Driftwood carving is the best of times, especially when your design comes to life.
It can also be the worst of times, particularly when the wood chips off throughout your carving.
If you persevere, however, you will be delighted with your driftwood carving.
The first step is to find a piece of driftwood that is suitable for carving.
While on vacation in Swan's Island, Maine, we came across some beautiful driftwood (photo 1) that we believe is from the pine trees that line the beautiful ocean cove where we are staying (photo 2).
The deck on the house we rented was a glorious and peaceful place to carve (photo 3).
If you are not near a beach, you can buy driftwood online. Just type "buying driftwood" into your browser.
The top parts looked and felt like traditional driftwood while the bottoms looked more like bark.
After letting the pieces sit for a few days, the little piece definitely needed to be a sea castle.
Driftwood can vary in size and shape. You may have to adapt your pattern to fit your wood. That's half the fun of driftwood carving... deciding what your piece should be.
This sea castle driftwood carving features a shingle design with 4 windows and a double door (photo 4). The back also features the shingles (photo 5).
There wasn't any noticeable sand on the wood, but if there was, we would have cleaned it with a power washer and a stiff brush first.
This driftwood did not cut easily and it was prone to chipping.
We started with a roughout knife (photo 6), but quickly switched to a pocket knife (photo 7).
We don't suggest using your best or most expensive knives on driftwood, unless you are willing to risk a nick in your knife! You will also probably need to strop your knife more frequently than usual.
Another option is using a knife with replaceable (or disposable) blades.
As always, wear a good carving glove for safety.
To get a similar look for your driftwood carving (all paints are CraftSmart except where noted):
I love these very sturdy Focuser Carving knives (affiliate link). Their carving knife is very comfortable to use.
The chip carving knife is my go-to for clean pyramid cuts. The long whittling knife is good for roughing out wood.
All are terrific for beginners, reasonably priced, and readily available.
They also support this website whenever purchases are made using these links (at no cost to you).
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