How Do You Engrave Wood?


Quick Answer

To engrave wood, use sandpaper to smooth the surface and a brush to wipe away the dust before transferring the design with transfer paper. Learn how to position the tools correctly, and use the correct engraving tools for the desired pattern.

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Full Answer

  1. Prepare the wood

    Use a sanding tool or sandpaper to sand the wood smooth. Use a clean, dry paintbrush to sweep away the wood dust.

  2. Transfer the design

    Place a piece of transfer paper ink-side down on the wood. If using a premade sketch, place the sketch on top of the wood, and trace the image. Alternatively, freehand an image on the back of the transfer paper.

  3. Position the tool correctly

    Nestle the engraving tool in the palm of your hand with your pinkie finger tucked in the groove of the handle. Pinch the handle between your thumb and forefinger, and lay the tool flat on the wood. Lift slightly, and push. Keep lifting and pushing until the tip of the tool bites into the wood. This is the correct angle for engraving.

  4. Use the correct tools to engrave the design

    Use a graver to create widening and narrowing straight lines. Use a scorper to dig out larger sections between lines and to created a stippling effect. Use a spitsticker for most other lines. Always aim the tools away from the body.

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