Whittling takes practice

Ever seen a cool-looking stake, wooden dagger, miniature wooden sculpture or even wooden ladles and spoons? Well, all of those were probably made by whittling. 

The term whittling refers to “the making of useful things.” According to EncyclopediaofArkansas.net, “It is a folkway with roots deep in the heritage of the people of the Ozarks country of Arkansas and parts of southern Missouri. In the heyday of whittling, pocket knives were given to boys at a young age as a rite of passage. Whittling is a pastime for some people, but to others, it is an occupation, obsession, and way of life” 

Whittling is the art of taking a knife and carving wood into a shape you like. To get started, you need a relatively large piece of wood for what you want to make. If it fits nicely in your hand, then it’s probably a good piece. Now safety is the most important part of whittling, so make sure you cut away from yourself. Nobody should be in front of you and watch your fingers. 

When you’re ready, take your knife and drag it down the tip of your stick until you have shaped it into something you like. Keep your cuts small so it’s not too hard to take the wood off. Larger cuts are a lot tougher. Whittling has been around for a long time and has been used to make all sorts of things. And with enough practice, everybody can make something they are proud of.

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