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    I am a beginning carver (self taught). I am finishing my first carving. It is the headpiece on the top of a full length dressing mirror. I guess you could compare it (the carved part) to the back of a chair, that has a relief carved into it. My question is the background on this type of carving usually has a texture to it, how do you do the texturing. Most of the time it looks like someone took a point of something and tap it hundreds of times to do the texturing. I would like to know the tool and the process to do this. Any insight into this would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: background texture

    I have done something similar to walking sticks and have used a dremel..sometimes with the small round burrs and other times with the pointed...suggest you get a dremel set, a good one if you are going to keep carving and experiment with the effects you get with the different burrs on a piece of scrap of the same type wood! I should add, I used 3 or 4 different size round burrs and went directly into the wood causing a round crater, and staggering the holes and using different sizes of burrs, it leaves a nice effect. (by directly, I mean straight in, not with the dremel tilted..hope that is understandable?)


    • #3
      Re: background texture

      Check at

      They sell a set of background texturing punches, specifically made for that.



      • #4
        Re: background texture

        If you don't want to buy them, you can make your own with a fie and a bolt. Depends how much time you want to spend and whether or not you like the patterns on the purchased ones.


        • #5
          Re: background texture

          I've seen people use a phillips head screwdriver point to texture. There are different shapes of screwdrivers used in cars that are star shaped, square shaped etc. you might try.. check out your local auto parts store.. I don't know how well they would work, but it don't hurt to try! :P


          • #6
            Re: background texture

            Lee Valley sell a set of texturing punches that you might be interested in but I have seen some nice texturing done with a nail and screw not that I have ever done any but just my two cents worth.


            • #7
              Re: background texture

              A dear old carving friend of mine made me a set of background texturing tools from nails. The were rather large nails ( I don't know what penny sized) but he filed the pointed end off flat, then used a hacksaw and then a Dremmel saw blade to cut different shapes and cuts in each was a star, one with uneven cuts, etc. The secret, according to him and proven by my attempts to texture backgrounds on reliefs, is to turn the nail first one way and then the other so that you aren't striking the same exact design with every stroke.

              He could afford a set of texturing tools, but took great delight in finding inexpensive ways to achieve the same result.

              I've also had an old carving friend that used whole black walnuts to texture basswood--course he had plenty growning in the yard so he always had more 'texturing tools' when one broke from all the tap, tap, tapping.

              Just a couple of ideas.

              Donna T


              • #8
                Re: background texture

                Termites do a good job if you take the time to train them.
                Just kidding, I have used all sorts of items for texturing such as....nails..forks..B.B's..that thing in the kitchen that my wife used to use to pound the living daylights out of porkchops and steaks..and once (due to alot of dirty looks from my wife) a sewing tool that has a wheel with sharp points used to mark sewing stitches. I ended up making my own by purchasing a mini saw blade for a dremel tool and mounted it on the end of a dowel by cutting a slot in the dowel's end and putting a small finishing nail through it to allow the wheel to turn .
                Happy Carving !!!!!
                1..2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10....YEP , all my fingers are still there !!!


                • #9
                  Re: background texture

                  Like Hi-Ho, I use a power cover to do most of my background work. The burrs offer a wide choice of potential patterns. The key is to practice on a scrap piece of wood until you find the pattern that fits your carving.


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