Whittling as a Hobby

My Work

The process of whittling a "little guy"...

The wood for this project and for all others is Basswood. Just about any softwood can be used but I find that Basswood works the best for me.

Another item of importance is a good knife and getting it sharp and keeping it so. The type of knife I use is a plain bench knife. It has a fixed single blade with a wooden handle.

The sharpening method I would recommend is by Dick Clair. His book "Time to Sharpen" and video are available through catalogs or write directly to him at 8373 N 150E Rushville IN 46173.

To carve my little people I have taken the procedure of Jack Price and his books. I admire Jack's work very much and I feel that his genius lies in his simple, yet very expressive works.  Jack Price's books may be obtained by writing to Weasel Publishing Co. 1518 Westhill Terrace, Cleburne, TX 76031. His books include:

    "Carving Small Characters" ($12.95 plus $1.13 for 4th class postage or $2.09 for first class postage).

    "50 Character Patterns for Woodcarvers" ($8.00 plus $1.13 for 4th class postage or $2.09 for first class postage).

Please note that I do NOT have any business arrangement with either Dick Clair nor Jack Price. In fact I have never even met these gentlemen. However, once I found their very valuable works, I wanted to spread the word so others can benefit.

STEP 1: Obtain a block of Basswood 7/8 X 7/8 X 3 inches.

STEP 2: Mark off a centerline all the way around the block on all surfaces. ( see Fig #1 and photo #1)

STEP 3: Mark off the dimension lines as shown in Fig.2, 3 and 4 and Photo #2.

STEP 4: Sketch in the little guy's profile and shown in Fig. #5 and the top of his hat and feet and in Fig# 6&7. and Photo #3

STEP 5: Block out the profile as in Photo # 4.

A Note about "blocking out": an important thing to keep in mind is that a carving should be worked by blocking out the major planes and then the subplanes. Never concern yourself with the details up front. Just keep blocking out and then the details will fall into place.

STEP #6: Block out the piece as shown in Photo # 5. That is, from above the feet(shoes) remove wood from the side centerlines to the front centerline. This conforms to the bodies major plane.


STEP # 7: Continue to block out the face, arms, legs ,etc. as shown in Photo # 6.



To illustrate how important blocking out to the major and submajor planes is I have carved only half a little guy leaving half blocked out. You can see from Photos 7a-7d the point I'm trying to make.

Photo 7a

Photo 7b

Photo 7c

Photo 7d

I haven't described the process of carving a face in detail because Jack Price does an excellent job of that in his book "Carving Small Characters".

It is not the intent of this web site to "write a detailed book" on carving. Others have done a much better job of it than I could. However, the intent of the web site is to give the person interested in carving an oversight of the process and point them in the correct direction for in-depth procedures.

Thanks for sticking with me and I want to wish you the best of luck on one of the most enjoyable of hobbies.

There will be other carving projects shown here in the future, so please stay tuned.


Email Lspinak@live.com

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