First time shopper? Use code WELCOME10ST to get 10% off your order! This month, 1% of all sales go to Water for Good to aid in their mission of improving access to clean water in the Central African Republic

How to Carve Letters Out of Wood. The Letter 'S' | Beginner Wood Carving Tutorial

There's a lot to learn from carving letters. This is the first Beginner Video in a series of tutorials that will show you how to carve different letters in three dimension, both concave and convex. Apply the skills you learn in this lesson to carve numbers, other letters, and curved figures (like a snake!).

Project Skill Level - Beginner

These Beginner Tutorials are taught by professional carver, Randall 'Madcarver' Stoner and Schaaf Tool. Happy Carving!

Gouges Used in this video are from the Schaaf Tools 12-pc Foundation Set - Starter Wood Carving Tools for Beginners 

Profiles used:

  • 1s Skew Chisel
  • 8 - 4mm Gouge
  • 5 - 8mm Gouge
Timestamp: [0:54]
- Use the Skew chisel to cut along the outline of your letter

 Using a Schaaf Tools Skew Chisel to carve the letter S


Timestamp: [1:56]
- Change to the 8-4mm to get the inner rounded edge of the S
- The smaller tip of this gouge will allow you to get into that tight curve

 Schaaf Tools gouge for carving letters


Timestamp: [3:18]
- Now take a little more material off the surrounding area with the 5 - 8mm Gouge
- The stop cut made earlier with your Skew Chisel allows you to cut away wood around the letter S without cutting into the letter itself

schaaf tools beginner wood carving tools for letter carving

Timestamp: [4:52]
- As you go, use the Skew Chisel again to remove any debris that's leftover, and make the stop cut deeper.
- Continue cutting away the surrounding area so the letter becomes raised


Timestamp: [5:19]
- Use the smaller 8 - 4mm gouge to cut away wood in the narrow crevice of the S's inside curves

 detail carving with schaaf tools - carving letters


Timestamp: [6:03]
- Use your 5 - 8mm gouge to cleanup the edges of the letter
- Making delicate cuts, scrape away the pencil marks
- Change to your Skew to finish making a perfect line around the edges of the Letter



  • Eli

    Thanks for the feedback Bruce! Good idea.

  • Bruce Kilmer

    Recommend, in the future provide a downloadable copy of the item your are going to carve so that everyone is on the same sheet of music.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published