Proud of my Buddy #1: First attempt at carving

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Blog entry by Lee A. Jesberger posted 08-03-2007 12:59 PM 3985 reads 1 time favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Hi all;

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I always mention my buddy Bruce, and here’s a post dedicated to him, (even though he’s still alive) knock on wood.

He has no experience in wood carving, other to set a hinge or something.

When we were building the Philadelphia Pie Crust Table, he would work on parts like turning the post, laying out the pattern for the top, as well as cutting it out and hollowing the middle of it with a router. The 1 inch thick board becomes about 5/8 inch in the middle area. These are rough numbers, don’t hold it against me if I recall the wrong numbers. The wood is Mahogany.

Well when it was time to carve the edges around the top, I was still working on the legs. Those legs gave me a lot of trouble. Something about the way the ball and claw foot is formed went against my instincts, I guess.

Anyway, I told Bruce to carve the top. He said you’re the carver, I don’t know how to carve. I told him to give it a shot.

The work he did was nothing short of spectacular! Had he been carving for thirty years, it wouldn’t have been better. Faster maybe, better, no.

He has no idea what carving tools I have, there’s only a couple to chose from, so he would ask what to use in what area, but that was pretty much it.

Now he still claims he can’t carve, but I think he means won’t.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

29 comments so far

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

657 posts in 4437 days

#1 posted 08-03-2007 01:08 PM

By looks of that edge carving I would have to say he’s a keeper!! Change of grain direction can be tough at times and from the picrutres it looks very nice!! Well done!

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4464 days

#2 posted 08-03-2007 01:23 PM

Well done, Bruce. This is spectacular. And this is a “first time out”??? I am in awe. As Lee had said, if you had been doing this for 30 years—I would still be in awe!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4283 days

#3 posted 08-03-2007 01:38 PM

Hi Roger,

That’s the only thing that gave him any real trouble. working from the edges to the center.

Other than that, he picked it up rather quickly!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4283 days

#4 posted 08-03-2007 01:40 PM

Hi Debbie,

I may pass this on to him. Maybe not. (he’ll ask for a raise). Everytime he learns a new trick, he wants more money! LOL


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4266 days

#5 posted 08-03-2007 02:02 PM

Dang, Lee, I always thought those pie crust edge tables used applied trim. That is great work. Now I want to see the rest of the table and more construction photos. You should write this up for Fine Woodworking Mag. I’d also like to see the jig you used to remove the excess wood from the center. I assume you used a router? Give ol’ Bruce a pat on the back, he did a great job. I can also under stand the ” can but won’t” I have a few things like that myself. While you’re at it how did you calculate the edge so it came out perfect?

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4038 posts in 4367 days

#6 posted 08-03-2007 02:11 PM

Way to go Bruce!
I’m glad to see the bottle of Satellite City Hot Stuff Special-T CA glue and hardener there in the background. Even the pros need chip-out protection!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View TomFran's profile


2960 posts in 4298 days

#7 posted 08-03-2007 02:36 PM

This is some outstanding woodwork. When you say that you own a “high end” cabinet shop, that is no exaggeration! This is some “high end” stuff. That being said – Give Bruce a raise ;^D

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4618 days

#8 posted 08-03-2007 02:38 PM

darn rookies

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4570 days

#9 posted 08-03-2007 03:17 PM

Excellent work! Yes, let us see those feet that were giving you trouble. I’ll bet they came out great too. Donna

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4381 days

#10 posted 08-03-2007 03:37 PM

Outstanding workmanship. Beautiful!

I agree with dennis about these “rookies”!

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View mot's profile


4925 posts in 4340 days

#11 posted 08-03-2007 04:39 PM

Well, I’ve said it before…it’s nice to see someone so heavy on talent! I should have picked my grand parents better! Lovely work!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4464 days

#12 posted 08-03-2007 05:05 PM

oh Tom – I think you are full of it—talent I mean!
You do amazing work, with wood AND with the video camera (oh, and your words)..

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4614 days

#13 posted 08-04-2007 01:32 AM

Extremely beautiful work! How I’d love my first time at anything to come out that well. He’s been watching you, Lee. You sure he hasn’t been sneaking in some practice carving while you weren’t looking? LOL. You are a great friend to expose his talent to the world.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Karson's profile


35164 posts in 4704 days

#14 posted 08-04-2007 03:37 AM

This is a great job. And a great tribute to a friend and employee to trust him to something like that. You knew within your heart and mind that he has the unrealized talent.

A fantastic job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Buckskin's profile


486 posts in 4291 days

#15 posted 08-04-2007 03:48 AM

All I can say is WOW! If you consider it beginers luck double WOW, but I think you have one heck of a craftsman on your team. W0W, WOW!

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