as strongly undercut nor as long as those just under the beak. The beak has been shaped to an almost finished state. I have carved around the eye to further define the head. A piece of painters taped has been cut to the exact shape of the eye and colored with a magic marker and white pencil. This will help define the character of the raven and gives me a better idea of how the finished bird will look. At this point the majority of the raven has been roughed in and the bird defined. My next decision is whether or not to include a detailed wing complete with feathers and how many feathers to carve under the throat feathers. Both of these details could completely alter the impression the carving presents.




2493Sun, 03 Jul 2011 03:52:05 +0000
Apple Blossom and Peeperhttp:// help place the parts, the photos and my drawings from spring help fill in the detail. This is a great piece of French Boxwood. Thanks Debbie. It is a really hard piece of wood and nice for carving! I am actually farther along tonight, but did not take a photo of it when I quit.






Since I don't do extensive drawings or models, this is more like a "what's on your bench" addition to this forum area. I'll see if I can do a scan of my apple sketches next week. My tools eventually find some order, but never seem to stay lined up. I concentrate so deeply on what I am doing, I don't pay too much attention to where the tools go. Finding them sometimes is tricky, even in the small area they occupy! It is fun to be back at the bench!

1304Sat, 02 Feb 2008 05:10:22 +0000
Нэцкэ "Кирин" г. Зуб кашалота. Размер 10,2х4,2 см.







3467Thu, 11 Dec 2014 15:10:10 +0000
Work In Progress Rhino Hiking Polehttp:// new project under way

carved from lime wood and rams horn for the horn of the animal, to be mounted on a hazel shank.As of yet uncomplete needs modification to back of head eyes and glass eyes inserting. but work in progress


a few photos of the steps followed of the carving ,the cutting and shaping of the rams horn, and the overall basic shape


post-3800-0-41239200-1407019409.jpg post-3800-0-70583700-1407019440.jpg post-3800-0-80185600-1407019600.jpg post-3800-0-99141700-1407019628.jpg post-3800-0-72702600-1407019683.jpg post-3800-0-62925600-1407019744.jpg post-3800-0-72131300-1407019811.jpg

3391Sat, 02 Aug 2014 22:57:30 +0000
<![CDATA[Mallard & Black Bellied Whistling Duck Hiking Pole]]> quick project for hikingpoles carved from lime wood and placed on a hazel shank.

1st 5 photos of malleard remaining of a black bellied whistling duck.The eyes still need cleaning on the last photo

Sorry about the size thought i had reduced it


3390Sat, 02 Aug 2014 21:49:32 +0000
Jade Dagger Projecthttp:// was inspired to post this by Ed's wonderful post on his wooden box project. After completing this jade neck knife last year I decided to be a bit more adventurous and tackle an all jade dagger.


Last years neck knife:







I searched the web for ideas and saw some nice daggers, I settled on the proportions of a beat up old Gerber Guardian dagger that I found when cleaning out the draws of an employee who left the office rather rapidly one day. This is the knife and my initial sketches.






I then refined and dimensioned the shape into something I could use to make a template for cutting out the various elements of the knife. There are four components to this knife, the blade, the handle and the front and rear bolsters to be made using 3 different coloured jades. Note the pattern on the knife handle, it was my intention to carve this pattern into the handle.




My vision was to use all Tamworth nephrite and local Tamworth timber for a presentation box and to call the knife 'gabba yarrul' which means 'mountain stone' in the language of the Gamilaroi (or Kamilaroi) people who are the traditional guardians of the area where the nephrite is found.


This is the slab of nephrite used for the blade, it comes from Michael B's friend John.




The blade was cut out on my band saw then preformed to the outline shape on the grinding wheels, this is nice jade with no tendency to fracture, yippee. I then rough ground a small bevel, I found this hard to keep straight so I quickly swapped to hand grinding the bevels with thick carbide sticks. This makes for a slow and very well controlled grinding action. This is the blade during shaping, just about finished the 100 grit shaping, then onto 220 and 400 carbide sticks.




I took the edge of the blade down to around 0.3-0.5mm thick and sanded to a prepolish of 3000 carbide. I won't polish further until it is ready to be assembled as it may get scratched while fitting the other elements. The biggest problem I had was with the plunge lines (where the blade bevel ends near the front bolster. I had tried a few things to make the plunge lines and had stuffed one up a bit so I had to even everything up. It now looks ok, if I do another one this is an area I will pay a lot more attention to. Here is the completed blade in its pre-polish state.




Next step is to cut out the handle. I wanted to used a light coloured whitish nephrite and went through my stash. I found a green/white block that looked ok and slabbed it into a block about 80mm x 25mm x 15mm. To see how this stuff worked I cut a couple of test cabs, well they were a complete disaster, they chipped, under cut, were very soft and the polish was poor. So I had to scap the white jade idea and raid the rest of my stash. I came up with 2 other options, one was a green to white opaque nephrite, the other was a dark dusky green that I found a year ago on a visit to MickB's which I was intending to use for the bolsters. In the end I decided to go with the dark nephrite I self collected (bottom block in the photo).




I was still unsure whether the carved handle in my original drawing would work so I grabbed the original white handle block and ground it to the shape of my handle, it was soft and quick to cut and I got a soft polish on it using dry 1200 carbide belt and some fabulustre on a buff. It is quite attractive.




I then used this handle as a prototype for the carving of the handle pattern, well the block chipped as expected (thats why it is not being used), I have ground and rough sanded the pattern. I don't like the pattern and won't use it, it is too hard to see the pattern and it looks like sh***. The pattern may look better if better cut and fully polished but I just don't think it is worth it, so the final handle will go uncarved. Maybe a sandwich of different toned slabs would work in the future for this style of pattern?




Now that I am using a dark material for my handle, I needed a light/white material for the bolsters. I sourced some 'mint ice' jadeite from Guatamala to use for the bolsters. The crew at Mayan Mountain, they were very helpful. This will take it away from an all Tamworth knife, but it will still be all 'jade'.




I cut out the front and back bolster. Then drilled a few divets on the back bolster and the back of the handle to give the glue something to grab onto, I considered putting a small ball bearing in the holes but was concerned it could rust and destroy the piece.




I then started shaping the handle working on the top and bottom curve, I am continually redrawing the centreline onto all the pieces, this is essential to keep it all centred, I also use callipers and a carpenters square to ensure everything lines up.


I have also started shaping the front bolster, I used the band saw to start the cuts, then the Dremel with tiny blades, then squaring it all up by hand. Again keeping the centre line in place. I am also making a few asymmetric beads out of the jadeite as test pieces to learn how the material works and polishes.




Nest step is to drill out the bolster and the handle to take the knife tang, then onto carving the front bolster, simple.... More to come.



3312Sat, 08 Feb 2014 20:32:19 +0000
Cow Skull, Step By Stephttp:// pictures of our cow skull, step by step, with a view of our absolutely shocking DIY workspace

It's carved mostly with a proxxon tool, but i managed to get some chisels to clean everything. Still a lot of work to do, still .









3336Wed, 02 Apr 2014 08:37:21 +0000
Art Boxhttp:// back to my days of custom box building and furniture building. I am making an Art box.

I got some leftover walnut for the sides, and a thin piece of quilted maple,for the top. I am still thinking what carving to put on the top.

The sides will be hand cut finger joints since I don't have the power tools to do the work for me. It's been a long time since I made such a box.

From the pictures, does anyone have any ideas as to what carving would go with the box. All the colors will be natural and waxed.



3295Fri, 31 Jan 2014 15:39:58 +0000
How strong is the Ryusa netsuke "Seven Worthies in the bamboo groves"? many lances were broken about my Ryusa netsuke "Seven Worthies in the bamboo grove"! I want to dispel some idle conjectures distributed by Clive Hallam on this forum and among some dealers a collectors. I understood that my words meant nothing for Clive, that's why I did this test. I've carved a fragment of my Ryusa netsuke using sizes of the original, this fragment was carved from a piece of mammoth tusk. I used a strip of transparent polyethylene because it lets to see the fragment as it is. If anybody needs I can use a cord instead this strip of polyethylene. This construction was hanged up for 4 days, no deformation or crack! I'm sure, as before, the Ryusa netsuke "Seven Worties in the bamboo grove" can be worn! It is absolutely functional netsuke and can be called netsuke! I think Clive will continue to upset my reputation, even more agressive. If somebody thinks that Clive healthy criticized me, please re-read his replies here:

Criticism when it was spoken openly, but when sombody upset the reputation behing the back of an artist it more looks as a dirty competition.



1988Tue, 08 Dec 2009 18:57:07 +0000
drawing tutorialshttp://'s a link to a handy little collection of drawing tutorials that may be of help to budding carvers. They are of varying quality but worth a browse. The studies of birds wings which I looked at seem pretty good in any case.


Here you go.


Perhaps they will inspire some drawing studies, after all, the pencil is probably your most important tool :angry:


It might even be an idea to have a dedicated area just for drawing studies, what do you think Janel, Tom ?( I know you'd probably be the one having to do the work of creating it.


regards, Ford

1282Tue, 22 Jan 2008 16:27:04 +0000
Haida Whale With Small White Pearlhttp:// progress, pearl has been shaved down and carved. When it is completed, I will post a lengthy description. For now, this is what I have been working on! The drawings were the original concept, I am rather pleased with the outcome so far!






3127Mon, 27 May 2013 21:11:48 +0000
How To Clean A Toothhttp:// everyone I have been given a seal tooth to mount in silver and possibly carve ! I would like to clean it up a bit first to see how it will look but Ive never done it before. Its about 20yrs old and was found on shore. Can anyone help. It looks like Ivory to me.

2947Wed, 14 Nov 2012 05:42:49 +0000
help for riusha netskihttp://, so I got so impress whit natasha's riusha netsuke that I want to gave a try but I don't know any of it, can any one give some gide in this, this is a personal challenge because I want to make it on jade ,I all ready cut the stone is semi transparent ,light green like water melon look a like ,please and bee very ,very ,very hard and meticulousthe piece is 2"x 3/4

1-what is the dimension for this

2-the thickness

3-it have to bee hallow or solid ?

4-where the holes have to bee

5-what seize differences they have in the holes

6-where they have to bee place ,in the meddle or ?




1964Sat, 21 Nov 2009 20:22:07 +0000
My Carving Blog On Tumblr. Kia ora


For those of you who may be interested, I have started a blog for my carving. Please feel free to follow at will. Mauriora. Billy

2716Mon, 27 Feb 2012 21:27:00 +0000
Need Help Findinghttp:// help finding the forum and the post where i got this pic from its her some where please my computer had a hisses fit and i lost the page i down loaded the photo from would love to find it so i can down load the other 3 photos to work form please help me



2757Fri, 13 Apr 2012 08:03:23 +0000
Deer Antler Salmonhttp:// by my father, a salmon from the tip of a deer antler. I've been using files and a cheap chisel set with this, but all I seem to accomplish is more cuts on my hands. However, when wet it is much easier to manipulate. This is still in it's primitive stages.

Thank you for your time,



2731Tue, 13 Mar 2012 01:10:15 +0000