I am looking to carve the book side texture shown on this wooden carving of a small book:

book side texture screenshot

but on the sides of pinewood box measuring 14 x 9cm x 4cm. This is the area I wish to carve on:

surface to carve texture on

However, I'm not a woodcarver and am unsure what will be needed. I think I need a 1/4 V tool to achieve the effect but am very unsure. Don't want to end up purchasing expensive tools i might not need. Also, the wood on the outside isn't very thick so I don't want to end up accidentally creating a hole and damage the surface I'm working on. Would appreciate and be very grateful if anyone could offer me a quick tutorial.

2 Answers 2


Depending on the size of your book and the size of the groves you want to add there are different tools you can use:

Wire brush

You can make the natural grain of the wood more defined by running a wire brush along the surface several times. Always drag the brush from one corner to the other one to avoid unevenes in the structure. Wire brushes come in different hardneses and the harder your brush is, the more defined the structure becomes. I only ever used a hand wire brush for this technique and I suspect a rotary tool doesn't work well.

Test on a waste piece how the wood reacts to this treatment. In general this creates a very fine texture like natural wood grain. If there are areas of softer and harder wood, the texture will be uneven.


You could simply saw some very shallow lines into the wood with a hacksaw. I'm thinking about 1mm depth, so it's basically just "drawing a line" instead of actually sawing.

The disadvantage is that you might create a lot of splinters and it's hard to create an even line over the whole length of wood. Mos of the time the cut is deeper at the edges than in the middle of the wood.

X-acto knife / crafting scalpel

You can create fine lines by dragging the tip over the wood. In the first pass, slant the knife to one side and in the second pass slant it to the other side. The result is a narrow V-shaped groove. You can see a very short tutorial on YouTube.

The advantage of this method is that you can create thick and thin lines and either very exact and parallel lines or lightly uneven lines with the same tool, depending on how much you slant it and how straight you cut the lines.

Nail or other sharp object

You can drag the tip of a nail or similar sharp point over the wood. The advantage of this method is that you can use a ruler to make the lines straight. It also creates a rougher texture than the wire brush, which might suit a big object better.

Apart from a nail (that might need sharpening) you can probably also use the tip of a screw, the edge of a hacksaw blade or metal ruler or other hard edges you find in your workshop. Again, try it on a waste piece of wood to see how your individual tool works.

V-shaped file

You may already have one lying around, but it may not be long enough for your book. Just file some shallow grooves into the wood. Pretty self-explanatory.

Whatever you can find lying around

I'm sure there are countless other methods you could use. Look around at what objects you already have and experiment.

  • 1
    Similarly to a couple of these ideas, I'd try making a bed of nails using scrapwood, and dragging that across. Like a very coarse, sparse wire brush
    – Chris H
    Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 13:34

I'd suggest an U-shaped carving tool. V-shaped is harder to work with.

Here is 2 mm U-shaped carving tool and grooves it makes. This one costed me ca. 10$. It is also useful thing in household.

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