A trunk for my niece Part 2

After I laid out the letters' design, I started to establish a middle creek line on each of the letter's parts.

To cut this creek you can use a marking knife, a chisel, a carver's knife or a simple utility knife.

I then cut side lines (like branches in a tree) that forked out of the mid-line towards the corners of the letters.

Then I started chiseling from the sides towards the middle – creating a "V" shape arroyo. This arroyo gets deeper and deeper as you work the letter. You will need to re-establish the middle (creek) line from time to time.

Check out this Youtube clip to get a sense of how to carve letters in wood. By the way, this clip will show you that you can successfully carve many of the letters using one size of a bench chisel 3/4"…. that is all you'll need.


Once you get a grip of the basic technique of carving Latin letters, you'll be able to adopt that knowledge to carve in almost any other language.

I will show the finished piece on my next blog entry….




American Woodworker Blog
Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.