It’s called the Wood Carvers Swipe File. This is how you create the ultimate collection of ideas, things to do and bucket list items for your future carvings – that’s organized.

First, let me explain what the swipe file is.

A swipe file is a term used by a group of professionals who write for a living. Sort of like what I do here, but they’re better at it. And they’re better at it for several reasons.

1. Practice. like whittling, wood carving or anything that’s going to bring vast amounts of pleasure, you have to practice. I don’t know why we were designed this way, but we are. So practice every day.

2. They’re curious. No kidding. These guys and gals will explore everything. That’s why they’re paid the big bucks to write.

3. They’re flat out cheaters! It’s in a good way though. They’ll copy other writers styles and sometimes use the same words to get their point across.

To copy others, these writers will build a vast collection of files, sometimes nicely organized, into a thing called The Swipe File.

I only know this because I’ve spent a vast fortune on learning from these folks and have built several “writing” swipe files of my own.

That said, swipe files work great for all kinds of pros. But it’s the not so pro that’s going to benefit most from these gems.

So, let’s build a quick Carving Swipe File for your use.



Right click and add a new file to your desktop.

Name it “WoodCarvingSwipes” or whatever you prefer.

Inside that folder, you’ll want to create a new folder for each new category and subcategory as you need them. Like this:

> Bear
> > BearStanding
> > BearSitting
> > BearCub
> > > BearCubOther


This image is an example of inside one of my many swipe file folders. This one’s actually used for writing, but with a few changes I can use it for bigger carving projects. They’re fantasic for dioramas.

You can do it however you like, and go as deep as you want into the subcategories.

Okay, that’s your digital swipe file.

You can do the same with folders and file cabinets. This can get a bit bulky however, and an additional outbuilding may be required at some point. Especially if you’re a wood carving magazine subscriber.

The point of this is to keep all your images, notes and links organized.

I know from experience, files, especially images of wood carvings can overtake a computer, making it hard to get around. The wood carvers swipe file tidy’s it all up for you.