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Tim Gochenour on Greenwood Carving, Walking Stick Projects and More | Schaaf Tools Community Profile

Tell me a little bit about yourself - where are you from? How long have you been doing wood carving?

I grew up in beautiful Luray, Virginia, which is nestled just below Shenandoah National Park. As a kid, I spent hours outside and loved using my uncle's scrap wood to build raggedy but sturdy forts. That said I've always enjoyed creating something from nothing and working with my hands. Although most of my family still calls Luray home, I now live and work in Richmond, VA, where I teach special education. I started carving about 4 years ago as a way to decompress and I haven't looked back. 
Tim Gochenour of Shenandoahcarvingco
What type of carving do you do?

I tend to not focus on any specific form of carving until the project calls for it but I use green woodworking methods for almost everything.  Occasionally I will power carve but it's not as therapeutic in my opinion.  Project wise, I do tend to make a lot of spoons. They are quick to make and can be made from the comfort of your couch.
Tell me a little bit about this 1001 Carving Ideas Project!
About two years ago I found E.J. Tangermans book, 1001 Designs for Whittling & Woodcarving for sale at a library. I was super pumped. The book has 1,821 illustrations/sketches that share ideas and designs from all over the world. Mind you these are detailed and simply just show the design. The idea to go through and carve the entire book came to me in Spring 2020. I thought, what a great way to challenge myself and to harness my skills as a woodcarver. The first project I completed was a crescent moon and it turned out to be a hit with folks.  Moving forward I am super pumped to be collaborating with Schaaf Tools as I work my way through the book.
What are a few wood working tools that you couldn't live without and why?

I couldn't live without my drawknife, shave horse, shingle froe, sloyd knife, and detail knife.  Having the shingle froe, drawknife, and shave horse, allow me to break down the material fast and efficiently without using any power tools.

My sloyd and detail knife are what I use daily. There is so much you could carve just with these two tools.
Are there any projects you've done that you're most proud? If so, Why? (do you have pictures of these to include?)

Since I love hiking and the outdoors, my first projects were walking sticks with wood spirit carvings. So this is where it all started for me. Early on it was challenging to create a face on such a small surface. Gradually it has really taught me the dimensions of the human face which has transferred over to carving my Santas in birch. Overall they made me grow as a carver and was a great way to teach myself how to carve. 
Are there any wood workers or carvers that have inspired you? who? 
Obviously, E.J. Tangerman is on my list since my new project is interpreting his book, but there are a lot of others. The Instagram community is amazing and it is awesome to see and collaborate with other makers. I have to mention Don Blackwell by name though. I was so inspired by his mountain man drawings and wood carvings. He actually designed my very first logo for me. Don also carves a lot of Santas in stumps and his work really prompted me to give it a go. He is always so supportive and answers any of my questions.

What was one carving challenge you've faced that stands out?
Early on someone asked me to carve a "rubber" ducky. This project gave me a lot of confidence because I took a 4x4 block of basswood,  drew an outline of a ducky, and got to work. I learned as I went and it the person who requested it loved it. 
How did you learn how to sharpen your tools? How long did it take you to learn how to sharpen? What is your sharpening process today?
YOUTUBE! Thank you to all of the accounts I have watched on how to sharpen. Sharpening takes time and patience and you will just get frustrated if you don't take your time.  It took some time to get down, but now I can get and maintain a nice edge. I set aside a time and day to sharpen my tools and I always use a strop when I'm carving.

Anything you’d like to promote or add?
Check out and follow my page Shenandoah Carving Co. on
Instagram and Facebook. Where you will be able to see current and previous projects.


  • Eli

    Hey David, I think the best way to get in contact with Tim would be through Instagram. The link to his IG is at the end of the article!

  • David Deputy

    Do you have a physical place if business I live in Tappahannock and am interested in seeing your work.

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