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Recommended Woodcarving Books - ALL please share books you recommend !

As a once again new carver, I want to to build on others' experience and knowledge.

My current and growing "library" includes:

  • Mary May, Carving the Acanthus Leaf 2017
  • Chris Pye, Woodcarving Tools, Materials, & Equipment  [1996 version before it was divided into Volume 1 and Volume 2], and Chris Pye's Woodcarving Course and Reference Manual [Kindle Edition]
  • Ron Hock, The Perfect Edge, The Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Woodworkers 
  • Wayne Barton, Chip Carving Patterns, and Chip Carving Techniques and Patterns
  • Jim Tolpin and George Walker, By Hand and Eye 
  • Charles H. Hayward, Wood Carving for Beginners [Kindle Edition]

Also books from Bibliography of Carving the Acanthus Leaf :

  • William Wheeler and Charles H Hayward, Woodcarving - the Beginners Guide
  • Paul N. Hasluck, Manual of Traditional Woodcarving [Kindle Edition]


Thank you for sharing!



I really like Essential Woodcarving Techniques by Dick Onions.


My new Favorite !!

Carving the Acanthus Leaf, Mary May

the two I've used the most up to now;

1.  Essential Woodcarving Techniques, Dick Onions

2.  Decorative Woodcarving, Graham R. Bull

followed by;

Carving Classical Styles in Wood, Frederick Wilbur

Decorative Woodcarving, Jeremy Williams

Classic Carving Patterns, Lora S. Irish

Whittling and Woodcarving, E.J. Tangerman

* Acanthus Carving, Hans Sandom & Bob Yorburg *

Manual of Traditional Woodcarving, Paul N. Hasluck

Decorative Woodcarving Accessories for the Home, Frederick Wilbur

then there's a whole library on carving historical firearms, blackpowder rifles in the 1600's, 1700's and early 1800's,  lol.

opps, can't forget the violin making library.....  and then there's the...................................

can't seem to make this single space, lol new to note books

I liked "How to Carve Wood" by Richard Butz: An easily accessible introduction covering a range of styles and projects, including relief, chip carving, wildlife, and lettering.

Swedish Carving Techniques, written by Wille Sundqvist - also a good book, you may discover many new things after reading this.


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I know this is an old topic, but if you're interested in carving letters, I can recommend:

The Art of Letter Carving in Wood by Martin Wenham