A carving bench provides a solid surface to work on wood carving projects. In addition to a solid surface, it also frees up both hands. If you have been carving without a bench, you will notice a difference in the speed and accuracy of your projects. Carving bench designs vary from large and stationary to small and portable. Portable benches are more versatile and you have the advantage of carving everywhere you travel. It is a smaller version of a stationary bench. For this reason a portable bench is a good choice for your first project.
How to Build a Carving Bench
Place the 1-by-6-by-6-inch boards parallel to each other on a work surface approximately 14 inches apart. These are the ends of the bench trestle. Place the 1-by-6-by-14-inch board in the center of the ends and perpendicular to them. This is the trestle center. Use a screw gun to put three 2 1/2-inch screws through the outside of the ends into each end of the trestle center. This is the trestle assembly.
Place the 2-by-9-by-24-inch board on top of the trestle assembly. Center and fasten it with 2 1/2-inch screws. This is the top of the carving bench.
Flip the bench over. Place the 1-by-9-by-24-inch board on top of the trestle. Fasten this bottom to the trestle. Turn the bench upright.
Drill 3/4-inch holes approximately one inch in from the edges of the top. Space them every two inches. These are for the bench dowel dogs, tapered dowels that hold the carving in place.
Use a draw knife to cut a tapered end on one end of each 1-by-6-inch dowel. The tapered end of the dowel should slide mid-way into the holes on the table. These bench dogs can hold work in place. Drill a 1/8-inch hole through each end of the bench bottom approximately two inches in from each end. These can be used to screw the portable bench to a larger work surface.
Adjust the size of the bench to accommodate the size of the wood carvings that you typically make.
Wear eye protection when working with wood.