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Inspire, Instruct, Equip: The Three My Chip Carving Goals


1. Inspire

2. Instruct

3. Equip


When I first founded My Chip Carving I was determined to accomplish three things, to “inspire, instruct and equip” chip carvers around the world.


Inspire, Instruct and Equip: The Three My Chip Carving Goals

I’m glad to say that this focus has remained the same.


My Chip Carving Goal #1: Inspire

Almost everything I do has inspiration at the core. I want you to know the feeling of “I can do this!”

If you’re just getting started or restarting after a frustrating first attempt, I’ll direct you to the Chip Carving Essentials Course if we don’t have the privilege of face-to-face interaction.

When each lesson is followed and the time is given to learning how to get a scary sharp edge on your knife, how to properly hold your knife in order to get a consistent 55-65 degree cut, and how to remove 2-sided and 3-corner chips, you’ll quickly experience success = INSPIRATION.

The whole reason I introduced EZboard to the woodcarving world was to help anyone struggling with basswood but still wanting to carve. Whether this was a new woodcarver or an experienced carver battling arthritis or muscle weakness, using EZboard will help overcome these hurdles and bring encouragement instead of frustration = INSPIRATION.

When I developed the MyChipCarving Knives, all of the design elements were meant to help you know what it’s like to chip carve with a sharp knife that’s easy to hold correctly and feels great in your hand. Combining these elements will help INSPIRE you and experience that “Aha moment” when a chip comes out cleanly with just 2 or 3 cuts.

So my questions for you this week, “Have I inspired you with your chip carving? If so, how?” Comment below

“If not, what has frustrated you so I’ll know what I can do differently to inspire you?” Comment below

It will help me if you’d take a moment and let me know your answers to these questions. You can also email me at marty@mychipcarving.com



My Chip Carving Goal #2: Instruct

Having taught in the classroom and online for 30 years, education definitely had to be a key component of MyChipCarving. It’s one thing to be a talented carver and another to be a competent teacher. Most of us have been in a class where one of these two skills was lacking.

I took a carving class once where the INSTRUCT
or was a phenomenal carver and known as one of the best in this particular style of carving. At the start of this 5-day, I had the goal of learning this style well enough to continue learning and practicing it alongside chip carving. In other words, I wanted to be INSTRUCTed and inspired.

Around day three I ran into a roadblock with the piece I was working on. When I managed to get the INSTRUCTor to my work station, I asked, “Where do I go from here❓

Without saying a word he picked up my chisels and mallet and “wham, bang, chop, bing” he carved the next part of my project, and said, “Do the same on the other side” and walked away.

I was left standing there and said to myself, “I know you know how to do it! But I don’t know how.”

I didn’t learn one thing from that interaction and had to figure it out for myself. If I didn’t have the background I did with wood, I’d have been completely lost. Needless to say, I was pretty frustrated.

Have you heard this❓ 

‘Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.’

 Of course, you’d guess, I strongly disagree.

“This derogatory phrase comes from ‘ George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Man and Superman’. The phrase from Shaw’s drama series written in 1903 has survived the test of time to become a consistent irritation to teachers far and wide.”

My goal with INSTRUCTion is to take you wherever you’re at in your chip carving and move you forward, one step at a time. The fundamentals are crucial as you first get started. More advanced techniques are helpful as you seek smoother cuts, avoid chip out and have the desire to carve more complicated patterns that include positive image designs, letters and numbers, and multi-level chips.

My approach to life and chip carving is this, “There’s always something new to learn”

This philosophy is something I apply to my own chip carving and to this business. As I learn new things I’m always glad to share them with you.

Sharing with you and spreading the good word about chip carving led to the Certified Chip Carving Instructor Program.

“Hi – I am Todd.  I just completed the CCCI program and have to say it was excellent.  I was new to Chip Carving and wanted to learn as well as learn how to teach Chip Carving to others.  This is an excellent program that teaches you how to teach others while learning and improving your skills at the same time.  CHECK IT OUT.  You will not be disappointed.  One tip for all the other newbies – PRACTICE.  10 minutes a day makes a difference.”

Graduates of this program will become better chip carvers and confident and qualified INSTRUCTors. The more CCCI Graduates there are, the better it is for chip carving. It helps fulfill my end of the video tagline, “Introduce a kid to chip carving.” And, of course, “kids” come of all ages. 

I can’t personally teach everyone interested in chip carving face-to-face, and that’s where the CCCI Program fills the void.

Some questioned my business sense with this program thinking it would “steal my thunder”. That’s the last thought I ever had. My approach has always been, “There’s plenty to go around!” And that definitely applies to INSTRUCTing others!

Would you please take a moment and reply to these questions.

Your reply will help me help you and many others.

What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned about chip carving from my instruction? Comment Below

What is something you’d like to learn more about? Comment Below

Remember – there’s always something new to learn!


My Chip Carving Goal #3: EQUIP

Let me give you a little background that has shaped how I’ve tried to equip you so you can learn how to successfully chip carve. 

This past week I spoke to a new MyChipCarving Member who told me a bit about his history with chip carving. He’s had chip carving knives for quite a long time but never learned how to use them because drawing the pattern on the wood was more than he could handle. 

You know… “ start by drawing 4mm x 4mm squares and then 2mm for the line and start measuring from the middle using your t-square and then draw corner to corner using your soft lead mechanical pencil and then…” 

When I first started chip carving in 1985, I spent more time drawing than I did carving!

I knew EXACTLY how he was feeling and could have completed his sentences for him!

EQUIPping you to easily apply the pattern is crucial. When I first started MyChipCarving I created lessons on how to draw rosettes and carried t-squares, pencils, compasses, and french curves in the Store. But as soon as I started to apply technology to solve this problem, those products and lessons weren’t needed anymore. The Pattern Transfer Tool was the best solution and remains #1 to this day for our pattern application needs.  

And then his knives…” I’ve got these ceramic stones but I don’t know if they’re really getting my knife sharp?”

Having sharpened with ceramic stones myself, I knew firsthand he could do better and experience firsthand what carving with a sharp knife truly feels like. Maybe you know the feeling after using the Scary Sharp Knife Sharpening Kit. When developing this Kit my goal was a system that was easy to use, affordable, and scary sharp results. These testimonials indicate I hit the mark! 

“I purchased the knife sharpening kit. For a long time, I have been overwhelmed with all types of systems on the market. After reviewing the helpful video and began, I have never had a dull moment. I would highly recommend this product. For the price, it is well worth it.” Tom

“WOW! How can anything so simple be so good.” Gerald

“I was skeptical after watching the video. I ordered the kit anyway to see for myself. I couldn’t believe the edge it put on my chip carving knives. I also used it to sharpen my lathe tools, my other woodcarving tools, and my pocket knife. I got an unbelievable sharp edge on all of them. I have oil stones, ceramic stones and this system puts a better edge on them than any of the other methods.” Lynn

During MyChipCarving startup years I had to sell another vendor’s knives that were immediately available. Unfortunately, they were unsharpened. When I began developing the MyChipCarving line of knives I knew a few items were “must-have” if I were to accomplish my goal of producing the best chip carving knives on the market. 

First, they had to be delivered sharp! You shouldn’t have to know how to sharpen before learning how to chip carve. Talk about a stumbling point and discouragement to learn how to chip carve! It’s important to know what it’s like to carve with a sharp knife from the very first cut. Then you’ll learn how to hone the edge to keep it sharp and next how to sharpen if your knife loses the sharp edge you’ve grown to appreciate. Second, all knives MUST HAVE thumb notches on the handle to help establish a proper technique and consistent angles on all cuts. Third, full tang blades (the tang is what’s inside the handle) were a given. No shortcuts with short blades! This is how determined I was to EQUIP you with great chip carving knives!

Great knives and an easy and fast way to get the pattern onto the wood were important as is providing you with things to carve! Things that you WANT to carve!

EQUIPping you with fun and useful chip carving projects, made from some of the best northern grown basswoods in the country is just as important as having the tools and instruction needed to complete the carvingMy radar is always up scanning for projects that I think you’d find enjoyable to display or give away. Whenever I’m in a craft store my wallet rarely leaves my pocket but my phone will come out to take a picture of a potential chip carving project. Instagram is also a good place that I use to get project ideas

I’ve received quite a few project ideas from many of you which is a big help! Thanks so much!

Do you have a project idea(s) you’d like to me know about? Comment below

Thank YOU for allowing me “to Inspire, Instruct & Equip”  you with your chip carving for the past 13 years!

Inspire, Instruct, Equip: The Three My Chip Carving Goals