Scarcely discussed and rarely practiced today, whittling is an art of self-entertainment and accomplishment - a revered art of the past. My mother used to tell me about her love of whittling. She described whittling figures in cages, a wooden chain, and even a chain with a ball & socket swivel holding a ball in a cage... all carved from one solid piece of wood. She also described whittling a complete dollhouse full of furniture! She enjoyed this diversion while growing up in the 1930s and 1940s.
With the advent of television, computers, video games, x-box, etc., the art of whittling has become an anachronism. I suppose there are still some whittlers out there, but it's definitely not the pervasive hobby of the past.
E.J. Tangerman first published this treasury of whittling back in 1934. It is a complete text of whittling and carving and, covering historical aspects of the art, provides detailed photographs of intricate woodcarvings, including panels, caskets, staircases, reliefs, and altars. This book includes information on whittling instructions, wood types, tools, and templates. It provides illustrations of finished whittling artistry. Most readers would not be interested in this book, but I highly recommend it for those intrigued with the past or those looking for a valuable historical hobby. Whittling and Woodcarving (Dover Woodworking)
on December 28, 1999
Written in the thirties this is the whittler's magnum opus. Classic whittling tricks and projects, soap carving, etc. Get this book, a pocket knife and a chunck of white pine. Find a shady tree or a park bench and whittle away. Want to make a pair of operational box jointed wooden pliers?, a ball in a cage?, a wooden chain? Tangerman will walk you through the process step by step. It is easier than it looks. I have a wooden chain with a ball in a cage hanging in the shop for people to casually discover. When they do my stock goes up three or four points right away.