Turning and Carving Piecrust
Traditional methods still pay off
Synopsis: 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 is at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia.
A piecrust top looks intimidating, but even a beginner can carve one with sharp tools and some attention to the order of events. You don’t need many carving tools—a -in. #5 gouge (or one suitable for the shape of cove to be carved), a #2 gouge about the same width and a medium-size flat chisel will suffice. I’ve probably turned and carved three or four dozen piecrusts, and can tell you that the job is very satisfying. Be sure, however, that your wood and your glue joints are sound. I once had a knot catch the tool while turning a 30-in. blank, and the exploding top left permanent marks on both my shop and my memory.