This is not a particular skill that you must know to live and survive in the woods, but in my opinion it’s this is a good and playful way to improve cutting skills, at home or near a campfire.
You don’t need many tools for this work, but only your favorite backup blade, something to sand your work and a pencil or a piece or char to draw the main lines.
As you will see this woodworking technique it’s not too difficult and uses two types of cuts: straight cuts and angled cut.
The straight cut is a stop for your blade, when you are using an angled cut.
You have to work patiently. The more time you spend practicing, the better your results.
Apply this carving technique also to make something useful for you or
something to decorate your equipment or your backpack:
a pendant, a firesteel handle, a spoon… a sewing kit (?!? … read below!).
You’ll make something to distinguish yourself and your bushcraft style!
How to carve a simple wood spirit
Surfing on the web you can find many interesting step-by-step guides to learn about, I recommend you to read this really inspirational and detailed tutorial.
Now… Let’s start!
Cut a small branch and think like ‘Michelangelo’ or…if you prefer… ‘Geppetto’.. observe its curious shape, its curves and visualize a figure of an ancient man, a gnome, a spirit of the woods.
Choose a subject and start scraping off bark from the branch.
You can also keep the bark of your branch and define only a small area for your work, like my example.
Then draw the main lines of your subject.
Remember that these ‘strange forest inhabitants’ have usually a big nose and a long beard..so use an exaggeration of some characteristics.
Help your work drawing guidelines to maintain symmetry.
If you do this in the woods, when you back to home, you can finish it with paint, i’ve used acrylic color for detail to give a realistic touch.
Apply this technique also to a walking stick…you’ll have a magic walk companion!
The wooden sewing kit
Just by chance I found this cool idea on the web (this is the link), it comes from Bushcraft USA forum, I think it’s a very nice and useful woodcarving project and now… you can make your own!
As you can see, in this project you have to carve a full anthropomorphic figure.
The subject of my sewing kit its an old man with a medieval hood ‘cucullus’, but feel free to create your subject and… share your work here in the comments!
How to create this wooden sewing kit
This is all you need:
– a small branch;
– a pencil
– a SAK;
– an hand drill;
– Sand paper and nails file;
– coffee powder;
– olive oil.
- Saw a small branch about 10-12.5 cm/4-5 inch.
- Scrape off all the bark.
- In this project we try to realize a full figure, so define the dimension of the head and trace it.
- Start removing the wood excess and round the head.
- Draw the guide lines and follow the previous instruction for the head and the body parts. You can use the SAK saw to trace the two areas for the sewing thread and after, you have to remove all the wood excess.
- With an hand drill create an hole at the base of your figure and a smaller hole on the top. So you have made the container for your needles!
- Sand your work
- Cut the leather in this shape (note that is not a scaled image).This is the place to store your needles! insert four or five needles through the leather.
- Roll and Put the needles holder inside your wood container
- Secure the top with a simple knot and a small round piece of wood.
- Add a wooden ‘cap’ at the end of the leather.
- Apply water and coffee powder on the wood, with this technique you add to your work an effects of light and shade.
- Finish it with olive oil, so you remove the coffee mixture excess and make your woodwork polish.
- Add sewing threads.
Now you have a retro style bushcraft sewing kit!
I hope you had fun with these two project!
Go out for adventure!
Ciao, Bye, Tschüß, またね！