In a nutshell, space has dictated that I carve miniatures.

Miniature Wizard

My garage is not heated (and I live in Ontario), so I don’t carve there in the winter. I have managed to carve out (pun intended) a space in the basement between the furnace, storage closets, and a freezer. The freezer often doubles as table space. Because of my small space, I like carving small things.

If you are considering carving miniatures, here are a few things that I have learned:


  • no large pieces of wood required, small pieces of wood are OK
  • I can use scrap cut off from larger projects, so I waste less wood
  • miniatures are ideal for bone, antler and tagua nut carving
  • miniatures are easy to display, take to shows, and store between shows


  • lose detail
  • skill level required can be high
  • fine work can become tedious
  • sometimes the work is extremely delicate and fragile


  • small cutting tools
  • gloves and thumb guard because you are working close to fingers

    Miniature Birds

  • small bench hook
  • a pin vice is nice, but not critical
  • needle files
  • fine, small rotary tools if power carving
  • dust collection system if using rotary tools and/or bone carving

There is no lack of inspiration in carving books. You just need to scale down. There are excellent ideas in the magazine Woodcarving Illustrated.

The same publisher produces the SPECIAL EDITION WHITTLING magazines.

I have to send a special thank you to  Steve Tomashek, whose article in Woodcarving Illustrated (Winter 2020, Issue 93, Tiny Bird Ornament, pg. 74-76) inspired me and gave me the  idea for my miniature bird ornaments.

Next time, When You Know It Is More Than a Hobby…