Quite the coincidence occurred this past Saturday when I went to purchase my wood carving tools. I stopped by Hobby Lobby to pick up Balsa wood and Basswood for carving. I also got a fairly nice set of X-Acto blades to start out for carving. It wasn’t 10 minutes that I was out of the store with my new gear in hand that I got a phone call from my friend in the area saying he read my earlier post regarding wood carving as a hobby and wanted to give me an X-Acto set of knifes…nice! I didn’t even need to open the set I bought.
I used the knives my friend gave me to carve my first project: an egg carved from Balsa wood. Balsa was the lightest wood I have ever handled. It almost cut like styrofoam. After I was happy with the shape of my egg, I started a project of forming a whale’s tail that I had seen carved online. It turned out pretty well, but the Balsa was flimsy it almost made it harder to form curves in the wood. I then turned to the Basswood blocks where I sketched out a spinning top for my next project. I’ve made decent progress on starting the top and now it’s just a matter of time!
I have found that the X-Acto knife set blades hold a good factory edge, but quickly dulls with constant use. I was going to throw the blades away after they dulled past use, but I was able to use a 400 grit Smith whetstone from my brother-in-law to put a decent edge back onto the blade. I sharpened the blade twice over the course of the 2 to 3 hours that I spent carving yesterday. I’m looking into purchasing my own Smith whetstones with grits of 400, 600, and 1200. Also, with this purchase it’ll also give me a chance to sharpen all of the decent pocket knives I’ve had since I was a kid.
I’ve been fortunate enough not to cut myself in the few hours that I’ve spent carving, although I’ve come close several times. I’m looking into getting a pair of Kevlar gloves to avoid any cuts that are probably bound to occur. As far as more gear is concerned, I’m going to wait until I’m hooked on the hobby before investing a lot. The only other purchase I have made is an Opinel No.8 Knife. Take a look at their website. They have some incredible products with great reviews for a reasonable price.
I really am enjoying the simplistic activity of carving. It honestly does have a soothing effect.
Stay tuned on this post for an edit with pictures of the things I’ve carved and the carving accessories when they come in.
Leave a comment on suggestions for things I should carve.
Below are pictures of my tool set, the carved egg, the carved whale tail, and the start of the top.