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Whittling Wooden Model Cars By Hand

Aug 1, 2008
Wooden models have been around for a very long time. Wooden cars are no exception. Whenever a father sat down with a stick of wood and whittled out a car and added wheel for his children little did he know that he was taking part in an already old tradition. Whittling your own wooden car is not a difficult process to learn but it can take a lifetime to master.

If you would like to learn to whittle your own wooden model cars you first need to decide what style you would like it to emulate. While you could possibly copy most any model car out there it is best for beginners to start with something easy. Let yourself build your skill a bit before you actually try to do something best left to advanced whittlers.

The supplies you will need are rather simple. You will need a decent whittling knife. Any knife dealer worth their salt can point you in the right direction as far as which one would be right for you. You also need to pick up a whet rock. This rock is a block that is used for keeping your knife sharp. It should come with instructions on the correct way to use it. If you are unsure then ask someone. It is better to be safe than sorry.

The next thing you will need is some sanding paper. It is handy to get pieces of several different grit so that you can do either heavy duty material removal or light work just depending on which one you need at that moment. You might also want to get a sanding block to go with your sandpaper. It helps you to hold your sandpaper to the shape of the model so that you get the best sanding job possible.

If you decide that you want to screw down your parts then you will need some tiny screws, brass ones if possible. They will give your wooden model a very classic look. If you would rather glue it together then you should use a wood grade craft glue. Carpenter's glue is perfect for this sort of project and can be bought in small enough quantities that it will not ruin between projects.

For drilling out small holes you might want to consider getting a small pick that can get into tight spaces easily. This will allow you to do some fine detail work such as in the grille or on the dash. It will also help you to scratch out details such as the shape of the door if you choose not to cut it out separate from the body.

If you are going to apply a finish to your model when it is done you will also need to get a small can of the finish in the color that you are looking for. Also have some old rags handy to apply it and a tack cloth to clean it with before you apply the finish. The tack cloth removes all dust and debris without leaving behind any lint.

Now all you have to do is to draw out your intended model on paper. Keep the details simple for your first few projects so that you can easily whittle out the shapes. Choose your wood carefully as well. Pick one that is easy to carve yet provides just enough resistance that it is not soft enough to dent when you press on it with a bit of force. You are now ready to try carving your own model car. If you want to learn some advanced carving techniques you can pick up a book at your local library or search the Internet for tips and tricks. Happy whittling!
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for model cars, model trains, and model trucks. You will find excellent hobbying and trading resources here for model funny cars, model trains, and model trucks.
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