Anyone here done woodcarving?

Something I have always wanted to do. Ready for a new hobby. My past hobbies relate to this. I was wondering if I could get off to a decent start with decent tools for $500.00 approx? Nothing I have ever done came in at budget so I am flexible

Oh, yes. A couple of good knives will start you off nicely. I am afraid I am not much better than chip carving and a bit of lettering.
Find a nice piece of wood and practice, practice, practice. You have an understanding of wood grains from your other hobbies I presume? So you should do fine.

Depends on what you want to carve and how large. You can make some cool things out of sticks and twigs

with just a pen-knife and a couple how-to books. If you want to do more intricate and larger pieces the sky is the limit. For what I use for doing simple decorative carving on gunstocks it ran around $250 for stuff that will outlive me in usefulness. I figure for your budget you could handle even some fancier furniture carving should you want to.

If my father were still alive he would be able to tell you everything you could possibly want to know about woodcarving. He was a very famous woodcarver (as woodcarvers go). Sadly, I don’t know a darn thing about it. :frowning:

One thing that I would recommend strongly.
Decide what you want to try, for example carving with chisels, or whittling with a knife.
Do some research on line.
Research tool sharpening, this is vital, with blunt tools you will get discouraged quickly.

Then buy a few GOOD tools,
these will get you going much better than a drawer full of cheap rubbish.

Older craftsman tools are often better quality and can be cheaper.

What do you want to carve? Your choice of tools will depend on that - if you want to make totem type carvings out of trees, you might choose an angle grinder and some arbortech blades - if you want to carve panels, you’d start with some fine chisels maybe.

I don’t really have any recommendations except to say: check out Bobby Duke Arts on YouTube - he uses a wide range of tools and skills to carve wood, stone, resin and other materials - is there anything there that takes your fancy?

This. Also, don’t skimp on the sharpening stones, get good ones.

$500 should buy you a carving knife and gouge set, as well as a decent set of sharpening stones (going by what I’ve paid for Japanese imports here).

I can recommend Doug Outside’s channel on youtube for simple carvings to get started with.

He is really inventive and makes gorgeous stuff but, lordy, can he be annoying!

I was thinking of carving mostly small animal carvings ( under 1 cu ft) . I have played around with it off and on through the years but without the right tools it is just too difficult. Gouges, chisels and knives seem to be the main things I would need. I want to stay away from the electric tools as I might be doing some of this in the house. Proper sharpening techniques seem to be one of the most important skills. I used to be pretty good with clay modeling mainly because it is easy to correct as you go. I didn’t want to invest too much in the carving thing until I know if it is something I will stick with or not. I can justify a basic set as I really need it for everyday projects I find myself on anyway.