Pour the aspiring wood-carver and professional alike, a carving station is an uncomplicated way to hold a workpiece steady as you carve. The use of a large board with various ways to grip the work is nothing new, but this smaller version is easy to make and extremely versatile. You need only a piece of smooth and dense plywood, 14-in. by 28-in., and scraps of plywood and hardwood.
Different sides of the board adapt to different tasks. One side has fences and various filler strips that hold irregularly shaped work pieces in place with the help of a pair of wedges or cams. The flat side can hold a flat-backed blank screwed in place through the plywood. Mark the length and width center-lines in pencil on the flat side because they will come in handy for locating screws and aligning blanks. Also, for work that has symmetrically curved silhouettes, you can draw a system of grid lines on the plywood.
On the side that has four fences screwed and glued to it, place three of the fences set in from the edges by 1.5-in. or so. Set the fourth fence flush with the edge of the plywood base. The longer inset fence provides a long edge that is perfect for holding pieces of molding in place, and the flanges created on the shorter sides allow you to secure the carving station to a bench or table.
Many wood-carvers who do detailed work prefer to carve on a slanted surface so that they can see the workpiece clearly without having to lean over. I made an angled easel that fits snugly into the fence side of the carving station. The ends are two 30/60 right triangles made of 3-in. plywood, connected by two rectangular pieces that overlap the triangles. The triangles are located to fit between the short fences on the base. I also notched out the ends to fit over the two long fences.
Source by David Leryco