When starting to carve, it is easiest to work with small sections of material. Fine material breaks easily in longer lengths. The length of a toothpick is ideal to start with, as you can clamp it to a cutting board or hold it in a pin vise.
- To Mark Your Wood
- If you are using a round toothpick or section of dowel, sand the back of it with medium sandpaper on a sanding block to help it lay flat while you mark it. I try to keep toothpicks as round as possible until final finishing as it helps prevent them from breaking. You can mark your wood either every 1:16 inch or every 1/8 inch depending on how fine you want your rope molding. In the following instructions I mark it for the molding shown in the photos, which shows a 1/16 inch wide segment, equivalent to roughly 3/4 inch in 1/12 scale.
- Lay the wood onto a cutting surface and clamp it firmly in place, or hold it firmly with masking tape on both ends while you mark it.
- Place a metal ruler alongside it as shown in the photograph and mark a start line across the curve from one side to the other.
- Mark off 1/16 inch segments down one entire side of your work piece as shown. Move the ruler to the opposite side of your wood.
- On the second side of your wood, offset your ruler so that your starting mark is on the first 1/32 mark on your ruler, and mark off 1/16 inch segments from this starting mark. You will see that the marks on one side of your toothpick are centered between the marks on the other side of your toothpick.
Measuring Tip . Keep your pencil marks in an even line at the edge of your ruler and keep them as straight as possible along the side of your piece of wood. Accurate marking will make more even molding.