After playing around a bit with dremel bits for wood carving, I had the opportunity to develop some familiarity with rotary tools, and eventually found myself using them for all of my carving projects. It’s good at speeding up the carving process, which is notorious for being time consuming with hand tools. However, power carving itself is an art form, and has a bit of a learning curve, and requires some time before you can effectively use it. For one reason or another, finding any sort of wood carving ideas with dremel, resources, or outlines to use as a guide are few and far between.
Sure, workshops help plenty, but I found some free online alternatives that have designs, are easy to follow, demonstrate useful techniques, and have detailed explanations to help new comers.
Wood Carving Ideas With Dremel
For the better part of this year, I have been using YouTube as resource for expanding my knowledge, and experience, with rotary tools. One of the channels I avidly check is CarvingandSuch, can’t find much information regarding the account that makes the videos, but the guy almost exclusively uses rotary tools for carving.
This is a still from one of his more popular videos where he uses both a Foredom and a Dremel throughout the video. There are a few videos of him doing 3d structures, but most are carvings that are shaped into the wood, like the one above.
Other walk-through videos I suggest:
Regardless, there’s plenty of videos to check out that benefit as a reference for various shaping ideas, and techniques to try out. The videos are pretty straight forward, and jump right into the project.
Another, perhaps more polished, channel that has plenty of informative videos is Carving Fusion, an account ran by a carver named Jordy Johnson. He goes in depth on carving tips, taking care of your tools, etc. But also has tutorial videos.
Wood spirits are his specialty, and his tutorials on making them don’t have much preparation before starting. In this one, he’s able to pick up what looks like a branch you would find on the ground, and make a wood spirit in 6 minutes. For new comers, or those without a firm grasp on the ins-and-outs of rotary tools, I would suggest watching his dremel beginner series for carving spirits. It’s super easy to follow along with, and doesn’t go too fast. You will see him take his time explaining things in detail before moving forward. There’s a lot of useful information he gives throughout the project, so a lot of what he says will only help you get better.
Jonas Olsen Woodcraft
As you progress, you will naturally start to develop your own inspirations and designs to try out, but even that is a process itself. Basically, the idea is to draw your design on paper, glue it to the wood, and go to work. Jonas Olsen Woodcraft has a great video on this whole process where he carves an owl pendent from scratch, literally from start to finish. Almost all of his videos are carvings he does with rotary tools and are incredibly fun and informative to watch.
He is much more advanced in his demonstrations and his craft. If you simply look at the result of his work, you might wonder why I would even include him as a resource because most of it is almost impossible to do as a beginner. There is a perfectly good explanation for that.
First off, it is a lot less about being able to replicate his work, and more about learning the creative process of wood carving. It is incredibly difficult to create your own work if you don’t know how to form your own blueprints, map out a plan, and execute the job correctly. Jonas’ depth of information is something you’ll just need to soak up and learn for yourself, especially if you are wanting to get better at wood carving with rotary tools.
Additionally, Jonas Olsen has several free PDF templates on his website. That’s certainly not something you often see people giving out without payment.
Anikas DIY Life
A fantastic website comprised of DIY projects that aren’t limited to wood carving, but rather building furniture and miscellaneous crafts.I particularly enjoyed her post on the mandala wall art she made with a dremel. Dremel’s have a significant variety of uses, and Anika does a great job bringing the aesthetic designs you can use with rotary tools.
She does have a YouTube channel, however they are not designs exclusive to rotary tools. Instead, they are mainly woodworking and furniture building projects.