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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are a number of new stick makers that have become part of the forum in the past few months. If your new to stick and or cane making or have just wanted to expand your skills to the carving of wood spirits or other toppers and handles here are some good books that can help you get started. One is "Spirit canes " by Tom Wolfe. The second is "Carving Wood Spirit: Beyond Basics" by Susan Hendrix & Paul Perry. A third book, If you are interested in moving into more traditional canes and canes with bone handles try "Stick Making: a complete course" by Andrew Jones & Clive George. Two other books that focus on power carving of cane toppers are "Carving Animal Canes and Walking Sticks", also " Carving Wildfowl Canes And Walking Sticks". Both by Frank C Russell.
There are many books out there. Of the books I have used these have been some of the most helpful. I hope this is helpful to some of you who may have been thinking adding to your skills and was not sure how. I am sure there are books other members can share too. I would also recommend a carving club if there is one with in driving distance. They are great places to get help and learn.
 

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This is a useful thead i have used some ideas from members here whch adds to your skills and techniques in stick making .There are quite a few people who have a number of skills which helps and devlops new ideas some pratical some technical .even the members that dont carve have some useful tips .we can all learn and gather informartion from most of the members.

whether this is information on wood ,tools buffalo/rams horn and theres a wealth of information on finishing and wood burning even some nice scrimshaw on rads avatar
 

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Thanks for the info CV3 I might just check them out on of these days. I wanted to check on the stick I put linseed oil on but I had to work late at the sawmill and didn't make to my shed i,ll just do it in the morning before I go to work.
 

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I bought the Carving Wood Spirits Beyond the Basics book on the advice of one of our forum members (CV3). Best $17 I spent in a long time. The book focuses on carving a wood spirit on a walking stick and the step by step instructions with progress pics is excellent.

There are also numerous good instructional videos on YouTube by some very accomplished carvers that are a great learning tools as well.

Mark
 

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I bought the Carving Wood Spirits Beyond the Basics book on the advice of one of our forum members (CV3). Best $17 I spent in a long time. The book focuses on carving a wood spirit on a walking stick and the step by step instructions with progress pics is excellent.

There are also numerous good instructional videos on YouTube by some very accomplished carvers that are a great learning tools as well.

Mark
Just to find the TIME! I'm frustrated lately on finding the time to work on my projects!!!
 

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Thanks for the information. I purchased a seasoned diamond willow blank on eBay an plan on attempting on wood spirit design

on it. I checked out the books you mentioned and I am sending for " Carving wood spirits beyond the basics".

The blank I purchased still has the bark on it so I won't know what I really have until I strip it... :)

This should be a fun project.

Violet Flooring Font Wood Electric blue
 

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I have seen some of Tom wolfs book advertised here ,a bit dissapionted with some of his reviews,sorry to say they put me right of him

I suppose i should try a wood spirit myself never done one , but theres so many things to carve for a hiking pole .What puts me of most is the fact you are limited to the stick diameter ,and so many things seem to need more like the bill of a wildfowl etc.. Yet there are so many good carvings of it .

Must be a english thing never been motivated by one ? mayby its because there are so many ,but there all different
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The chocies of things to carve is unending. I started carving doing wood spirits and have always enjoyed them. But many carvers feel like you cobalt. I think that wood spirits are a great starter for those of us who did not have a art back growed. With a bit of practice you can have a good carving. It is a shape people can see in their mind. You develop a number of carving skills as you learn proportion, eye, hair and so on. One of my friends does bears on his sticks. If you new, carve what you like, things you spend time looking at. Birds, fish, leaves, feathes any thing you think would be fun. Just know it is a prosess. No one does it perfic the first time . Start on 12" practice sticks. You do not need a shop full of tools. I started with a x-acto hobby kit. I paid $9 for. Or a Dremel tool and a knife. Sweet potatoes are good to practice on.
On Tom Wofle books I agree not all his books are as helpful as others. But the books I listed are books I have and I found their direction helpful. You do want to ask about books before you buy one. If you can. See what people think of it. I have paid a fair amount of money over the years on how to books that were best used to get the fire place started.
 
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I have to agree with you on what your saying ,It is a good way of starting carving

And book reviews again its always good to ask peoples opinion and sometime like me i was put of tom wolf , but it is only a opinion of people .

I get my inspiration from a wide range of sources , reading books to the grandchildren looking at wildlife etc

But the modern book today has more attention to detail and some good photos, much better attention to detail.and its suprising how mush better a lot ,but not all modern books are.

Now that books can be down loaded from the local libary its so much easyer you dont even have to leave home to get them and being free should open a wider range of information. but you still cant beat having a real book in front of you

I dont think most people would ever think of making things for themselves its all mass produce at a competertive price but lacks individuality ,Its just a small pocket of people that keep these skills alive.

most people are never introduced to these skills but the amount of satisfaction it gives people is good to see and its site like this that oftern introduces dressing sticks and hopefully expands and develops skills
 

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As a newbie carver, (I'm a month short of whittling for a year) I'm going to throw in my 2 cents. I agree you don't need a shop full of tools to start carving, a good SHARP knife and a couple small gouges will go a long way to improving your work. Nothing frustrated me more in my earliest efforts than trying to carve with a knife that wouldn't hold an edge and was poorly suited to the task. In fact if I had not purchased a couple decent carving knives and a beginners palm set I probably would have chucked it in.

I also started carving the wood spirit, maybe it's an American thing, don't know but I still enjoy them. I look at my early ones and even though my current ones still need improvement (eyes) I can see a load of progress in the proportions and detail of the faces. If I hadn't started with the wood spirit I doubt I would have thought I had the ability to carve anything else.

As I said before the carvers and wood crafters on this website have taught me a ton as well. I would have not come up with the concept of carving a separate topper and attaching it to the staff without the posts from Cobalt. It may be a standard practice in the UK but I had never seen it. I showed a stick I crafted with a carved topper to a very accomplished carver/stick maker I met in Montana, he had not seen a walking stick done that way either.

I bought a book on wood spirit carving on the advice of another member here, CV3. It has helped me with my facial carving 100%. I would not have spent the $$ on a book without the positive review by an accomplished carver.

Videos on You Tube by accomplished carvers are great way to improve as well. There are tutorials out there from how to carve an eye, how to carve wood spirits, carving Santa's with sanding drums & one fella even has a video on carving a rolling pin.

Finally the best way to improve is to carve period. I carve whatever types of woods I can find, maple, pine, cherry, apple, oak, hickory & any scrap building lumber that will whittle. I will say you will go a long way to improving faster if you start with easy carving wood like good ol' bass wood. Its not as frustratingly hard as say hickory or oak.

I'm rambling but you get my drift. Get a decent detail knife, a couple small gouges, a good strop some scrap wood and wail away, its a great hobby.

Mark
 

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Some of you may be iterested in this link.

its a short tribute to noman tulip a good stickmaker. If you want to expand you ideas and styles looking at other stick dressers is a good way of doing it.

His book is called "the art of stick dressing" dont know if its still in print

The site is worth a vist and contains alot of info

Topic: Tribute to Norman Tulip - Tasmanian Stick Dresser ...

tasmanianstickdresser.webs.com/apps/forums/topics/show/2154039

Site Owner Posts: 29 This review of the art of stick dressing is primarily a tribute to the work of Norman Tulip (1914-1955 an honorary Freeman of the Worshipful ...
 

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Sweet potatoes are good to practice on.
Good suggestion!
For something even easier to work, maybe too easy, find a block of paraffin. Or a big candle that has little or no scent (almost impossible to find where I live.)

The material is so soft that it can be cut w. most anything. Not a good introduction to wood carving, but a good one for learning to draw in 3-D. And if the results are worthless, just melt it down and re-cast it. It is pretty cheap.
 
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