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Lesson 5 - The Finishing Process - How to Carve a Wood Spirit | Beginner Wood Carving Tutorial

How to Carve a Wood Spirit - Lesson 5 of 5

We recommend you start this tutorial series at the beginning. Here are the links to each previous lesson:
Lesson 1 - Prep and Roughout Stage
Lesson 2 - Nose, Brow and Eye-Mounds
Lesson 3 - Carving the eyes
Lesson 4 - Carving Hair


In this fifth and final video on how to carve a wood spirit, we'll be taking your project to the finish line. Learn how to properly sand and finish your wood carving like a pro.

You will need:

- 220 Grit Sandpaper (or similar grit)
I recommend sandpaper that's meant for an orbital sander because its a little bit thicker. Unlike normal sandpaper, you can continue to use a piece long after it begins to wear out and get tattered. You'll still be doing the sanding by hand.
- MINWAX Paste Finishing Wax (You can find this at most hardware supply stores or online)
- Toothbrush for applying the finishing wax
- Old cloth for final buffing

Don't sand anywhere there is interesting detail. This is important to remember, especially if you're working with cottonwood bark. Because cottonwood is so soft, a common mistake beginner woodcarvers will make is smoothing out the finer details, which is not what we want!

For instance, be very careful when sanding the nose. I'll often see people accidentally remove the contours and details they've just finished carving.
Fold the sandpaper to create a sculpting tools of sorts. Use the edge of the sandpaper to smooth out these finer detail areas, like the nostrils, or mallard bags, while also emphasizing and further detailing.

Apply the Finish:
When you've finished sanding, begin to rub the finishing wax onto your carving with a toothbrush, making sure that there is no excess building up in any crevices. After you've applied a nice, even coat to the entire piece, let it dry for 10-15 minutes.

After its dried and set, its time to buff your wood spirit with a cloth. This will give the wood carving a nice luster.

And there you go! Congratulations, you've finished your wood spirit carving. Maybe its your first one, or maybe you've created tons of wood spirits already. Either way, sit back and admire your work! Show it off to your friends. And please, send us photos. We would love to see your creations.

If you have any feedback, questions or comments, please put them in the comments section or email us

1 comment

  • Jim

    Just wanted to say thank you for putting these 5 video’s out for all of us to watch, I myself learned alot from them. I hope there will be more to come in the future. Thanks again

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