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Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Arts and

Crafts/Wood Handicraft
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Wood Handicraft
Skill Level 2

Arts and Crafts

eneral Conference Year of Introduction: 1938

The Wood Handicraft Honor is a component of the Artisan Master Award .


1. Identify at least five common kinds of wood, such as pine,

walnut, oak, and cedar.[edit]
Precise identification of wood samples can be very difficult indeed, especially when one considers
how many different types of wood there are. For this requirement, it will suffice to bring in five
samples and teach the student to distinguish between them. Unless you are already an expert at
identifying wood, you would be well served to visit a specialty lumber establishment and ask for a
few samples of five species. These types of stores are staffed by extremely knowledgeable people.
You may also have luck at a hardware/lumber store such as Lowes or Home Depot. These stores
will often display their hardwoods in a different section away from the construction lumber (which is
mostly fir and pine). They commonly carry oak, maple, and poplar lumber, and less commonly,
cedar. Beech, oak, and luan (a cheap grade of mahogany) are usually available in plywood form.
You may also be able to get free samples at a hardwood floor store.
When you have your samples, label them on one side so you can be sure of their identities.


Pines is among the most commercially important genus of tree, valued for its timber and wood pulp
throughout the world. Pine wood is widely used in high-value carpentry items such as furniture,
window frames, paneling and floors. Pine is readily available at commercial lumberyards, being
among the least expensive forms of lumber. Pine is light yellow to white with a reddish tinge. It
darkens to an orange tint with age. The wood is soft and easily shaped with both hand and power
tools, making it a very popular choice for wood craft.


The Persian Walnut, and the Black Walnut and its allies, are important for their attractive timber,
which is hard, dense, tight-grained and polishes to a very smooth finish. The colour ranges from
creamy white in the sapwood to a dark chocolate colour in the heartwood. When kiln-dried, walnut
wood tends toward a dull brown colour, but when air-dried can become a rich purplish-brown.
Because of its colour, hardness and grain it is a prized furniture and carving wood. Walnut burls (or
'burrs' in Europe) are commonly used to create bowls and other turned pieces. Veneer sliced from
walnut burl is one of the most valuable and highly prized by cabinet makers and prestige car
Walnut is an expensive lumber not usually available at the usual lumberyards (Home Depot, Lowes,
etc.). One generally has to buy it at a specialty hardwood lumber store.


Oak has very attractive grain markings, particularly when quarter-sawn. Wide, quarter-sawn boards
of oak have been prized since the Middle Ages for use in interior paneling of prestigious buildings
such as the debating chamber of the British House of Commons in London, England, and in the
construction of fine furniture. Today oakwood is still commonly used for furniture making and
flooring, timber frame buildings, and for veneer production.
Oak is a very hard, strong, and durable wood. It is not easily worked when cured, and is thus not a
good choice for the beginning wood crafter. However, in the hands of a skilled craftsman, it is an
excellent choice, holding carving detail well over very long periods of time.
The fine-grained, soft brittle pinkish- to brownish-red heartwood is fragrant, very light and very
durable, even in contact with soil. Because of its rot resistance the wood is used for fence posts.
Because the aromatic wood is avoided by moths it is in demand as lining for clothes chests and
closets, often referred to as cedar closets and cedar chests. It was once a premier wood for pencils.
Cedar is available at some lumberyards, but is often located in a section of the store reserved for
outfitting closets. It is more expensive than pine, but not out of reach of the budget-conscious
Pathfinder. Its aroma alone make it well worth the added expense compared to pine, and it works
just as easily. It is an excellent choice for the beginner.

Maple with Birdseye Figure

Maple with straight grain

Some of the larger maple species have valuable timber, particularly Sugar Maple in North America,
and Sycamore Maple in Europe. Sugar Maple wood, often known as "hard maple", is the wood of
choice for bowling pins, bowling alley lanes, pool cue shafts, drums, and butcher's blocks. Maple
wood is also used for the production of wooden baseball bats, though less often than ash or hickory.
Some maple wood has a highly decorative wood grain, known as flame maple and quilt maple. This
condition occurs randomly in individual trees of several species, and often cannot be detected until
the wood has been sawn, though it is sometimes visible in the standing tree as a rippled pattern in
the bark.
Maple is a very hard wood, and while that makes it difficult to work with hand tools, it also makes it a
very good choice when fine carving details are desired. Because of its working difficulty, it is a wood
better left to the experienced craftsman rather than the beginner.


Douglas-fir wood is used for structural applications that are required to withstand high loads. It is
used extensively in the construction industry. Like pine and cedar, it is a soft, easily worked wood.

Cherry is a beautiful wood highly prized for furniture making. It has a warm brown tone that changes
with age to a dark reddish brown. Cherry holds carving details well as it is a hardwood, but it is
easier to work than oak, ash, walnut, or maple. Cherry is unlikely to be found in most
hardwood/lumber stores, but it is readily available at specialty hardwood outlets. Cherry takes a
finish like almost no other wood, providing a rich luster that takes a high polish.

2. Know the characteristics for the woods identified, and know

one use for each example.[edit]
The characteristics of each of these woods are described in requirement 1. We list common uses of
each below:
Furniture, shelving, flooring
Furniture, paneling
Furniture, decorative trim (chair rail, molding, stair rails), paneling, beams, flooring, barrels
Closets, storage chests, plaques
Furniture, flooring, musical instruments (guitars, violins, drums, etc.), butcher blocks

3. What is the difference between hard and soft

Wood that is produced by cone-bearing trees is classified as softwood.
All other wood is classified as hardwood. In general hardwoods are
harder than softwoods, but there are many hard softwoods (such as
yellow pine and yew), and there are many soft hardwoods (such as
balsa). The hardness of the wood is therefore not a reliable indicator of
whether a wood is a hardwood or a softwood.

4. Know how to properly use the following

tools in wood handicrafts[edit]
a. Coping saw[edit]
Coping saw

Coping saws are very useful for removing bulk. A carving can often be
roughed in with a coping saw, and once the shape is cut out, knives,
chisels, and gouges can be used to clean it up and do the final shaping.
Coping saw blades can be sharpened with a triangle file, though they
are cheap enough that they ore more frequently replaced when dull.
The blade can be installed on the coping saw so that it cuts on either
the pull stroke or the push stroke. Experiment to see which you like
better. To make a cut, clamp the piece to a bench or hold it firmly with
your free hand or knee. Align the blade with the pencil mark you have
made which will guide the cut. Gently work the saw up and down to
make the cut. You may have difficulty at first, and this does take a little
practice to master. But once you have it down, it is not all that difficult.
Follow the line until the cut is complete.
b. Rasp[edit]

Wood rasp

A rasp is a woodworking tool used for shaping wood. It consists of a

point or the tip, then a long steel bar or the belly, then the heel or
bottom, then the tang. The tang is joined to a handle, usually made of
plastic or wood. The bar has had sharp teeth cut into it. Rasps
generally cut more coarsely than files. They are useful for rapidly
removing wood from curved surfaces. They remove less wood than a
drawknife, so they are easier to control. Even though rasps leave very
coarse finishes, the cut-away areas can be easily smoothed with finer
tools, such as files.
There are several types and shapes of rasps. There is a half round,
round and flat. The several types of rasps are bastard, cabinet and
wood (finest to coarsest). All these varieties can be used to make
different shapes.
A similar tool to a rasp is a surform file; it has coarse, individual teeth
like a rasp for cutting wood. The difference being that the surform has a
small hole near each of the teeth to allow shavings to pass through and
prevent clogging. Surform tools come in different styles and shapes
including file-plane, round file and shaping/shaving tools.
c. Plane[edit]
A hand plane is a tool for shaping wood. Planes are used to flatten,
reduce the thickness of, and impart a smooth surface to a rough piece
of lumber.
Hand Planes are one of the most satisfying tools to operate. Clamp the
wood securely to a bench, and then push the plane along the grain.
The blade should be adjusted so that it takes a thin shaving off the
plank. A sharp, well adjusted plane will remove a continuous shaving
the entire length of the board. Pay attention to how the grain runs - if
the grain dives into the board, make sure the plane's blade does not
break the shaving off below the surface. If this happens, try planing in
the other direction (see illustration).

Once the blade has been removed from a plane, it can be sharpened in
the same fashion as a chisel. It should be sharpened frequently, as this
will greatly improve its performance.
A plane should be stored on its side to respect the blade. You should
also be very careful to not plane into a nail or a screw, as doing so will
put a nasty notch in the blade.
d. Knife[edit]
Carving knives, chisels, and gouges

The primary tool for wood carving is a carving knife. You can use a
pocket knife as well, and many people do. To sharpen a knife, hold the
blade at about a 15° angle and scrape it along a whetstone as if you
were trying to shave off a thin layer of the stone. Be sure to sharpen
both sides.
e. Chisel[edit]
A chisel is best used with a mallet. Chisels can be used for removing
great quantities of wood. They can cut across the grain or slice along its
length. Chisels are sharpened much the same way as knives, but the
angle is a bit steeper, ranging from 20° to 35°. Often they are
sharpened at two angles, such as 25° for most of the length of the
blade, and 35° near the edge. This allows the blade to be resharpened
by only honing a small portion near the cutting edge.
f. Sanding block[edit]
A sanding block is a block used to hold sandpaper. In its simplest
form, it is a block of wood or cork with one smooth flat side. The user
wraps the sandpaper around the block, and holds it in place. Fancier
versions use clips, teeth or clamps to hold the paper in place.
Commercial versions can be constructed of various materials. They are
usually sized to hold a quarter or half sheet of sandpaper. Some
versions use the sandpaper belts intended for a power belt sander.
Sanding blocks are helpful because they prevent the "waves" created
by plain sandpaper.

5. Know at least two safety procedures for each

of the above tools.[edit]
The main safety rule to follow with any tool is to use common sense.

Coping saw[edit]
1. Clamp your work firmly to a bench before cutting it with a
coping saw. You may wish to pad the clamp with a piece of
scrap wood so it does not mar the piece.
2. Be careful not to saw into the bench.
3. Keep your fingers clear of the blade.

1. Do not draw the rasp across your skin - it will cut skin even
easier than it will cut wood.
2. Do not strike a rasp with a hammer or mallet or it may shatter.

1. Do not test the sharpness of a plane's blade by sliding it along
a finger.
2. Retract the plane blade when storing.
3. Keep the blade sharp.

1. Do not push the knife toward another person (or yourself!)
when cutting. Imagine the path blade will follow if the item you
are cutting suddenly give way, freeing the blade. Always make
sure nothing is in that path.
2. If you drop a knife, let it fall. Do not try to catch it.
3. When handing a knife to another person, offer them the handle
- not the blade.
4. Do not throw the knife.
5. Do not use a locking knife unless the blade is locked.
6. For non-locking knives that fold, be aware that it may close on
your hand if you apply pressure the wrong way.
7. Do not pry with a knife - you may break the blade.
8. Keep the blade sharp.

1. Store the chisel with the blade covered.
2. Keep the blade sharp.
3. Keep both hands behind the blade.
4. Use a mallet with the chisel rather than pushing it along with
your hand. This will ensure that your hands are both behind the
5. Do not put a chisel in your pocket.
Sanding block[edit]
1. Do not throw a sanding block
2. Pay attention to the path of the sanding block. It is easy to
knock something over when you're paying attention to the
piece you're sanding instead of the surrounding environment.
3. Do not sand skin. Sand paper will abrade skin.

6. Cut out, assemble, and finish animal

bookends or doorstop.[edit]
Take a piece of wood that is square with a thickness of at least 1/2 inch
and draw the animal you want or use carbon paper to trace an existing
picture of an animal. Be sure to leave the bottom edge of the board
straight, as this will fasten to the flat part of the bookend. Use a coping
saw to cut out the animal shape. Sand the board to make it smooth and
remove all splinters. Once this part is ready, fasten it to the lower part
of the bookend at a 90° angle using two wood screws. The screws
should go through the horizontal bottom piece first, and then into the
endgrain of the vertical piece (with the animal cut-out). Drill pilot holes
before driving the screws or the boards will crack. The diameter of the
drill bit should be equal to the diameter of the screw minus the threads.
This can be estimated by holding the drill bit behind the screw. The
threads should extend past the drill bit, but you should just barely be
able to see the drill bit itself. Bore a countersink hole in the underside of
the horizontal piece so that the screw will not extend past the surface of
the board. When the holes are ready, drive the screws. At this point,
you can paint, stain, or varnish the bookend. Once the finish is dry, glue
a piece of plastic craft foam to the bottom of the bookend to protect the
bookshelf. The foam should create a non-slip surface so the books will
not cause the bookend to slide over.

7. Cut out and finish a garden stake or lawn

marker, using a design such as a child, bird,
flower, or tree.[edit]
Materials that you will need for this project include: 1/4 inch plywood (3
feet square), 1/2 inch block of wood (can be plywood or wood stock),* a
coping saw, a sanding block, and any art materials that you wish to use
to color the project once you have finished all other steps.*

 Note: Items marked with an "*" are not required for this project. You
do not have to paint the project, but it will look much nicer if you do.
Also, you can cut the stake part of this project below the design that
you select. However, the finished project will not be as sturdy as
one that uses the 1/2 inch block of wood.
Take your 1/4 inch plywood and draw (or trace with carbon paper) the
design that you wish to use for this project. When you are finished
drawing, take a coping saw and cut out your design. If you find that the
plywood is tearing out excessively, put the coping saw away and get
out a carton knife (or use a hooked blade on a pocket knife). Slice a V-
groove around where the saw will cut. This cut should go straight down
(90°) along the line, and angle in from the waste side. Next closely
examine the teeth of the coping saw, and re-install the blade so that it
cuts on the pull stroke rather than on the push stroke. You may notice
that a saw always rips out on the side of the board that the cutting
stroke exits. By using a knife to cut out around the line, there is nothing
to tear out, but this only works if the blade cuts on the pull stroke.
Then, sand the edges gently to remove the excess wood particles that
make the design rough and unfinished. Next, take your 1/2 inch block of
wood and cut it to about 18 inches in length and cut one end to a point
(it is best to make a 45 degree cut from both sides of the stake). Now,
attach your design to the stake using wood glue, finishing nails, or
wood screws.

 Note: If you are making the entire project from the 1/4 inch
plywood, the stake extends from the bottom of the design
anywhere from 12-18 inches. Do not cut the stake out separately,
but cut down beyond the design to make the stake.
Finally, you may decorate your project with paint, if you wish. It would
be best to put a water sealant on your project before placing it outside
so that rain will not ruin it.

8. Make a plaque, tray, notebook cover, or

some other useful object in which wood
burning is used.[edit]
Woodburning is the art of decorating wood or other materials with burn
marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object such
as a poker. It is also known as pokerwork or pyrography.
Pyrography means "writing with fire" and is the traditional art of using a
heated tip or wire to burn or scorch designs onto natural materials such
as wood or leather. Burning can be done by means of a modern solid-
point tool (similar to a soldering iron) or hot wire tool, or a more basic
method using a metal implement heated in a fire, or even sunlight
concentrated with a magnifying lens.
This allows a great range of natural tones and shades to be achieved -
beautiful subtle effects can create a picture in sepia tones, or strong
dark strokes can make a bold, dramatic design. Varying the type of tip
used, the temperature, or the way the iron is applied to the material all
create different effects. Solid-point machines offer a variety of tip
shapes, and can also be used for "branding" the wood or leather. Wire-
point machines allow the artist to shape the wire into a variety of
configurations, to achieve broad marks or fine lines. This work is time-
consuming, done entirely by hand, with each line of a complex design
drawn individually. After the design is burned in, wooden objects are
often colored, sometimes boldly or more delicately tinted.
Light-colored hardwoods such as sycamore, beech and birch are most
commonly used, as their fine grain is not obtrusive, and they produce
the most pleasing contrast. However, other woods, such as pine or oak,
are also used when required.
By far, the easiest option for meeting this requirement is to decorate a
plaque. Blank, unfinished wooden plaques are readily available at craft
stores. Begin by drawing your design on the wood with a pencil. You
can then proceed to burn your design into the wood with the wood
burning tool or with the sun and a magnifying glass. Choose a simple
design for your first attempt, as this technique requires patience and
persistence. Once the design is burned into the wood, it can be finished
with varnish, tung oil, or lacquer.