My woodworking adventures have lead me to learn how to carve linen fold panels. My online searches has produced less than stellar result in comparison to what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, there are a couple of pretty good sources, but they are far and few between. The best I could find was two videos, one by Mary May and the other by Nora Hall. Both are absolutely great, but neither are free. I sprung for both as I wanted to learn as much as I could. The plaster cast piece on top of my carving is from Nora Hall, it is a very valuable tool for your first endeavors and highly recommended if you are to attempt this yourself.
From my research, the historically accurate wood to use is quarter sawn oak. While I didn’t have any of that sitting around in the shop, I did have some glued up straight sawn oak panels. I thought what the heck, lets start there. Well the results where much more brittle than I expected. Some of the edges splintered out and I just couldn’t control it like I was hoping. The oak I am using has been in my shop for about ten years, its dry, probably too dry, but its available and it was free.
One of my weakest areas in woodworking is carving, frankly I have done very little. So this will be a fun adventure over the next few weeks. Good sharp gouges and chisels are critical, hone often to keep them at peek performance.
As time will allow I plan to attempt this in some quarter sawn oak, poplar and basswood.