Carving - Fine Woodworking How-To


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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  • Carved Pulls Give a Handmade TouchCarved Pulls Give a Handmade Touch

    by Timothy Coleman

    There are times when a traditional door or drawer pull doesn’t seem right, or is not practical, as in drawers located behind doors. For these situations, a pull ...

  • A Journey to BombéA Journey to Bombé

    by Thomas McKenna

    A bombe chest is a tour de force for a woodworker, requiring a combination of excellent technical skills, eye for detail, and period furniture acumen to pull off. ...

  • How to Carve a ShellHow to Carve a Shell

    by Randall O'Donnell

    Learn how to lay out and carve an 18th-century-style fan

  • Applied carvingApplied carving

    by Will Neptune

    A traditional and useful technique, applied carving makes it easier to get a smooth background than carving done "in the solid," where you have to lower the background ...

  • Dress Up your Furniture with Surface CarvingDress Up your Furniture with Surface Carving

    by Michael Cullen

    Walk past a piece of furniture with surface carving, and the light dances on and off the carved surface, creating highlights and shadows that are in motion from ...

  • Carve a Shell on a Cabriole LegCarve a Shell on a Cabriole Leg

    by Lonnie Bird

    Though it seems intimidating, carving is easier than you might think—this shell carving on a cabriole knee is a good example. Based on the ones found in Pennsylvania, ...

  • Carvings Cap an Impressive ChestCarvings Cap an Impressive Chest

    by Jonathan Binzen

  • Tale of a Tea Table TopTale of a Tea Table Top

    by Anissa Kapsales

    The top of this tea table appears to have a mitered, scalloped frame but is actually a solid piece of carved mahogany. How does period furniture maker Allan Breed ...

  • Carve a Decorative FanCarve a Decorative Fan

    by Philip C. Lowe

    The visual centerpiece of Phil Lowe's Queen Anne lowboy is this carved fan, which decorates the bottom center drawer. This motif was a popular element for this ...

  • Man or Machine?Man or Machine?

    by Anissa Kapsales

    The unique work of Duncan Gowdy shows landscapes in wood that are so complex and consistent that it would be easy to assume they were carved with a CNC router or ...

  • Pro Portfolio: Carving toward HomePro Portfolio: Carving toward Home

    by Jonathan Binzen

    Duncan Gowdy carves a powerful sense of place into his furniture

  • Image not availableWoodworking Specialties

    by Fine Woodworking editors

    Online resources for boatbuilding, carving, turning, and crafting instruments

  • How to Sharpen Woodcarving ToolsVideo: How to Sharpen Woodcarving Tools

    with David Sabol

    This excerpt from the new Taunton DVD, Woodcarving Basics, shows how to make gouges and V-tools razor sharp.

  • How They Did It: Shaped to PerfectionHow They Did It: Shaped to Perfection

    by Grant Vaughan

    See how he creates undulating forms without touching a lathe

  • Learn to Turn Barley-Twist CandlesticksVideo: Learn to Turn Barley-Twist Candlesticks

    with Ernie Conover

    Find out how to lay out, carve, and smooth this distinctive open-twist shape

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