Chip Carving –  Cutting Straight-Wall, Curve-Wall, and Free Form Chips

Chip Carving – Cutting Straight-Wall, Curve-Wall, and Free Form Chips

cutting a straight-wall chip carvingIn today’s free online Chip Carving Seminar by Lora Irish, we look at the wood carving cuts used to create straight-wall, curve-edge, and free form chips in your chip carving patterns.

 

 

 

Chip Carving Seminar by Lora Irish


Chip Carving Seminar
Chip Carving Supplies
Chip Carving Graphed Patterns
Chip Carving Hand Positions and Grips
Chip Carving – Triangles and Square Chips
Chip Carving – Straight-Wall Chips
Chip Caved Game and Chess Board
Chip Carving Sampler Pattern Layout
Chip Carving Common Mistakes
Chip Carved Shortbread Cookies

 

 

cutting straight-wall chips in chip carvingStraight-Wall Chips

Straight-wall chips have two sides of a triangle chip cut at or near 90 degrees to the board. The third side of the triangle is cut by laying the knife blade extremely low to the board and slicing the blade back to the intersection point of the other two sides. This creates a sloped floor the chip well.

A straight-wall chip can have several layers of straight-wall work within one larger chip. In the photo example to the right, after the chip area was worked as a straight-wall and second straight-wall chip was laid inside the first. The second small chip has a deeper slope to the chip floor. You can use either a large chip carving knife or a detail bench knife to cut the third wall sloping floor.

cutting straight-wall chips in chip carvingCUT 1

Holding the knife at or near 90 degrees to the board cut along one of the sides of the chip that will be the wall of the deepest point of the sloped floor.

 

 

cutting straight-wall chips in chip carvingCUT 2

Cut the second wall of the deep side of the chip floor at or near 90 degrees. The deepest point of the cut for both straight walls are at the intersection of those lines.

 

 

cutting straight-wall chips in chip carvingCUT 3

Lay the knife blade low to the wood along the third side of the chip. Push the knife towards the intersecting corner of the straight-wall sides.

 

Cutting Double Straight-Wall Chips

Straight-wall chips can contain multiple wall levels worked in the direction of the first wall or worked on a new diagonal line.  Each new straight-wall is worked exactly as the first, main straight-wall of the chip.  Both chips of a double straight-wall chip share the same sloped third side of the cut.

cutting double straight-wall chipsCut 1

Cut your the main walls of the larger straight-wall chip.  With a pencil mark where the new, inner straight-wall will fall inside of the larger chip.   Cut the first side or leg of your smaller, inner wall at a 90 degree angle to the wood.

 

cutting double straight-wall chipsCut 2 and 3

Cut the second straight-side of the inner, smaller straight-wall chip at a 90 degree angle to the wood.

Lay your bench knife or chip knife low to the wood and slice the third wall into the straight-wall corner of the inner chip.

 

cutting a curve-wall chip in chip carvingCurve-Edged Chips

Adding a curved edge to a triangle or square chip breaks the design out of the angular effect that chip carving can have. The curved side of the chip is treated exactly as a straight side by angling the knife blade point towards the center point or center line of the well. As you cut the curved side of the chip, roll the blade of your knife along the pattern line to create.

CUT 1

The heart pattern, above, uses triangles with three curved sides to establish the heart in the negative space of the design. Cut one side of this curved chip, following the pattern lines, and angling the blade point to the center of the chip well.

cutting a curve-wall chip in chip carvingCUT 2

Cut along the second side, following the curve of the pattern, and angling the blade point to the center of the chip well.

 

 

cutting a curve-wall chip in chip carvingCUT 3

The third side is cut as the first two and will release the chip from the board.

 

Free Form Chips

Free form chips use two to three sides to create long, curved v-trough lines. Entire patterns as roosters or dancing figures can be create using just free form work.

cutting a free form chip in chip carvingCUT 1

Place the point of the chip knife at the beginning of the free form line at or near a 45 degree angle to the wood, angled away from the line. Using increasing gentle pressure, push the point of the knife deeper into the wood as you pull the cut until you reach the mid-point of the line. Slowly lift the knife from the wood as you complete the second half of the line cut.

 

cutting a free form chip in chip carvingCUT 2

Turn the board 180 degrees to make the second cut. Work the second side of the free form cut exactly as you worked the first.

 

 

cutting a free form chip in chip carvingCUT 3

Small oval-shaped leaf cuts can be made by laying the knife blade at a closer angle to the wood. In the photo above, the central motif uses two free form oval-shaped leaf cuts with adjoining sides. It also contains long, curved accent free form lines below the motif.

 

stab knife chip cutsStab Knife Accents

The stab knife is held in an upright position, 90 degrees, to the wood.  The metal at the blade tip is tapered from a wide area at the point which slowly narrows along the cutting edge as it nears the handle.  By pushing the knife point directly into the wood you can cut small wedge-shaped accent lines.

Some stab knives have both sides of the blade point angle sharpened.  This style of chip carving knife can be used to push the blade into the triangle or square chip pattern lines to cut the walls of the chip.

sample chip carving pattern Sample Chip Carving for Straight-wall, Curve-edge, and Free Form Chip Carving

You now know how to cut all of the chips in the sample chip carving to the right.  This particular chip carving design, by Lora Irish, contains triangle chips, square chips, straight-wall chips, curve-edge chips, free form chips, and stab knife chip accents.

 

 Today’s Practice Board Pattern

straight-wall chip carving patternTomorrow we will work through a Chess Board – Game Board Chip Carving Pattern.

 

Chip Carving – Cutting Triangle and Square Chips

Chip Carving – Cutting Triangle and Square Chips

Triangle Chips in Chip CarvingIn today’s free online Chip Carving Seminar by Lora Irish, we look at the wood carving cuts used to create triangle and square chips in your chip carving patterns.

 

 

Chip Carving Seminar by Lora Irish

Chip Carving Seminar
Chip Carving Supplies
Chip Carving Graphed Patterns
Chip Carving Hand Positions and Grips
Chip Carving – Triangles and Square Chips
Chip Carving – Straight-Wall Chips
Chip Caved Game and Chess Board
Chip Carving Sampler Pattern Layout
Chip Carving Common Mistakes
Chip Carved Shortbread Cookies

 

 

free chip carving patterns

Triangle Chip Patterns

The triangle and square are the primary shapes in most chip carving patterns.  In the sample, right, you will see six different ways you can cut one 3×2 grid diamond motif using these two geometric units.  Any chip carving pattern can easily be altered by simply dividing the triangles in your pattern into smaller triangles.

In my chip carving patterns the outer edge of any chip unit is shown in black, the inner liner shown in blue represent the individual cuts that make up that shape.

In row one the diamond is cut in four separate chip cuts to create one deep well at the center point of the diamond.  The second row divides the diamond shape into two individual triangle chips and does row three.  By the fourth row you can see that this same diamond shape can also be cut using four distinct triangle chip units.

By using just these six sample diamonds you can create multiple chip carved borders or motifs.

 

cutting triangle chips in chip carvingThree-Sided Triangle Chip

The three-sided triangle chip is made with three cuts, turning the board with each new cut.  This releases a small chip of wood, leaving an inverted pyramid shape in the board.
The angle at which the knife approaches the wood determines the depth of the chip cut.  A low angle makes a shallow chip, a steep angle cuts a deep chip.

 

cutting triangle chips in chip carvingCUT 1

The first cut is made by placing the point of the blade along one side of the triangle, holding the blade at a 45 degree angle to to the wood.

The knife is pushed in to the wood until the blade edge has cut along the full length of that leg.  For large chip triangles the knife blade is pulled along the pattern line.

 

cutting triangle chips in chip carvingCUT 2

Turn the wood to bring the next leg of the triangle into position for cutting. Lay the point of the knife at the beginning point of the next leg.  Push the knife into the wood until the entire leg is cut.

 

 

cutting triangle chips in chip carvingCUT 3

Turn the wood to bring the last leg of the triangle into position for cutting. Lay the point of the knife into the point at the end of the last cut line which should be at the beginning of the leg.  Push the knife into to the wood until the entire length is cut.

 

 

 

cutting square chips in chip carvingSquare and Rectangle Chips

Square and rectangle chips are created with four angled cuts, similar to the triangle chip.  This pattern of chip is excellent to add small accents to a larger designs and for large area fill patterns.

 

 

cutting square chips in chip carvingCUT 1 – 4

A square chip is worked exactly as a triangular chip, cutting each side of the square with the blade  point angled towards the center point of the well. Cut along one side of the square, then turn the board to cut the next side.  When all four cuts have been made a small pyramid shaped chip will be released. Rectangular patterns will have a long, centrally placed line in the well.  This long line parallels the long sides of the rectangle.  Rectangle chips are commonly used in chip carved lettering.

 

chip carving cutsCutting Adjacent Triangle and Square Chips

Most chips that you cut will share one or more sides with another chip.  Begin a motif with touching or shared-side chips by working the inside chip first, working each series of new chips out from the center.  In the photo sample, right, one row of triangle chips touch the inside square of the motif.  The second, outer row of triangles touch the outer square lines of the motif.

cutting adjacent chips in chip carvingWork each new chip by cutting  the trapped angle of the chip along one shared-side line, working from the inside point towards the outside point of the triangle.  The second cut is made from the same inside trapped angle out towards the outer point of the line on the second side of the trapped angle.

 

 

cutting adjacent chips in chip carvingThe third cut is made on the free side of the triangle, releasing the chip.  Working form the trapped angle avoids the inner-trapped point of the chip from breaking out.

 

 

 

 

free chip carving pattern by Lora IrishToday’s Free Chip Carving Practice Pattern

Please click on the image to the right for a full-sized printable chip carving pattern to use for your practice board.  You may either transfer your chip carving pattern using a pencil grid or by using removable spray adhesive.  Remember chip carving takes practice to create clean, smooth, even sides to each chip.  So print several copies.

Chip Carving Seminar

Chip Carving Seminar

Its that time of year, time to start our Free Online In-depth wood carving Winter 2014 Seminar, taught by Lora Irish, wood carving and pyrography book author and line art pattern maker.

Chip Carving Seminar by Lora Irish

Chip Carving Seminar
Chip Carving Supplies
Chip Carving Graphed Patterns
Chip Carving Hand Positions and Grips
Chip Carving – Triangles and Square Chips
Chip Carving – Straight-Wall Chips
Chip Caved Game and Chess Board
Chip Carving Sampler Pattern Layout
Chip Carving Common Mistakes
Chip Carved Shortbread Cookies

Free Chip Carving ProjectFor this year’s seminar I have chosen Chip Carving, also called Spoon Carving!  This wonderful style of wood carving uses geometric and free form cut chips to create intricate designs.  This free seminar is only being offered here on my blog, so please lets your friends and fellow carvers on your favorite message boards know!  Post a link today.

I am delighted to say that we have a new Chip Carving Pattern Package and a new Chip Carving Basics E-Project on our pattern site, ArtDesignsStudio.com, created just for this seminar.

Over the next week or so we will take an in-depth look at this wood carving technique, create several chip carving practice boards, and take a close look at a classic needlepoint sampler layout, shown above, that you can use to carve multiple chip carved projects.  The pattern and photo sampler for this  Needlepoint Layout is available in both our new Chip Carving Pattern Package and in the Chip Carving E-Project.

We will explore:

free Irish chip carving patternSupplies needed for chip carving
Creating basswood chip carving practice boards
Wood preparations
Knife sharpening
Transferring a chip pattern to your board
Knife angle
Common problems
Positive and negative space
How to cut the different styles of chips
Learn triangles, square, straight-wall, curve-edge, free form, and accent chips
Using chip styles in your patterns
Work a set of chip progressions
How to turn a corner

 

free Irish chip carving patternTo get ready for this seminar you will need the following supplies:

basswood practice boards – 3″ to 4″ wide x 18″ long, 1/4″ basswood is available at most hardware stores

11″ x 14″ basswood plaque – needlepoint sampler pattern

14″ x 14″ basswood plaque – chess game board pattern

large chip carving knife

stab chip carving knife

detail wood carving bench knife

sharpening stones and leather strop

graph paper

removable spray adhesive

pencil

320-grit sandpaper

white artist eraser

boiled linseed oil

turpentine

paste wax finish

Class begins Wednesday, January 15th!  I’ve saved a chair at the teaching table just for you!

 

Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 1

Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 1

Beginner Level Wood Carving Project

This quick, easy, and fun Celtic Dragon pattern is perfect for your first endeavor into relief wood carving.  It uses a very basic set of carving tools, a bench knife, and a pre-routed basswood plaque.  Your dragon carving can be completed in just one weekend.

Over the next several days I will be posting all of the step you need to create your own Celtic knot relief carving project.  Please bookmark our blog so that you don’t miss any of the fun.  I hope that you will share this link on your favorite wood carving forum or message board.

Please take a moment and download our free PDF e-book, Your First Carving.  This is an in-depth look at the woods, tools, terminology, and techniques used in relief wood carving, written and shared by Lora S Irish.

Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 1
Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 2
Wood Carving Celtic Dragon 3

Celtic Dragon Wood Carving by Lora IrishSupply List:

8” x 10” x 3/4” (203 x 254 x 19mm) router-edged basswood plaque
Bench knife
Large and small round gouges
Wide sweep round gouge
V-gouge
Straight chisel
U-gouge
Sharpening tools and strop
220-grit sandpaper
Graphite tracing paper
Painter’s tape
Pencil
Ruler and/or compass
Soft, clean cloth
Stiff toothbrush or brass wire brush
Thick terry cloth towel or non-slip mat
Depth Gauge

free celtic dragon knot by Lora IrishPreparation of the carving board

1.  Most of the supplies used in this project can be obtained online at your favorite wood carving supply house, through Amazon.com, or at your local large craft store.  The sandpaper, painter’s tape, ruler, compass, and brass wire brush are available through most hardware stores.

2.  Using 220-grit sandpaper lightly sand your plaque, working the sandpaper with the grain of the wood.  Avoid sanding against the grain or in circular swirl strokes.  This will leave fine scratches that can appear during the painting and staining steps.

3.  Sand again using 320-grit sandpaper.  Remove all of the sanding dust using a dry, clean cloth.

free wood carving celtic knot dragon pattern by Lora IrishTransferring your Pattern

Click on the pattern images to the right and save a copy to your Desktop.  Print one copy of each pattern – the outline tracing pattern and the shaded contour pattern.

Center the pattern to the board, secure one side using painter’s tape.  Slide a sheet of graphite paper under the pattern paper with the graphite side against the wood.  Using an ink pen and light hand pressure trace along the outer boundary lines of each element of the dragon.  Remove the pattern and graphite papers.

Learn more about how to work with your patterns and tracing.

 

wood carving tool setGather your wood carving supplies

For this carving I am using a nice quality Japanese carving tools set which includes a large round gouge, small round gouge, straight chisel, skew chisel, and v-gouge.  Carving tool sets can cost between $25 per set up to several hundred dollars.  I strongly advise any beginner to start with an inexpensive tool set while you discover which style of wood carving will be your favorite.

Learn more about creating a basic wood carving tool kit.

Suggested tool list at Amazon.com :

Ramelson 6 Piece Palm Set Tools, 1/8″ to 1/4″ Profile
Raemlson 6 Piece Long Handle Beginners Carving Tools
Flexcut 3 Knife Starter Set
FLEXCUT Carving Kit – 5 Piece
FLEXCUT Carving Kit – 11 Piece
Flexcut Slipstrop
Power Grip Carving Tools, Seven Piece Set
Walnut Hollow 8-Inch by 10-Inch Basswood Rectangle Plaque
Walnut Hollow 8″ by 10″ Basswood French Corner Wide Edge Plaque

stop cut in relief wood carvingCutting the background area

1.  Mark a 1/4″ margin using a pencil and ruler along the outer raised carving area of your plaque.  This 1/4″ area will remain uncarved, at the original level of the wood. During the next two steps treat this margin line as if it were a boundary line to your pattern.

2.  This project begins with dropping the background area of the plaque to free the dragon pattern for carving.  With a bench knife or large chip carving knife, cut along the outer boundary lines of the dragon pattern.  Hold the knife vertical to the wood and slowly pull along the tracing line.  Stop cuts are made in several shallow cuts instead on one deep lunge of t he knife tip.

3.  Using the small or large round gouge, rougehout the background.  Lay the center of the gouge about 1/2″ to 1″ from the stop cut tracing line.  Glide the gouge into the stop cut.  This will release a small chip of wood.

 

stop cut using a bench knifestop cut using a chip carving kniferoughing out the background with a round gouge
1.  The background rough-out step begins with a stop cut made with a bench knife or chip carving knife.2.  Hold the knife vertical to the wood and make several shallow cuts along the tracing lines.3.  Use a round gouge to carve from the background area into the stop cut line at the pattern edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rough out cuttingthe background of a relief wood carving4.  The rough-out stage may take several layers of round gouge cutting.  As you deepen your background re-cut the stop cut along the outer pattern line to slowly drop the straight-edged wall along the dragon.  My final layer of round gouge cuts was worked with the grain (vertical to the plaque) to set all of the carving strokes in one direction. More about Background treatments for your relief wood carving.

Determining the depth of your relief carving

The depth of your carved background and carved design is determined by how thick your carving board is.  As a general rule the carving is cut to approximately 1/2 the depth or thickness of the wood at the deepest point.  For a 3/4″ board this makes the background drop about 3/8″ deep.  More about Determining the depth of a carving.

Please join me tomorrow, November 16, 2013, as we work through the shaping and contour steps for this Celtic Dragon Knot pattern.  Thank you, Lora Irish

First Carving Project

First Carving Project

Your First Carving Pattern was my first published free tutorial, 1998.  Today I have updated this classic carving project, bringing to this article over eighteen years of wood carving book authoring experience and wood carving joy.

It is ready for online reading or download our 22 page free e-Project which focuses on the basic terms, carving woods, beginner’s tool set, basic cuts and strokes, walks you through your First Carving Pattern Project, plus three extra free  patterns.

Please, bookmark our site!  Over the next few weeks you will lots of updates, new revised articles, and tons of new patterns.