Mark ( on November 6th, 2009

Continuing with the series of reviews of DVD’s from the SmartFlix Woodworking University, this time I review the DVD: Beginning Woodcarving by Everett Ellenwood.

carvingThis DVD is one of two done by Ellenwood, the second DVD by Ellenwood a complete treatise on sharpening for the woodcarver.  This DVD covers sharpening, material properties and selection and carving techniques.

The DVD opens with a good tutorial on the anatomy of wood and its properties for use in carving.  From there, the sharpening and use of the most basic carving tool, the carving knife are covered.  Ellenwood carves a small stylized bird as an example of a piece to carve with the knife to illustrate the process.  Sharpening and use of other carving tools like gauges and v-tools are covered next along with a section devoted to tool practice to develop skill with the tools.  The section on sharpening is particularly well done – no doubt this is a subset of what is covered on Ellenwood’s other DVD devoted to sharpening carving tools.  He does a good job of both describing how the carving tools work as well as presenting a simple method for sharpening them using sandpaper.

With the gauges and v-tools sharpened, Ellenwood moves on to demonstrate their use by doing a relief carving of a flower.  His explanation of the process is very well done and thorough.  Following, are sections on good woods to carve, how to layout and start a carving project, clamping work for carving and finishing ideas.

This DVD is aimed at the beginning woodcarver to provide an introduction to the sharpening and use of tools as well as some basic projects to get started.  I think that it achieves this goal very well.  I would rate the sections on materials and sharpening very highly.  For the carving examples I would have preferred to see more close-ups of tool technique and maybe the addition of another project, however, that may be better suited for an intermediate DVD on the subject.  Ellenwood is well spoken and clearly articulates his vast experience on the subject.  For the beginning woodcarver looking to get his or her feet wet on the subject, this DVD is a good mix of theory and practical application.

Don’t forget, if you are a new customer and interested in renting these DVD’s, SmartFlix has offered readers of The Craftsman’s Path a $2 discount coupon for your use. Simply use the coupon code: CRAFTPATH when you check out!

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