Get creative with your line carving by trying these decorative techniques.

In this Woodworking Wisdom video Ben guides you through some techniques to help produce a decorative surface, adding beautiful embellishments to your finished pieces.

Ben demonstrates using a blow torch to scorch the surface of a range of wooden projects. He then uses line carving techniques to cut away a design into the scorched surface, showing the clean timber texture through the black surface.  

How to achieve the finished look

Using a blow torch, simply wave the flame back and forth over the workpiece leaving a blackened surface. You may notice some cracks appear as the timber cools, which can give a rustic look.

Leave to cool before you touch the piece.

Before carving you will want to rub down the carbon surface with a rag or tissue to rub away the top layer of carbon. 

Experiment with paints

Don’t have a blow torch, why not try using paints or spray lacquers instead?

Hold the can 30cms from the surface and use the same back and forth movement, to leave a light layer. Repeat once dry. 

You could also do this with airbrushing. However, avoid stains, as the aim is to colour the wood and not penetrate the surface. 

Line carving tips

Ensure your workpiece is held securely, to keep your hands free and safe. 

Carve away from your body and always keep your hand behind the cutting edge.

If carving on a curved surface (like on a bowl) lift the handle as you follow the curve to avoid the tool slipping out of the cut. This also makes a deeper cut.

Dropping the handle will keep your control on the cut and avoid lifting the grain, keeping your cuts clean. It also gives a shallow cut.

Creative Carving

Tools for the job

We used Flexcut's 5 Piece Palm Tool SK Travel Package. This package comprises of the Flexcut 4 blade Palm Tool SK Travel Set, Flexcut KN13 Detail Knife and the Flexcut Knife Strop. Containing interchangeable blades, conformatbale wooden handles and a sharpening strop, this is the perfect package for carving on the go. 

More on carving

Explore more articles and top tips on wood carving - explore how to get started in wood carving or which woods work best for carving. Want to practice your skills, try carving your own wooden wand?

Show us your designs!

If you have had a go at these techniques, then we would love to see. Share with us your images on social media by tagging @axminstertools on Instagram or Facebook. Or email us at