Basic Chip Carving

Do you want to learn how to chip carve? Chip carving is a great hobby, especially if you are stuck in the house for long periods during the winter.

How Our Hobby Started

Chip Carving toolWe were browsing some small jewelry chests on Ebay and ran into these beautifully carved chests.

Most were antique. Chip carving was apparently very popular in the early 70's, but the art of chip carving has been around for a long, long time.

My husband was so intrigued by it's beauty and uniqueness, he wanted to try it, just to see if he could do it. So we went to a craft store and bought some small unfinished jewelry boxes, some stencils and a pattern transfer sketch book.

They had some tools there for chip carving, but he wanted some durable ones that were made in Germany.

We found some chip carving tools at a store in Bridgeport, CT called the Woodworkers Warehouse, but they were not cheap. They were like 10 dollars a piece. He bought 2 different types of carving tools. Chip carving knife I and F.

How to Chip Carve

Simple Chip Carve designThe first thing he did to get started was practice. He used a small block of soft pine to hone his skill at making the precise cut in the wood. Of course, you have to have a design in mind, and draw that design on the wood using a pencil. This part of chip carving is the hardest part, and the most tedious, because the design you draw has to be exact.

You can see in the top picture the squares he laid out in the right hand corner. He had to use some very precise measuring tools to make his design. He bought a set of 6 inch Marking Rulers for $28.95, and a 6 inch Marking Protractor for $19.95 and a Speedbow Compass for $14.95.

So now we have invested about $120.00 so far into this hobby, including the boxes. Then he bought a Chip Carving book called Techniques and Patterns by Wayne Barton. This is a great book with pictures of the wood cutting technique. So I would like to recommend this book, if you are interested in this hobby. See a larger picture of this chip carving design.

Our First Finished Chip Carving Box!

First Chip Carved box The carved box in the picture took about two weeks to make, and then after you carve it and sand it, then you have to stain it and vanish it. So making a chip carving box was very time consuming.

The best use for a handmade chip carved box is that it makes a great personalized gift. He carved the name of our daughter on the box and gave it to her as a gift. Of course she will always cherish it.

The box he made is pictured here, and we sold this on Ebay for $19.00 dollars. Really the money spent and time involved does not make making crafts very lucrative nowadays. People just don't want to pay for the time involved in making this beautiful chip carved art.

So he has giving up on the idea of chip carving as a money making hobby, and the box of all the supplies and a few wood plates and another unfinished plaque and box are on the top shelf of our closet. See a larger picture of the top of his chip carved box. This was taken right after he stained it.

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