Saturday, 28 October 2017

Project 14 - Whittling Away

From Snitte: The Danish Art of Whittling
by Frank Egholm
ISBN 9781849944403
Published by Batsford
Whittling (meaning): to pare down; to take away by degrees (usually followed by down, away, etc.). Snitte (meaning) is the Danish Word for the Art of Whittling

Getting Started :

Basic whittling is simply cutting and shaping (handheld) wood with a pocket knife. If you intend to get creative doing this kind of woodworking there are considerations as the activity involves the use of a sharp knife and many projects involve cutting tools (some electric).  Suitable for 12 years (with adult supervision until more proficient) to adult. Wear thick safety gloves and finger/thumb guards for protection and safety goggles 

Design template:
It is best to draw an outline of a simple design on to a pre-cut wooden block of sorts. Ideal wood for whittling is: Pine, Basswood; Lime; Poplar; Alder. The shape can be cut out of the block using a scroll saw with a strong clad, or jigsaw with a narrow blade for curves.You can also use a fretsaw/hand scroll saw, or a band saw with a narrow blade. Visit G&S Specialist: Retailer of timber, and of wood carving tools here.

Rough cutting: sit, with knife in one hand and the wooden template in the other and start making small cuts (always cut away from the body). Using a support is better, a tree stump for example or a block of wood. Use various cutting motions achieved by manipulating the knife blade across the wood and changing thumb positioning and knife action


Paring: when paring you switch to making smaller cuts to shape more finely and to define, when paring you cut toward the body. This requires more dexterity and it is more dangerous, so be extra vigilant of the safety considerations


Note: Tips presented above are based on the content of woodworker, Frank Egholm's 'The Danish Art Of Whittling SNITTE' a book which Danishman Egholm goes on to whittle an assortment of birds which he brings to life by adding colour and other extras, turning them into mounted sculptures, functional objects and decorations for the home and garden
Thinking about giving it a go? Search for suppliers of wood and Whittling tools, and Whittling and carving organisations online.
########################################################################### Watch the YouTube video because it visually explains the basics that have been outlined above.




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