It’s true that the traditional forms of wood carving involve a lot of knives, chisel, and similar old-fashioned tools. If mastering and practicing the skill is your concern, it’s actually a great idea working with those sorts of conventional tools out there.
However, if you want to make your projects finish faster and work with more precession, a Dremel tool can excellently help you here. There’s a lot of advantages of using a power tool like Dremel for a speedy, accuracy oriented and effective outcome with wood carving.
And so, we are here to talk on how to do wood carving with a Dremel tool today…
Choose a Suitable Wood & Draw the Design
Using a precession tool like Dremel for Wood Carving is going to be much easier with softwood blank. These are less frequent to chipping or breaking. Go for woods such as pine, butternut or basswood. Your wood selection should ensure there are fewer chances to warps, knots, or defects.
One of the most effective woods carving tips and tricks relates to preparing the wood. It needs to be clean and dry. Use a pencil and draw the design you would like to carve on wood to turn this process freehand. A complete outline will allow you to trace the design better for carving.
Clamp the Wood & Preparation for Wood Carving
Now that you are done with drawing the design, time to clamp wood securely. You want to tightly attach it with the working surface so it does not move. Use C-clamps and it won’t be an obstacle in your carving way. Another point on wood carving for beginners involves using multiple clamps. Depending on the size of wood, you want to use more than a few clamps.
Wear a proper dust mask and also put on safety glasses. You should also wear some robust working gloves. There will be a lot of sawdust created by the Dremel tool. So, this step is pretty important.
Using Shaft Attachment & Holding the Tool Right
There should be a flexible shaft attachment with the tool. It helps to free up some weight from your hand. Simply attach it and pull the rod out. Tighten Dremel tool by sliding rod into the back end.
Once you securely attach it with screws, focus on holding the Dremel tool. The rotating end needs to be an inch away from your fingers. The power switch should be easy to access. Now with working wood, create a 30- or 45-degree angle to hold the tool. This position is proven to provide best control over the tool. You can also read our woodworking Hand Tools article if you are interested in hand tools.
Working with Slow Strokes is a Key
Usually, Dremel tools come with a pretty tiny motor. And so, they can’t really carve for a long time at once. That’s quite damaging actually for the tool itself.
So, you want to press lightly on end to carve following the wood grain for not more than 10 seconds at one time. It’s never going to look good anyways if you rush too much. So, take your time and go with light pressing on the woods to end up with a satisfying result.
Getting Larger Areas on Wood Using Sabretooth Bit
When people ask how to do wood carving with a Dremel tool, they usually refer to their confusion on using a sabretooth bit. Now, this bit has pretty sharp teeth to get into woods for a quick tear and material removal from blank.
You need to simply go for clockwise rotation on securing the bit end. Then turn the tool on and go with a slower stroke method. This bit helps with shedding large wood areas and leaving a rough finish. You definitely want to practice on scraps before trying a sabretooth bit on the actual working piece.
Outlying & Detailing with Fluted Carbide Bit
Small vertical channels and sharp edges are what the basically fluted carbide bit consists of. These are meant for getting a smoother finish. After putting the bit inside the Dremel tool, lightly press on wood to get carving. Slow and steady strokes will help you avoid accidental wood removal at a large amount.
You can use standard 3-4 fluted bits for the Dremel tool. To work on larger areas, go for bigger bits. And similarly, smaller bits are helpful for adding an intricate line or detailing.
Other bits that you can try are cylindrical, ball-shaped, and tapered or pointed bits. For flat edges or V-shape channels, the first type works best. Rounded edges are great to get with the ball-shaped bits. While the pointy or tapered bits allow better line detailing as well as carve rounded line making.
Sanding Your Cuts
Time to use another type called diamond bit for smoothening those tough textures out of your final results. Make sure you are carefully and slowly going over the design of the edge to get a clean look. With softwoods, trying diamond bits for carving will result in quicker wearing out. So, avoid that. You can simply use sandpaper in that case.
Make sure you are constantly wiping sawdust that the tool is making. A dry cloth will help you keep those dust away that may create difficulty in carving the designs. Never try to blow them.
Creating Textured Background
Now to make the piece even more elegant, you can try adding some textured background. Simply use a fluted ball bit here. You just need to slightly press the bit inserted tool into recessed areas.
And this will leave pretty circular marks. Try adding any random configuration that seems appealing to you. Give your creativity a chance to make the visual look even more interesting. If you prefer a clean and smooth finish, skip this step.
Burning Areas That You Want to Make Dark
A wood burner is basically an iron-like tool that helps you to create burn marks. This is another gorgeous way to make the working piece look elegant and sophisticated. There could be areas on the working piece that would look better with a bit of darkening effect.
You simply use this tool to help the heat create that darkening effect on those particular areas. Simply press the end that is hot over areas you want to leave marks on. Make sure to concentrate on controlling the tool by moving it towards mark-making direction. Do consider the fact that once you make these burn marks, there’s no turning back.
A Coat of Stain or Color
Finally, you want to apply a suitable stain color over your almost finished carved piece. Use any natural bristle paintbrush to spread the stain in a thin layer. A rug will also work fine here. Let the stain stay for 15 minutes and you can go ahead with wiping it off. Before the next coat, let it sit just like that for at least 4 hours.
You can also use a clear coat of polyurethane to extra safeguard the piece. Make sure to mix the clear coat with a stir stick to get a good consistency. Then use the same sort of natural bristle brush to apply a thin layer over the design. Let it stay that way for a day.
Once It is set, you are successfully done with making a beautiful carving piece for yourself.
And that’s how to do wood carving with a Dremel power tool for the best results. Using a power tool is definitely a better step towards achieving carving results more flawlessly and fast. But you want to slowly get there.
Make sure you do practice with the tool on some scrap pieces before trying any actual time-consuming project. It will save you a lot of time and disappointments.