Chip Carving

Booklet 2 – Chip
Carving is aimed at
students and teachers
of Materials Technology
Wood. This booklet will
provide you with a
foundation in Chip
Carving focusing on key
techniques, tips &
advice that help relax
constraints and remove
any perceived difficulty.
 The Road to
Success section will
focus on key
elements before you
start carving such as
chip carving knives,
safety, holding the
work and holding the

Making Wood Real

 The Chip Carving
section focuses on
the 3 areas in chip
carving. The 3 chip
types, borders, grids
and rosettes
This logical sequence
will enable you to enjoy
the carving and produce
something which you
may not have thought
you could.

A Beginners Guide to Chip Carving

Booklet 2

Chip Carving
Timing for Beginner]:
 Timing will relate to the intricacy of the design


[200MM X 175MM]


table of contents


Tools & materials .................. 2


Road to Success


Chip Carving Knives................................. 3
Drawing Equipment.................................. 3
Safety......................................................... 4
Sharpening................................................... 5
Holding the Knives ........................................ 6

Chip Carving
Two Sided Chip.......................... 7
Three Sided Chip.......................... 7
The Straight Line Chip.................... 8
Standard Border............................... 9
Large Width Border............................ 11
Curved Borders..................................... 13
Grids........................................................ 16
Rosettes..................................................... 18

Further Application............. 19




As a student of Materials Technology Wood it will be highly likely that you already have the following equipment:  A pencil.5mm mechanical pencil but a normal http://carving. The ROAD TO SUCCESS will guide you through important information necessary for a good footing in the Visit the website to get more information on Relief Carving as well as an Introduction to Relief Carving and Carving in the Round pencil will suffice if kept sharp  A white polymer eraser  A bow compass. CHIP CARVING KNIVES Conventional carving knives are not suitable for chip carving because the blade does not have the appropriate angle and so make it awkward to chip carve. DRAWING EQUIPMENT You will need some basic equipment for Chip Carving. A bow compass is very precise so a very handy tool  A 12” tee square is very useful but a try-square will also work well . Knife 1 is called the Cutting Knife and does the majority of the work.skynet. WEB SOLUTIONS You can visit the website to see how the ROAD TO SUCCESS was applied to other carving methods Knife 2 is the Stab Knife.simplified solutions for your carving ROAD TO SUCCESS SIMPLIFIED SOLUTIONS As newcomers to carving you may not be aware of the best approach. preferably a 0. 3 . On the right we can see a set of 2 carving knives.

Hand control o You will discover it is much easier to carve with your upper arm/ body strength rather than your wrists. the carving is done on the lap. This will remind you of its correct position so minimising the chance of you forgetting the correct position and cutting yourself . o Because the carving is done on the lap there is a Note: NEVER try to carve when the piece is not being http://carving. This allows for longer periods of carving without becoming fatigued o The clamping hand should never be placed ahead of the direction of cutting o Keep your thumb against the handle of the blade and on the wood at all times. NOTE  The Woodworkers Rule can and should be applied in all areas of woodworking to ensure safe use of hand tools  These 5 key points o Use a chair with a back should be ticked either mentally of on a safety chart before any work is commenced support as it encourages correct posture 3. Clamping o Clamping is vital. . place a sacrificial board underneath the piece 6. Posture o Sit in an upright position so no strain is put on the back.skynet. This should be bigger than the piece o Using the tripod created with the knife edge. Stance o Seated position. danger of the knife slipping and causing injury Note: if you do not have the availability of a protective Visit the website to download the Woodworkers Rule poster securely held . thumb and being carved knuckle we will carve with a constant 65° o The motion is determined by the type of chip 4 TIP Place a coloured plaster on your thumb. Motion being carved. for chip carving the piece is clamped with the hand as 5. This will ensure consistent angles and will minimise the chance of cutting yourself 2. shown. Hand position 1.key woodworkers rule CHIP CARVING Safety & Technique 4.

To create consistent chips the angle of the knife must be consistent The Cutting Angle As mentioned earlier a cutting angle of 65° is used. Wrap 3 fingers around handle  A sharp knife is the key to a great carving.SHARPENING THE CUTTING KNIFE HOLDING THE CUTTING KNIFE – POSITION 1 A tri-pod is created between the thumb. It is 4. Bring the index finger around the handle THE STAB KNIFE o A sharpening angle of 25° should be used. The sharper the edge the easier it is to slice the wood fibres o Move the knife back and forth on the stone 1. Take the knife an d place it in the palm of your hand NOTE o Ensure the blade is honed and if available use a strop to polish the edge 2. index finger knuckle and o A sharpening angle of 10° should be used. o This is greater as the knife acts like a mortise chisel. steep because the knife needs to slice the fibres. Turn your wrist and lock pushed into the wood with the fibres being separated in the your thumb against the side shape of the blade. This is because the cut is deeper and so a greater shadow is cast 5 TIP Do not remove the knife from the stone when sharpening. Ensure the knife is constantly sharp. This angle is so blade. simply move it back and forth while maintaining the angle of 10° . of the handle HOLDING THE CUTTING KNIFE Holding the knife is very important. . The steeper the angle the better shadow that is created.  Ask the teacher to sharpen the knife if you feel the edge is dulling 3.

Wrap 3 fingers around handle HOLDING THE STAB KNIFE – OUTWARD POSITION Holding the Stab Knife in the inward position 3. Turn your wrist and lock your thumb against the back of the handle 6 . Take the knife an d place Holding the Stab Knife in the it in the palm of your hand outward position 2.HOLDING THE STAB KNIFE – OUTWARD POSITION HOLDING THE CUTTING KNIFE – POSITION 2 1. Bring the index finger around the handle 4.

PRACTISE and very soon you will be a pro . A to B in 5. . B to C in Position 1 1. A to C in Position 2 3. Make the second cut in Position 2 3. turn the board 180° and carve the other Position 1 side of the chip 2. Hold the Cutting Knife in position 1and draw it along one practise. Practise. Make the first cut in Position 1 2. do not pry the chip out  You will break the chip making it look messy and could possible damage the knife We will carve from side of the chip 1.  Always cut. Remove the knife. Make the third cut across the base of the triangle with position 1 If the chip does not pop out you may have not gone deep enough with one of your cuts Practise makes perfect!! 7 .let the real carving begin CHIP CARVING THREE-SIDED OR TRIANGLE CHIP This chip is slightly more difficult than the two sided chip as there TWO-SIDED CHIP are more cuts to make TIP  o Draw 2 rows 4mm apart This is the easiest chip to carve as it has only 2 sides o Mark boxes 4mm in with o Create the triangles shown To carve simply: 4.

Score one side of the line (Lightly) using a metal the two squares ruler then cut the line using Position 1 Solution: it will help (Be extra careful when running the blade along if the ruler... ensuring it is at the 65° angle and finish the cut to the correct depth 8 .plus Practise 7. Run off In your last cut. Curled edge is caused when TIP For straight line chips each cut. Score the second side and cut in the same manner after turning the board 180° 3. Rabbit tooth This occurs especially at the bottom of the chip. or third cut along the The straight line chip is used mainly for borders and grids base of the triangle you continually run To carve simply: off the line as you draw the knife across 6..HAVING PROBLEMS?? • Let’s have a look at the most common problems encountered with the three-sided chip STAIGHT LINE CHIP 1.Woodworkers Rule) you hold your elbow closer to your body. Make stop cuts at each end and the chip should fall by pushing the knife too out deeply into the wood you start your third cut Solution: simply place the blade back on the first cut and undo the curl 2. elbow and shoulder  Hold your elbow close to your body  Try to focus your eyes about 20mm ahead of the blade . Curled edge 8. If you see this you are not cutting deep enough Solution: lay your knife back into  Twist your wrist outward so that the blade of the knife is in line with wrist..

STANDARD BORDER using three-sided chips 3. flip flop cuts taken out o Called positive as the NOTE diamond shape remains in o To make these cuts. Positive Diamond cuts.1 but with wedge shaped 1. Positive Diamond with flip flop cuts o This is the same as no. Negative Diamond o Called negative as the shape is cut out of the wood 9 . first flip the knife using the wood  Unless otherwise stated all grids are 4mm x 4mm position 1 and then flop your knife over to position 2 for the second cut Note: It is a good idea to mark the areas you want to remove as it avoids confusion TIP  Use the eraser to get rid of any pencil line and reveal you work 2.

o Remove the three sided chip and remove the remaining pencil lines 10 .STANDARD BORDER using two-sided chips o In this border we will set up two 4mm wide horizontal rows TIP o Draw a vertical line every 15mm  A circles template is very useful in chip carving and would be a very worthwhile investment and insert an arc using your circles template 1. o Remove the two sided chip as shown earlier 3. o Mark the areas you wish to remove 2.

LARGE WIDTH BORDER o Large width borders are basically the same as standard borders but there is 3. o Mark the areas to be removed 2. o The chevron pattern is created by simply more rows removing the remaining chips o 4mm x 4mm block are still being used A double row of chevrons 1. o Similarly to the standard sized border we will remove the negative diamond first 11 NOTE  If you want a larger grid increase the number of grids rather than the size of the boxes as it is harder to carve bigger boxes .

o Highlight the boxes o To take out the next into which the cross will chip we will again use go position 1 2.o This pattern Renaissance can be architecture. Andrews cross and a 3. B all the chips have to C. four sided rosette o Repeat this process for the remaining chips 1. o To draw the arc representing the four sided rosette we will use our circles template o Cut from A to B. C to D and finally D been removed back to A Did the chip pop out? 6. o Finally add Flip Flops 12 the . B to C and C to A and the chip should pop out o To remove the first chip will 5. o This pattern is again four horizontal row of 4mm squares 4. only require position 1 o Continue this until Draw the knife from A to B. found it in is a unification of St.

CURVED BORDERS o Up to this point we have been focusing on borders for square of rectangle projects. Now we will look at curved 3. borders o Complete the border by carving the out section of the border TIP  A bow compass is ideal as it holds the set radius until moved by the user . 1. o Carve the inner section of the border first again using position 1 13 . o Choose a radius and draw the outer circle o Reduce the radius by 6mm and draw the inner circle o The design is drawn with a combination of the circles template and sketching to get a smooth transition in curvature 2.

o The same design is drawn with the circles template and sketching leaving a thicker lace 14 . o Complete the border in the same way as the previous curved border 2. 1.o This is an alternative way to carve what is basically the same pattern. o We are using the same pattern as the previous border but have added an extra inner circle 8mm in from the outside circle 3.

Other Examples of Curved Borders o Both completed using the same techniques and principles Curved Triangle Border Carved Crescent Border 15 .

To do this lengths and widths are divided into 4 simply with the resulting points joined as use position shown 1 where you want the chip to stop. Now we will look at curved at the end of borders the straight line o This piece is 120mm x 80mm. o Note the different effects the stab knife can produce 5. 1. TIP  The scoring line is only a guide for the knife. if you go too deep with this line it will ruin the straight chip  When cutting straight chips we do not use position 2. o Repeat the same process and score the other side of the same o Note: to get this star finish use the stab line o Turn the piece 180° and using position 1 cut the line once more 16 knife in the outward or inward position as shown at the beginning of this booklet . on borders for square of rectangle o Use a stop cut projects. o Use position 1 to cut this slice this scored line 5. we always turn the board around and cut in position 1  We do this because it is more accurate the chip should o To cut a straight line chip pop out first score the line very lightly as shown o Note: this score line should only break the top surface of the wood  2. both chip.GRIDS o Up to this point we have been focusing 4.

o Use the flip flop method from the centre 17 point out of each section to create the effect shown . o The piece is set up the exact same except we use the circles template to create the effect shown 3.4. o Using position 1 and 2 we o Get the centre of each block begin taking out the two sided chips 1. 2.

Draw a horizontal line on the board.1. pick a ROSETTE o Drawing rosette centre and draw a circle a is a simple process with the use of a compass TIP  3. Draw another arc from where the previous arc cut the circumference 5. Take where the first arc cut the circumference shown 4.draw a another arc of same radius arcs swing clockwise will produce the 18 To get the diameter of a circle pick any point and draw from this point through the centre and on until you meet the other side of the circle . Continue this process until you have this result 6. By repeating this process and rubbing out all the areas where the this result radius and swing an arc as . Put the point of the circumference on 2.

o Here we can see an example rosette created from dividing the circle into sections as previously shown o There is an endless amount of rosettes that can be chip carved 19 .

o It can easily be applied to small projects and as can be WEB SOLUTIONS Visit the website for more information on carving methods seen it really makes a piece o You have been introduced to only a small segment of what chip carving has to offer. o I would encourage you to come up with your own designs.FUTURE APPLICATION o The application of chip carving is only limited by the student’s imagination and creativity. be as creative as you can and apply the principles which you have learned MAKING WOOD REAL 20 .