Woodcarving Introduction

Tutor: Percy Boyes & Bob Brown

This course is designed for people with no experience in woodcarving, but with an interest in trying something new. The initial tutoring will focus on the safe use of a sharp carving knife, using several methods of cutting the wood. You will be tutored on understanding the grain of timeber and how that effects your carving style. The tutor will also explain the difference ebtween 'hardwood' and 'softwood' and which wood species are easier to carve - it is not as obvious as you may think.

Tutors will provide the following materials:

  • Carving knife on loan for use in the class only;
  • Wooden blanks for carving projects @ $2.00 each or at cost, whichever is greater.

Optional materials students may bring to class:

  • Sandpaper in a variety of grades as advised by tutors, for example: 180, 240, 400 grit (Tutor can acquire and provide at cost as sheets can be divided for mutliple students);
  • Your own knife to allow you to practice at home (tutors will advise whether the knife is suitable);
  • Old gardening glove (to be cut and used to protect fingers while carving, if preferred).

The course will give students practical experience in:

  • The basic skills needed to safely use a hand held wood carving knife, including: the use of stop cuts; carving towards the body using the thumb as support; carving away fromt he body using the thumb as a fulcrum; and using a slicing in either of the above mention carving techniques.
  • The care of, and maintaining a sharp edge on your knife usinf a 'strop' or 'honing board'.
  • Information about the wood used for carving, including the importance of recognising the direction of the wood grain.
  • Safely holding a piece of wood in one hand while using a knife to shape the wood.
  • Following a simpel design to learn the skills required to enable you to make basic cuts and further into the course to complete a small carving.
  • Engage in an exchange of ideas with the tutor and fellow students.

NB: Four term of enrolment in this course required before moving into the Woodcarving Advanced class.

Special notes:
The classroom we use at Trinity School for Seniors is quite suitable for the sort of woodcarving we teach. It is not set up as a workshop and we do not have woodworking benches. For this reason we make the following restrictions:

  1. We don't use carving tools that normally require the use of a mallet.
  2. We do not have the facilities to use any wood vice or other mechanical devices normally used to hold larger projects.
  3. Generally, power tools will not be used. An exception may be made for the use of small battery powered tools such as the Dremel.
  4. The size of projects is limited. The piece must fit in the workspace available to each student.
Suitable for: Beginners

Contact us


  • Level 1, Trinity Arcade
    72 St George's Tce, Perth WA 6000
  • Email: Reception@tsfs.org.au
    Phone: 08 9483 1333