Work Easel "carving easel"

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Project by KennethBirdine posted 03-14-2009 01:45 AM 4302 views 7 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hey MMH here are the photos you reuested of my work easel. It’s not very pretty but is gets the job done. It was constructed out of 2×4s and plywood so it wasn’t too expensive. If you make one I would love to see it when your done.



10 comments so far

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 4012 days

#1 posted 03-14-2009 01:50 AM

How does this work for carving? I would think that a flat surface would be better. Good idea though.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4445 days

#2 posted 03-14-2009 02:06 AM

I like it; being a rather tall fellow with a bad back I like the idea of not bending over the work.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3981 days

#3 posted 03-14-2009 02:12 AM

That’s a cool design. Easy, effective. Thanks for showing.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Bureaucrat's profile


18341 posts in 4105 days

#4 posted 03-14-2009 04:25 AM

This is pretty cool. I never thought of carving other than horizontally. Given my back, this looks like a solution.

-- Gary D.

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 4176 days

#5 posted 03-14-2009 05:24 AM

It looks sturdy and practical and relatively easy to make. I like this idea a lot. It has a lot of usable components and yet it’s simple. It must work as look at the quality of work coming off of it!

Q: Do you find the need to reposition the work frequently? Is it better to have the clamp to hold it in different positions and angles, or could you make a removable shelf with a 2×4 that would allow the crafted piece of wood to rest on, using clamps on the upper area. The 2×4 could have additional wood screwed on it so it could be inserted into the exisiting slots you have for the clamp. Does this make sense?

Hey, is that a monkey on your rack???

I see you have a Rigid bandsaw. We bought one after giving an old Craftsman away and found the Rigid to have a problem with the wheels not being balanced. After tinkering with it, it works, but it does shake at times. Have you had this problem?

Thanks for sharing. I’ll definately let you know if/when I make one.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View KennethBirdine's profile


106 posts in 4171 days

#6 posted 03-15-2009 10:09 AM

Thanks guys.

Hello Cabinetmaster,
I guess it’s really a matter of preference but I’ve found it to be easier for me to do relief carving on an easel for these reasons:
1. I can step back and look at the progress of my piece.
2. It helps me keep the right proportions, the same reason painter paint on easels (so I don’t make the head look too big etc).
3. I’m not hunched over straining or injuring my back.
4. I can see how the carving looks under similar lighting to when it is hung or installed (this is key because we are carving to catch light and cast shadows).
Thanks Cabinetmaster for the input.

Hey MMH,
I don’t find the need to reposition my work frequently. But sometimes the clamps get in the way so I carve around them until pretty much everything else is carved then I’ll reposition the clamps. I like to place the clamps if possible in diagonal corners of the piece, the pressure seems to be more balanced that way. I think I understand what your saying about the movable shelf and it sounds like a good idea to help hold up your piece until you clamp it.

Yes that is a monkey hanging on my easel, a gift from my wife.

About the Ridgid bandsaw, I haven’t had a problem with it, it’s quiet and sturdy. Ridgid has lifetime warranty on there parts so if I were you I would contact them and let them know and they’ll help you out. Now if someone would come up with a bandsaw blade that never breaks.
Thanks MMH


View Arnold's profile


215 posts in 4015 days

#7 posted 03-16-2009 04:39 AM

I would like to buy a set of chisels, but have come up empty. Seems like you kinda buy chisels based on the style of carving that you do. Unfortunately I’ve never carved so don’ t know where to start.

I am planning on buying swiss made, which I see from the picture they are not. They look like two cherries to me.

So my question is.. Do you have any advice?

To give you insight….
I like what you carve.
relief Carving

I was looking up Chris pye’s recomendations for chisels. Not sure if you agree.

Not sure if this was the place to ask this.

View KennethBirdine's profile


106 posts in 4171 days

#8 posted 03-18-2009 05:07 AM

Hello Arnold,

For any one starting out I suggest that they carve small projects to begin with which builds confidence and understanding of the process without taking a long time to complete the projects. When you start off small it only requires smaller tools which requires less of an investment. I started off using a set of six or so smaller tools which worked fine until I wanted to carve larger. And a side note if I hadn’t of started small I probably wouldn’t be carving today.

As for tools I suggest starting out with a set of pear or acorn shaped palm held tools, I included a link below. A warning, most tools don’t come sharpened completely even if they have an edge on them and sharpening or honing is a craft within itself. Honing puts a razor sharp edge on the tool readying it for use usually done with a whetstone. The tools might come from the factory sharp enough to carve basswood but they won’t be their sharpest. That is unless you can find a set that says they are ready for use, if they don’t say that assume they aren’t. Most beginner sets should work for you as long as their quality. Once you’ve carved a while you’ll know what tools you need to add to your collection.

I didn’t start out using Two Cherries but I don’t see myself buying any other brand from this point on. I bought two Cherries professional Set/6 carving tools and a smaller v-shaped tool after that didn’t come in the set. Using these plus the smaller set I had I haven’t had a need to buy any others as of yet. I will purchase more in the future to replace my old smaller set and add some specialty tools along with some tools intended for 3d carving and larger projects. Two Cherries are German made and more expensive than some brands but you get what you pay for and I learned that the hard way. Two cherries takes a little while to Hone because the steel is so strong but once they are honed they hold their edge a really long time. So if you decide to go with Two Cherries you won’t be disappointed. Stubai and Pfeil I’ve heard are good brands that use German Steel but I’ll stick with Two Cherries.

Another suggestion is to buy some books. I bought “Wildlife Carving in Relief ” by Lora S. Irish and “Step by Step Relief Carving” by David Bennett and Roger Schroeder. These two books I mentioned give good basic techniques for starting out. I would also suggest taking some classes if you can. If I could do it all over again I would have went to school. There is a good school up north from me that teaches carving but it’s about an hour or so away and it never worked out with my schedule. I’ll probably get up there one of these days. But learning hands on from an experience carver will give you a shortcut to success. And they can show you how to sharpen your tools which will help you by leaps and bounds. If you can take a class you might want to hold off on purchasing your tools and use the ones they’ll supply. If you can’t take a class you’ll need sharpening supplies including instructions in book or video form.

This is the link I mentioned earlier and is the place where I bought my Two Cherries. The Gentleman that helped me was extremely professional and experience in wood working he even gave me some tips on honing. Call them with any questions and they’ll be able to help you out.

I don’t see myself as a master carver or sharpener I’m still learning but I’ll help you with any question you have if I’m able. Let me now what you decide and I look forward to seeing your work.

Thank you,


View Arnold's profile


215 posts in 4015 days

#9 posted 03-18-2009 06:26 PM

Thank you so very much,

I will try what you suggest. I am amazed at what you accomplish with the tools that you have. My reluctance is spending all that money for something that I want to do, but not sure that I can do to my sarisfaction. Starting using small chisels will definitely let me know if I want to or tell me if I can carve. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question.

Keep up the great work
Thank you Arnold

View KennethBirdine's profile


106 posts in 4171 days

#10 posted 03-24-2009 04:47 AM

Your welcome Arnold, let me know how it goes.
Thank you


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