A Carver’s Platform


In the natural course of things here at the Hay shop we only carve occasionally, but over the last few weeks it’s been the daily activity for Bill and I. That much bending over is fatiguing on the neck and back when working at normal bench height. After participating in a two week carving class working 12 – 13 hours a day, we were sold on the advantage of having the carving at elbow height. So before we started carving the side board for the up coming symposium, we joined together a pair of carving platforms.


The general form is based on a design by Steve Latta.  We modified materials and construction to be more period appropriate. The overall height of the platform is simply the difference between an individual’s working bench height and elbow height. The rails are tenoned through the stiles, glued and wedged.  Thick tenons on the top of the stiles are fit tight dry into the underside of the 1 1/2″ thick top so that it can be taken apart and stored more conveniently. The front stiles run 3″ below the bottom stretcher so that they can be held in the vise or with a hold fast. A line of holes run down the center of the top for the use of small holdfasts.


More about this at the symposium, but right now it’s time to get back to work.

Merry Christmas!   Kaare

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6 Responses to A Carver’s Platform

  1. Dennis Heyza says:

    I remember Steve’s platform from a few years back and had one on my list. I like this one better because it looks more period and the overhanging front legs. Can’t wait to see it in person next month. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone at CW.

  2. Jamie Bacon says:

    A very practical and good looking solution. And they certainly look stout. I really like those. Hope to get down and check things out after Christmas. Just out of curiosity, what does the IR carved into the end grain of the one top stand for?

  3. Douglas says:

    Those wedged tenons seem to be spreading out into the side to the let’s grain. Doesn’t that risk splitting out the sides? My instinct would be to run the tenons vertically (turned 90 degrees). I could well be totally wrong about that, let me know.

  4. I couldn’t agree more on having one of these. I’m sure I don’t do nearly as much carving as you guys but I probably spend just as much time carving because I’m very very slow at it. I built a separate bench for this purpose and called it a joinery bench because it also happens to be an excellent place to cut dovetails. Of course I’m not sticking to a period shop either so my carving bench has an ipod dock built in so I can groove while I carve.

  5. Ed Minch says:

    A note for Brian – sorry I don’t know how to get a hold of you otherwise.
    I was at the Symposium last week and asked if you could post a video of your turning the last three balls on the leg of the gate leg table. You said you would consider it. I had a table project 80% designed when I came, and your work inspired me to finish the design. Thanks

  6. Andy says:

    Great Platform. I like the idea that it can be taken apart for storage as I already am limited on space and will take on board the height information as I tend to suffer back pain when carving for extended periods of time. Appreciate the detailed information. Thankyou.

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