Little

Have little space, no time, and just a few tools? Try miniature work.
When I started woodcarving, I had just a few tools and almost no wood. I carved the little box from scraps of cherry and walnut. The tool kit for making the small sloop was minimum: a few small gouges, V-tool, and a riffler file. For work in this dimension, my bench was a handicap; I did most of it on a carver’s hook with some anti-slip fabric to hold the piece in place ( you can use woven shelf liner material or carpet underlayment). I did finish the piece in varnish, but you could do as many European carvers have done for centuries and rub the carving down with a bit of beeswax candle. The beeswax gives a beautifully mellow, soft look to the carving.

Small boat box


Access to a bandsaw made it possible for me to create a small box with the boat carving as a lid. But, I created similar pieces for small glued up business card holders and refrigerator magnets. This little boat has an LOA of less than an inch and a half.
Work in small dimensions doesn’t seem to be as impressive as more substantial work, but it requires thoughtful attention to detail and forces us to focus our skills. Doing small versions also can be a way of working out design elements for later work when you scale up your design.