Book Review: Whittling in Your Free Time

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Book Review: Whittling in Your Free Time

Tom Hindes’ new whittling book is a winner for beginners

Best-selling author and whittling wizard Tom Hindes returns with another great book.

Whittling in Your Free Time is essential for any woodcarving novice, or even those who have a bit of experience and are looking to try something new. This must-have guide showcases a beginner-friendly flat-plane woodcarving style, and features 16 animal projects, each of which can be accomplished in just one short sitting. With simple step-by-step instructions, a dash of Tom’s witty humor, coordinating photography, and guidance on finishing each piece, Whittling in Your Free Time is a perfect resource for sharpening your carving skills.

Sean Syman, prolific carver and new WCI contributor, said the book is full of “nice, easy, approachable projects” and walks you through the “fundamentals of woodcarving.”

“One of the things I really appreciate is the mention of basic cuts you can do with your knife, and also the discussion of carving with the grain and how to best use woodgrain to your advantage,” he said.

Watch Sean’s full review here:


Sean Syman carved a dolphin from Tom Hindes’ latest book, Whittling in Your Free Time.

Sean grew up in New Zealand and enjoys making things with his hands, playing guitar, hiking, camping, sailing, and traveling. He currently lives in Toronto, Canada, and intends to explore the United States while living out of a camper van.

For his unique carvings, Sean uses a combination of woods—instead of paint— to achieve a natural contrast of tones. He enjoys working with hard woods like cherry, maple, and walnut, as well as the traditional basswood. A lot of his designs are inspired by Pokemon and other pop culture characters, and most recently, native birds from his homeland of New Zealand. To learn more about Sean and his carvings, visit Instagram @symanwoodcarving.

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