"This is an absolutely first-rate book for beginners in wood sculpture, well thought out and well executed. It is exceptional in the quality of its illustrations, and contains many original and unusual conceptions and designs." — E. J. Tangerman. In answer to complaints from students that there was no concise, simple text on wood carving, Charles Marshall Sayers, a nationally famous teacher and craftsman, wrote this book. It is still the finest book for the beginning student in wood sculpture. In clear, straightforward language, Sayers carefully guides the reader through the fundamentals — what tools and materials to use, how to use them. There are lessons and designs for incised carving, relief carving, and other cutting methods. Sayers discusses woods suitable for carving, stains and finishes, preliminary and advanced methods of preparing woods for finishing, even how to make a workbench. The 34 illustrated designs for over 34 projects encourage the student to build slowly and methodically a sound, practical technique while creating objects of beauty and utility. All of the projects employ only four tools (one straight parting tool, three different sizes of straight gouges). With this book you can make panels for cabinets, chests, and doors; borders; table aprons; chair and bench rails; circular mirror frame; wall bracket with shelf; bookends; rectangular mirror frame; footstools; guest-book covers; mirror frame with half-circle top; holy water font; and doors. Though The Book of Wood Carving is meant for the beginner, experienced carvers will find that Sayers' original conceptions and designs will increase their own pleasure and skill. "Stimulating both by spicy text and large photographs showing every point in processes described . . . [Illustrated with] designs of actual work by the author — a famous teacher and craftsman — and his students and apprentices." — Books, New York Herald Tribune.
Charles Marshall Sayers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a good book for someone wanting to get a feel for traditional wood carving. A couple of things I like.
1. It requires minimal outlay for tools. Sayers intentionally limits you to the same four tools he limited his students to. You will use these for all the lessons in the book. These will set you back $150 or so depending on where and what brand you get. Don't cheap out. Good carving tools cost money and last forever. Personally, I like the brand the author recommends, but generally any FULL SIZE (not palm) carving tool made in England, Germany, Austria or Switzerland are of excellent quality. The recommended tools are #39 V-tool 1/2", #5 5/8", #1 1", #7 3/8". The metric equivalents would be #39 13mm, #5 16mm, #1 25mm, #7 10mm. The #39 V-tool is a 60 degree.
2. Each lesson is step by step description with a photo telling you which tool to use for which cut. The lessons aren't verbose but contain all the information you need...
Maybe I shouldn't review this since it was written by my grandfather. But what the heck. Note that this book was originally published in 1942 then picked up by Dover Press in 1970 and been in continuous publication ever since. It helped me get started in my woodcarving career. I should have studied more with him as a teenager when I had the chance, but you know how teenagers are.... Anyway for what it is worth I recommend the book. It is clear and concise, you can do all the exercises in book with only 4 tools, which is nice because the tools aren't cheap. The designs are classic and can be reused in lots of projects.
I purchased this book used and found it to be in good condition with no markings inside although there was some cover damage. The information inside is good. This book was published in 1942 and some of the information is a little dated. It has some excellent patterns for begging carvers like myself. The patterns help the carver learn how to read and carve with the wood grain.Grab a piece of scrap wood and make as many mistakes as possible before starting a project that you want to keep.
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