Category Archives: Woodcarving on a Budget

Ideas and money saving tips for wood carvers.

Low Cost Texturing Punches

Carving Budget Series

Woodcarving tools can be very expensive. This blog post contains a video on how to make texturing punches for less than a meal at your favorite fast food restaurant.
In the last 6 – 9 months my woodcarving interests have turned towards relief carving.   In my studies of relief carving, I found that a textured background is very common.  Texturing the background of a relief carving directs the eye to the subject matter of the carving.

Making low cost texturing punches

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The best woodcarving knifes I have used.

Deepwoods Venture hand forges the best carving knifes I have used.

The best and most affordable carving tool is one that will be around for years!

That is exactly what you get when you purchase a carving knife from Deepwoods Ventures. These hand forged carving knifes hold  a sharp edge. Combine that with the maple burl handles, these knifes will last a lifetime and possibly your grand children’s lifetime as well.

I recently have purchased a One of a Kind knife from Deep Ventures.  These One of a Kind carving knifes are made with the same quality as the standard knifes, but only one of these knifes will every be manufactured.  Check our their website for information regarding these unique carving knifes.
Continue reading The best woodcarving knifes I have used.

Loading the strop

Using a strop is the key to keeping your carving tools razor sharp

When woodcarving keeping your tools sharp will produce clean cuts and makes the carving experience more enjoyable. The key in keeping your tools polished and razor sharp is the strop. A “Strop” is a piece of leather that is glued to a flat board. Polishing compound is often applied to the leather, this action is referred as “Loading” the strop.
Since my early days of carving I have always been told Continue reading Loading the strop

Finding carving wood

I have many folks as where do I come up with my carving wood supply.
The answer is everywhere!
I look for trees that need to be trimmed in my neighborhood. I have located three Butternut trees that I keep a very close eye on.  If I hear a chainsaw running you bet I’ll be the good neighbor and offered my assistance to carry away those heavy logs.
Since I live in Indiana, Basswood trees grow everywhere. If you have a nature trail in your area take a walk, often you can find fallen limbs that can be saved from rotting away. Yes, I know that the basswood that grows in Indiana is just not the same quality that grows in Minnesota or Wisconsin, but free is free.  When I want a really nice piece of straight grained basswood, I turn to a supplier from one of those states. I recommend Heinecke Wood Products because they offer a quality products and an inexpensive price. Don’t just take my word for it, check out their website at

Take a walk and check out the trees around you. You may just find enough carving wood to keep you very busy.
Happy carving,

Jerry’s Wood Carving Vise

Jerry's Carving Vise
Jerry's Carving Vise

This wood carving vise was inspired by an article in Wood Carving Illustrated Issue #5, titled “Build the 1797 carvers vice” and was the winner of the 1998 Poor Man’s Contest.

I use this vise for all my “in the round” carvings, because it is inexpensive, ease of use and is portable.

Oh, and did you catch it is cheap and easy to make! Continue reading Jerry’s Wood Carving Vise