Need help with carving


I just got myself a rotary tool for deadwood carving (it’s a PG mini). Since I’ve never done any carving before, I’m looking for any good resources/tips/guides/advice - can anybody help?


The best carving resource I know of is the Bonsai Shari Si Diao books: (ordering information is available on the site).

There are two volumes, one on manual carving, one on electric carving. The books are great, and Cheng Kung Cheng does awesome work.

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thanks! I’ll check those out =)

I have to say, it is all about the cutters you use. If you don’t get good cutters it will be hard to produce good stuff. Chose your cutters wisely. And watch a Kevin Bailey cutting session on U-tube. After some practice studying deadwood and carved pieces is the key.

thanks for your feedback @crust - do you mean the particular tool bits that you use? and what would you say constitutes a good cutter? Brand? Materials?

see or Usually you can skip the very large cutters and stick with a smaller “terrier” style cutter for significant removal and a 3.2mm-spiral-wood-carving-tools for detail.

study pix of Ca. Bristlecone Pine ,some very good books exist ,any book of Kimura’s work ,Bug your Dentist for any of his old "bits " & hand tools he may be replacing ,handy for small stuff or fine detailing , ,no trees but you mite like the carvings on my site all best Tim S

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GET a Kevlar glove for you "holding " hand !!! Tim S

Graham Potter ( has several YouTube videos. He is outstanding at carving what may really be seen on a tree in nature. Look for the carvers that do realistic work. Harry Harrington ( is another excellent carver.
Some carve for the sake of carving…excellent work…however, sometimes there is more carving on a tree than actual tree. Narrow down what you want and search for that type of work online. I learned by carving on discarded trees…and Trees growing in the backyard. I actually carve on places where a branch is pruned off…both to learn and just for outdoor fun. Worked for me. Nature has taken good care of my mistakes.

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Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated! =) Can’t wait to get my hands dirty