Common mistakes woodcarvers make

In any good art or craft, mistakes are your best friend because they are your guide in understanding it. So, what are the common mistakes woodcarvers make when they are on this learning journey?

I’m about to share with you some of these common mistakes woodcarvers make that you can escape from, but if you happen to do them, you will be able to identify and change what needs to be changed.

Self Doubt

I’m sure most of you did not see this coming. Think about this for a second, if you have come across this article this means there is something inside you that is interested in being the best you can be in this craft.

One of the most common mistakes woodcarvers make and not only woodcarvers is giving up so fast after it has not worked out for the first time.

Self-doubt is like a disease and for sure makes you feel sick and for those who don’t think it’s not a common mistake woodcarvers make, it is.

You just need to take one step at a time and just follow instructions and you are already one step to your goal of becoming efficient in wood carving.

Thickness Of The Outlining Line

I think one of the first rule in drawing is that the pencil should be pin pointed sharp, (Not in wood carving). Another common mistakes woodcarvers make when they are carving is drawing a thin outline.

The reason why thick lines are the right way to go about this craft is, when carving, you can always take it away but you cannot take it back because you are using the reduction method.

With thicker lines, you won’t have the fear of damaging your woodcarving. It will act as an insurance policy for your project because it will be very hard to carve inside the line.

Use of Sandpaper

Before preserving your wood, sanding is done to remove the jagged edges of the woodcarving corners and smoothen the whole project.

“So how is it a common mistake woodcarvers make?” If you use a sandpaper carelessly, you might damage the patterns running through the wood carving and wood carving working with the law of reduction, it might disfigure your project is becomes visible.

Using the right grit of sandpaper is very important if you don’t want to damage your carving when dealing with final sanding. The best sandpaper for this case scenario is 80 to 120 grit.

For heavy sanding, you need coarse sandpaper with 40 to 60 grit.


Lighting is another common mistake woodcarvers make. When it comes to woodcarving, too much light will cause you to take excessive measures in trying to correct your cuts.

Too little light will cause you to take fewer measures and this will result in carving inside your lines.

This means when carving, choose a light that is not too bright nor dim and this will help you solve a lot of problems, and with the correct amount of light, you will get to develop precision.

If you own a daylight bulb, you just need to clump it with a muslin sheet and this will give you the right amount of light when you are carving. Covering the daylight creates diffused lighting and with that, you can see all the shadows.

With this method, you won’t under a judge or over judge any of your cuts.

Using Dull Burrs

Using dull burrs is a mistake woodcarvers make when carving wood. You will be doing double work because if you used sharp works, you will carve faster and the tool slicing through the wood when carving gives joy.

To correct this mistake when your burr goes blunt, use sharpening stones or sandpaper.

Another point to remember is that blunt tools are more dangerous than sharp tools.


Those are the common mistakes wood carvers make and if you check on this, that’s a step you have taken to becoming a better wood carver.

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