Demystifying wood grain

One issue that carvers of all skill levels continually fight with is wood grain. As beginning carvers we’re told to “carve with the grain.” Unfortunately, that advice often comes without an explanation of what “with the grain” really means. Many a beginner has understood that it means to carve parallel with the grain of the wood.

There’s more to it than that, as you’ll discover quite quickly when your knife gets drawn into the wood because you cut in the wrong direction. This can be very frustrating. I’ve ruined more than one carving by cutting in the wrong direction.

Brendant at The Old Stump blog has created a document, Demystifying Wood Grain, in which he uses some glued-up toothpicks to simulate the internal structure of wood so that he can explain and show what it means to carve with the grain. It’s a short but very informative read, which I think will benefit beginning and seasoned carvers alike.