Primarily an ornamental treatment today, carving on furniture has its origin in purely practical reasons, such as the need to shed water, prevent dust buildup, disguise joints, or provide softer edges. Similar to molding, which may be thought of as a
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  • Relief-CarvingRelief-Carving

    by John E. Meyers

    John E. Meyers compares relief-carving to a magician’s tricks; here, he explains how to visualize the foreground and background as many layers. He talks about how ...

  • Cabriole KneesCabriole Knees

    by Mack S. Headley, Jr.

    Colonial Williamsburg cabinetmaker Mack Headley explains how to make a leaf pattern on a cabriole leg adapted from one found on a chair from the 1740s. It’s a strong, ...

  • Turning and Carving PiecrustTurning and Carving Piecrust

    by Eugene E. Landon

    Here are 17 photo-illustrated steps demonstrating how to turn and carve a piecrust top, using traditional methods. The original of the table shown in this article ...

  • Carving a Scallop ShellCarving a Scallop Shell

    by Mack S. Headley, Jr.

    Colonial Williamsburg’s Mack Headley, Jr., offers step-by-step instruction how to carve a shell. He explains the numbering system of carving tools and the importance ...

  • Carving Incised LettersCarving Incised Letters

    by Roger Holmes

    Fine Woodworking’s Roger Holmes talked to Frank Cushwa, of Kent, Connecticut, about how he came to the art of carving lettered signs and how others can carve them. ...

  • KerbschnitzenKerbschnitzen

    by John Hines

    John Hines took a class from Wayne Barton on chip carving, or kerbschnitzen, which describes a style of carving that uses a short-bladed knife to cut intricate ...

  • Cabriole LegsCabriole Legs

    by Philip C. Lowe

    Philip C. Lowe reviews the history of the cabriole leg and its foot styles and explains how to make a Queen Anne style leg, which terminates in a spoon foot, also ...

  • Linenfold CarvingLinenfold Carving

    by Rick Bütz

    Linenfold carving originated around 1450, and surviving pieces show how stylized it became before being replaced in the Renaissance by floral patterns. Rick Bütz ...

  • Twist TurningTwist Turning

    by Eric Schramm

    Mostly used in reproduction and repair and for Mediterranean-style furniture, spirals are not truly turnings because most of the work is really carving, writes ...

  • A Carver's TricksA Carver's Tricks

    by Eric Schramm

    Eric Schramm has developed a few time-savers over the years. He re-ground butt chisels to make a set of four round-nose chisels, which he uses in place of many ...

  • Chip CarvingChip Carving

    by Rick Bütz

    Chip carving is one of the oldest forms of decorative woodcarving, and it’s also one of the simplest, according to Rick Bütz. He explains how to sharpen a straight-edged ...

  • Relief CarvingRelief Carving

    by Rick Bütz

    Many woodworkers might wish to incorporate carving into a furniture design, but they shy away, fearing it would involve far too much time. Rick Bütz writes that ...

  • Ball and Claw FeetBall and Claw Feet

    by A. W. Marlow

    Alastair A. Stair takes you on a journey across cultures in this history of the ball-and-claw foot and its regional variations, in terms of how the muscles are ...

  • Carving LabCarving Lab

    by Robert L. Buyer

    Robert L. Buyer shares some simple exercises in basic tool handling to enable beginner carvers to save time fumbling around in how-to classes. These exercises concentrate ...

  • Tackling CarvingTackling Carving

    by Robert L. Butler

    Carver Robert L. Butler offers novices an outline of which tools to get to start carving (hint, don't break the bank), what size project to tackle, and photos of ...

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