Thai wood carving applies to hand carving to make figurines which represent both religious and mythical figures. Besides this seemingly simplistic use, the handcrafting of larger artworks is applied in creating plagues depicting nature, as well as mythical creatures. These are then used to adorn temples interiors and exteriors, including ordinary, everyday non-religious buildings.
The intricacies of the carving symbolize the importance of the carving tools. For hand carving of figurines such as the mythical dancer Kinnari which is found in the national museum in Bangkok. Here a cutting tool such as a knife and a chisel may have been used as well as some of the following hand tools for carving.
A short slightly curved bladed carving knife, used for rounding off sharp edges and corners, as well as for cutting, paring and smoothing wood. The gouge, known for its curved cutting edge for carving round, hollow and sweeping curves and comes in a variety of sizes and different forms. Chisels have a straight cutting edge and are used for cleaning up flat surfaces to allow for better definition of a line. A coping saw is a small saw that is used to cut off a chunk of wood and a u-gouge is a specialized tool with a u-shaped cutting edge. The common sizes of all these tools vary to allow for better detailing. Special screws are used for attaching the work onto a workbench, while strops and sharpening stones are used for edges are all part of the crafting arsenal.
Naturally, some of the tools used today are modern adaptation and improvements of ancient models from centuries ago. Due to the requirements of finer and speedier detailing, this essential carving equipment had to be improved upon. While the appreciation that handmade products require time, anything to sharpen the skills of master carvers is always a welcome improvement.