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3 Leaves

Carving a single leaf is easy. If all goes well: 2 cuts.

But a single leaf covers a only small area; and you need a lot, an awful lot. And even though carving each leaf is quick, you need to maintain technique and focus for a long run. Tedious? Could be. Persistance is one of the very top qualities a woodcarver needs, so this is good practice! The trick is to concentrate on the cut you are doing and get into a rhythm. Relax and carve. Quite meditative really...

The scooping cut here is the same as in the High Angle Grip Project. Practise on spare wood first and if you go wrong in the tree itself, just recarve the surface and start again.


| 05 March 2019 07:59

Charles - This project goes back a few years now and at that time we just added the download link to the first video in a series, rather than under each and every one. Some big projects have 15 parts and we assumed everyone would start at the beginning and see it, and we didn't need to clutter up the text. We gradually drifted to putting them under every video and that became the rule, which is probably what you expected to see and which makes me think we should go back and fill in the blanks. So thanks for the heads up.

That's was a long way round of saying, if you go to Tree Box 1: Getting Started, you'll see the link to the working drawing and tool list!

By the way, you can always find each and every download on the About > Members' Downloads page.

| 05 March 2019 01:51

The "Tree Box" project looks to be interesting and a challenge in learning new skills. I have looked everywhere but I am unable to locate a pattern for the form of the tree and which gouge are you using ? I must assume that the thickness of the wood for the tree is one inch.
Please advise, Thank you Charles

| 07 October 2017 09:12

Karen - I would think chip carving knives would do the job - certainly worth a try.
Most of the time I'll pick up my skew chisel for this sort of job and I don't actually possess a chip carving style of knife, never chip carving. The knife you see me using on the site occasionally is quite slender, narrow and well pointed.

| 03 October 2017 19:52

Chris, could you not use a chip carving knife to remove this corners?

| 23 June 2017 18:01

Thanks Chris,
Your comments were quite helpful. I was definitely going too deep on the outline cuts. I'll work on the other variables now and I look forward to carving a low relief tree in the future. Your project looks awesome!

| 22 June 2017 15:22

James - It might be the wood, but it's more likely a question of technique:

* Make sure your tools are really keen.
* There is no undercutting in these little leaves, either within them or in the delta-like shapes in between.
* Make the outline cuts shallow, simple score line is all you need.
* Try making the 2 cuts narrower than the whole leaf to begin with - take out some of the waste - than make a final 2 cuts to finish.
* And don't lever on the edge of the leaf.

Hope this helps!

| 21 June 2017 19:10

Hi Chris,
Just getting the hang of cutting leaves that way. I am running into some problems with breakout and I'm not sure if the initial outline cuts you use on the leaves or the basswood I'm using or just plain undercutting is my problem. I can make the leaf cuts okay by themselves. It is adding the outline cuts first that compound the breakout. Any thoughts?

| 27 January 2013 13:28

Hello AndrÃ?, Pfeil makes 3mm skew chisels (type 1S), available online for example from

| 19 January 2013 15:25

AndrÃ? - Stubai tools are over the border in Austria, you could try them ( although I'd be surprised if they didn't have a distributor in Germany. I made the little skew chisel I use myself by shaping a small (fishtail) chisel. An alternative is a thin, sharp, long pointed knife.

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