A wood carver is anyone who uses tools to create patterns, pictures, or designs on a wooden surface. There are many different wood carving techniques; the simplest and most widely recognized is whittling, wherein a wood carver uses a small handheld knife to cut, chip, and gouge pieces from an unfinished branch or log until it resembles their original idea. Other techniques include chip carving, carving in the round, and relief carving.
While most of these carving techniques are used to create sculpture or functional items, wood carvers blur the line between the two when crafting a home sign. A home sign can be created using any of the techniques listed above. Having a home sign is a modern sign of prestige and financial stability, so an experienced and skillful wood carver stands to make a decent profit from each home sign he sells. Many home sign manufacturers hire capable wood carvers to help design and produce their customized home sign products.
Whenever a wood carver decides to begin a new project, he must decide what type of wood to use. Different types of wood are suited to different purposes. A wood carver's main considerations when choosing what wood to use include ease of carving, availability, and finished appearance.
Basswood is one of the most commonly used types of carving wood. It is soft and easy to carve, with a small grain and uniform color throughout. This uniformity can look bland under a varnish, however, so many wood carvers will paint or stain a home sign crafted from basswood to attract visual interest.
Butternut, also called white walnut, is a soft beige or dark brown wood with an exceptionally beautiful grain pattern. A house sign crafted from butternut and sealed with a clear finish is an admirable and long-lasting home sign that will undoubtedly improve the value of your property.
Cottonwood and mahogany are also popular choices for use with hand tools. Both are visually appealing, especially under a hard coat of varnish, and fairly easy to work with.
A house number plaque is an excellent project for even the amateur wood carver, because no matter what the end result, the act itself is a gesture of pride and love for one's home and family. Even an imperfect home sign has charm and appeal, especially in wood, where mistakes may be interpreted as artistic touches.
Crafting a house number sign by hand may be time-consuming, depending on your plan. There's a great deal of variation in skill level and amount of detail between a 'standard' home sign and a 'deluxe' or especially ornate home sign. However, you'll notice your skills growing as you go - the more you create, the more you learn - so that, even if this sign is not quite right, the next one will be even closer to the style you imagined.
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