Chip-carving is another form of wood-carving. It is not so complicated, however, as it can be done with a single tool. In chip-carving the patterns are made by chipping little pieces of wood away, and usually this form of carving is confined to geometrical designs. A little practice is required to make these drawings readily, but when the worker is not clever with her pencil she may buy designs sold for the purpose.
There are several kinds of chip-carving knives sold, but the most practical and one that gives excellent results is the one shown in the illustration. It is held in the hand like a pen, while the forefinger of the left hand is placed upon the heel of the knife to guide it. If the wrist is placed upon the board it acts as a restraint on the knife. Until the hand becomes practised with the tool it is well to make cuts and grooves on waste pieces of wood, choosing designs going to a point. Draw an isosceles triangle on the board, also a right-angled triangle pointing inwards, and practise cutting these, pressing the knife firmly and heavily when sloping the sides of the triangles. The slanting sides may be cut off the triangle pocket at one cut, as this makes cleaner carving than when a little is shaved off at a time. When the cuts meet properly the chips will fly out of place. It is important that the cuts meet properly, otherwise the wood will be spoilt and the knife edge is apt to be dulled. After a number of these triangles have been cut skilfully, the technique of chip-carving will be understood.
Position Of Hands For Chip-Carving.
Motif For Chip-Carving.
Oak Book Rack In Wood Carving.
In chip-carving the cutting must be done as neatly as possible, so that the depths of the pockets are all uniform. It is easier to cut in some directions than in others, and naturally it is more difficult to cut across the grain, but with the grain does not make as satisfactory work, as a careless cut goes too far, and sometimes chips off more wood than is desired; so that, although cutting across the grain is harder, it is the best way for successful chip-carving.
A beginner must be careful in what kind of a design she chooses for her work. Straight cuts are easier than curves, and when she has excelled in straight lines the cutting of curves will not be difficult.
Several woods may be used in chip-carving. Lime is easy to cut, but as it is white in colour it is more easily soiled than the darker woods. Walnut is most highly recommended, but as it is a tough wood it is a little more difficult to handle than the lime. Some workers prefer mahogany, birch, and maple - in fact, any hard wood can be used.
Many people prefer to have some sort of a finish on their woodwork. A soft wax finish looks well. First rub the article with sandpaper, and then apply the beeswax with a cloth. 4
The beeswax must first be melted, and enough turpentine added to it until it is of the proper consistency to rub on. When it has been on a few minutes, remove it with a hoghair brush.