As with any art, wood carving involves learning the basics of design, along with material selection and tools and techniques, as well as wood-carving safety. The requirements of the Wood Carving merit badge introduce Scouts to an enjoyable hobby and that can become a lifetime activity.


  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while wood carving, including minor cuts and scratches and splinters.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Earn the Totin' Chip recognition.
    2. Discuss with your merit badge counselor your understanding of the Safety Checklist for Carving.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Explain to your counselor, orally or in writing, the care and use of five types of tools that you may use in a carving project.
    2. Tell your counselor how to care for and use several types of sharpening devices, then demonstrate that you know how to use these devices.
  4. Using a piece of scrap wood or a project on which you are working, show your merit badge counselor that you know how to do the following:
    1. Paring cut
    2. Basic cut and push cut
    3. Score line
    4. Stop cut
  5. Tell why different woods are used for different projects. Explain why you chose the type of wood you did for your projects in requirements 6 and 7.
  6. Plan your own or select a project from the Wood Carving merit badge pamphlet and complete a simple carving in the round.
  7. Complete a simple low-relief OR a chip carving project.



  • Beiderman, Charles, and William Johnston. The Beginner's Handbook of Woodcarving. Dover Publications, 1988.
  • Berry, P. Start a Craft Wood Carving. Book Sales, 1996.
  • Bridgewater, Alan. Carving Totem Poles and Masks: Native American Folk Art. Sterling, 1991.
  • --------. Woodcarving Basics. Sterling, 1996.
  • Green, Larry. First Projects for Wood Carvers: A Pictorial Introduction to Wood Carving. Schiffler, 1996.
  • Guldan, Mary D. The Complete Beginner's Wood Carving Workbook: Ten Ready-to-Use Patterns. Fox Chapel, 1996.
  • Hillyer, John. Woodcarving: 20 Great Projects for Beginners and Weekend Carvers. Lark Books, 2002.
  • Tangerman, Elmer. Carving Animals in Wood. Dover, 1995.
  • --------. Whittling and Woodcarving. Dover Publications, 1962.
  • Toney, Tina. Easy Weekend Carving Projects: A Complete, Illustrated Manual. Fox Chapel, 1996.