Emails, Question & Comments

I‘ve recently received a few emails I’d like to share with you today:

We have an email from Rick Boyer with a very interesting question that I have no answer for.  Hopefully some of our readers can answer Rick’s question.  Rick wrote:

 “I have a question I know cotton Wood bark is carved. How about the cotton wood itself is that a wood that is carved?”

While Cottonwood bark is very soft to carve, Cottonwood itself is considered a hardwood.  I have never tried carving Cottonwood (only Cottonwood bark) so I can’t say.  Perhaps some of our readers have had some experience with it.

Elevated Brit (Brittany) wrote in response to my blog post on “Coming Shows & Events”:

“This was so helpful, thank you! Surprised there are none in Texas for how big of a state we are, BUT I’m only an hour or two from Broken Bow so I’m absolutely going to go check them out in September! Thanks for the list of events!

You’re welcome for the list, Brittany…I’m glad it was helpful.

Elevated Brit (Brittany) also wrote in response to my blog post on “Choosing The Right Carving Knife”:

“I’m so glad for this article! I bought a blade and just about gave up woodcarving because I couldn’t get it to shave or cut the wood without a lot of work. I felt frustrated and like I was going to cut myself. (Or that my hands weren’t strong enough..)

But it could just be the cheap starter knife. I’ll try to find a place that sells them to see if I can find a good quality one that I can actually use!”

Brittany, a good quality carving knife really does have a big influence on your wood carving success, especially for beginners who already have so much to learn.  Any of the knives I mentioned in my article are high quality tools that you won’t go wrong with.  If you have difficulty finding any of those knives please feel free to send me an email and I can help you.

Timothy Sisko sent in an email asking about push knives.  He wrote:

“Bob, When using a flat blade push knife is the bevel suppose to be up or down? ie .toward your piece or toward the scrap?”

Thank you for writing, Timothy.  That’s a good question.  If I understand what you are saying, what you are referring to as a push knife is actually a type of gouge and just knives which have two bevels (one on each side) gouges can be used with either side up, although they are designed to be used with the bevel down.  I have used gouges both ways depending on what I am trying to do.  Below is a photo of what Helvie calls their Thumbnail Gouge.  It is what I would consider sort of a push knife. 

You can see the bevel is on the bottom and it is flat on the top.  I believe this is what you are referring to as a push knife.  Let me know if this doesn’t answer your question.

Keep a sharp edge and keep on carvin’!

Let the chips fly!  Tell your friends about Wood Chip Chatter, and don’t forget to send in your questions and comments so we can keep Wood Chip Chatter Active and keep the conversations going!

And remember to email your photos to

I’m at the emergency room. Today was not a good day. I decided to go horseback riding, something I haven’t done for a long time. It turned out to be a big mistake! I got on the horse and started out slow, but then we went a little faster before I knew it, we were going as fast as the horse could go. I couldn’t take the bright sun in my eyes and fell off and caught my foot in the stirrup with the horse dragging me. It wouldn’t stop. Thank goodness the manager of the store came out and unplugged the machine.

Published by carverbobk

I’m a self taught award winning wood carver who has been carving since I was a teenager. I enjoy instructing other carvers, especially beginners.

One thought on “Emails, Question & Comments

  1. Bob, thank you for responding to my question related to the use of a push knife / thumbnail gouge. Your photo is exactly the tool I was inquiring about. I will attempt to keep my bevel down. Thanks , Tim

    Liked by 1 person

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