Carving the Whittle Pup
What you need
Carving this little dog requires that you gather just a few things before you start:
- A piece of wood, two inches (5 cm) tall, and an inch or an inch and a half (2.5 to 4 cm) in diameter. See Wood selection, below, for more details.
- A sharp knife. Anything will do, although I would suggest something with a blade at least an inch long. I've done these with a pocket knife, a 2" roughing knife, a utility knife, a 1" detail knife, and pretty much everything in between. The primary requirement is that the knife be sharp.
- A pencil for marking on the wood. A ball point pen will work, but it's less than ideal. Do not use a Sharpie or other such marker, as the ink will be sucked into the wood and might bleed over where you don't want it. Other than a knife, the pencil is the most useful tool you can own. You should have at least one in your carving kit at all times.
- A ruler or small tape measure. This is optional. If you have it, great, but I'll include ways to estimate the few measurements we use.
- A thumb guard to protect the thumb on your carving hand (i.e. the hand that's holding the knife).
- A carving glove to protect the hand that's holding the carving.
I consider the carving glove and thumb guard to be mandatory safety equipment. I've never cut myself when wearing them, and I've received a few nasty cuts when not wearing them. These won't prevent all cuts, but they will prevent the typical slicing cuts that many wood carvers--especially beginners--often inflict on themselves. For more on safety, see my article Getting started with wood carving – Safety.