Tools of Outstanding Woodcarvers

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodcarving forum

Forum topic by Phil32 posted 12-16-2018 08:58 PM 734 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Phil32's profile


589 posts in 326 days

12-16-2018 08:58 PM

Many wannabe woodcarvers wonder what tools to buy. The correct answer is another question – What do you want to carve? Many contemporary forms of carving can be done with knives.

But I’d like to focus your thinking for this moment on the tools of classic woodcarving experts. Probably the highest level of woodcarving was achieved in the 16th century by Grinling Gibbons in England and Tilman Riemenschneider in Germany. Do a image search on either name and you will see what I mean.

What tools did they use? They used gouges – chisels with curved cutting edges. Here is a photo of some of Riemenschneider’s tools (from a small museum in Wurzburg):

Note that they’re not shiny, and they’re really big – an inch wide or more wide. – in a canvas tool roll. Considering the hard woods he was sculpting, he must have used a mallet, but he also knew how to use the corners or edges of his tools for fine details.

So my message is: Don’t obsess on your tools. Focus on results.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

2 replies so far

View ClaudeF's profile


937 posts in 2130 days

#1 posted 12-16-2018 11:38 PM

Great advice, Phil!



View ralbuck's profile


6063 posts in 2689 days

#2 posted 12-17-2018 02:23 AM

That is good advice for life too!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics