Center the template on the bar after prepping it for carving, and outline the template.
I like to use a clear, flexible, six-inch ruler to check that my lines are straight. With your lines drawn, make deeper stop cuts to outline the design. This makes the design easy to see.
Make stop cuts. Then, holding your detail knife at a 45-degree angle, start carving away the bottom sides of the boat. You can also use a chisel or skew knife.
Keep working your way around the boat. Leave extra carving space around the flag so it is stable until you are ready to detail it, near the end. Tiny, delicate areas can break off easily if the project is being moved around a lot.
Chip, chip, chip away!
Tidy up the sides.
Add details with your knife and chisel.
I supported the backside of the flag as I gently carved away excess soap. Notice how much extra soap I left around the flag to be carved later.
I held the soap steady as I made my final cuts.
Wet sand, detail, and finish to your preferences. Ahoy!
Excerpted with permission from <a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1565239210/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1565239210&linkCode=as2&tag=craftfocom-20&linkId=f23f1388906abbf47a3a7343073c2d91">The Complete Guide to Soap Carving: Tools, Techniques, and Tips (Fox Chapel Publishing)</a>.