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Ely Folk School

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Wood Carving

in Wood, Furniture, Building

Beginning Chip Carving-Live Online


with Bart Dunning

Calendar Feb 6, 2021 at 6:30 pm, runs for 1 week

Please note all four days: only the first class will show up in the calendar. And note that the fourth class is a two-hour class.

Saturday, February 6, 2021  6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Sunday, February 14, 2021   6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Friday, February 19, 2021     6:30 PM -  7:30 PM
Monday, February 22, 2021   6:30 PM -  8:30 PM

Tuition: $50

Materials: See below for materials you will need, which you can buy individually or in a kit. Bart can supply the appropriate wood and will be contacting you after registration. The registration deadline is Wednesday, January 27 if you need to order wood, tools, or a complete kit.

Chip carving is a very old craft in many cultures, but the patterns we typically see are Northern European. This is an art form that almost anyone can practice with patience and a steady hand.

Chip carving generally consists of a set of triangular cuts layed-out in regular, geometric patterns, but can be more free form, as in lettering and pictures. You will need a sharp knife, the key to safety and ease of carving. You will learn how to handle and care for the knife, how to lay out a pattern for cutting, how to make the various cuts, and how to deal with mistakes. 

If you have questions about using Zoom, email or call 218-235-0138. You will receive the Zoom invitation when you register.

A kit including the following tools is available for $65.
Order from the instructor, Bart Dunning by January 27.

  • 1 - Pfeil chip carving knife, prepped and sharpened
  • 1 - Drafting compass
  • 1 - Fine/ultra-fine sharpening stone
  • 1 - Strop and polishing compound
  • 2 - Pieces basswood - 5"×5"×3/8"

If you have some tools or prefer to order them on your own, here are Bart's recommendations:

  • Drafting Compass - higher quality examples:
      JARLINK - $6,
      Mr. pen - $12
      Staetdler - $27
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Various templates for arcs and triangles
  •  Chip Carving Knife - examples
       Pfeil Chip Carving Knife B - $20
       Wayne Barton Chip Carving Knife - $50.

A more expensive knife will be in a condition that is ready to use. The less expensive Pfeil knife requires some work to tune it appropriately.

Knife Sharpening supplies:

  • Extra Fine whetstone examples
      Arkansas white extra fine
      Black ultra fine stone for about $20. 
      Generally any sharpening “stone” of 3000 grit or finer for final          sharpening.
  • Final stropping and polish – firm suede leather and stropping compound (metal rouge polish) such as Beaver Craft Leather Strop and honing compound for $10, or similar.
  • Two Basswood pieces measuring 5”x5”x1/4” or similar
      Bart can supply at $2 per piece, plus shipping, if necessary.

Optional Extras:

  • Books by Wayne Barton, or other pattern guides for chip carving.
    The Complete Guide to Chip Carving by Wayne Barton - $20
  • General sharpening - 
      DMT credit card-size diamond whetstones. Set of three,
      Course/fine/extra fine grit (325/600/1200) $25.00 (Amazon,            D3EFC)

Woods used would be basswood (preferred), white pine or butternut.  Typically the thickness would be ¼ to ½ inch. Most wood will come in
¾ inch thickness or in blocks for 3-D carving. These would need to be resawn and planed to the dimensions desired. Some sources: Woodcraft and Rockler.

About the instructor: Bart Dunning has built furniture and done three dimensional and relief carving. He has been doing chip carving for 20 years.

Bart taught physiology for a number of years at several medical schools. He currently teaches skiing at Buck Hill in Burnsville and demonstrates chip carving at the Dakota City Heritage Village at the Dakota County fairgrounds and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska.

Will run

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