Sunday 4 September 2011

Carved Box Top

Looking at blogs the other day I was inspired when I came across the carved top to an oil stone box on

Kari had made such a beautiful reproduction of the one she saw I decided that I would have my first attempt at carving by trying to make one to my own design (about time I used the 50 or so carving chisels I've collected over the years).

To start with I decided to relief carve a jack saw just to make sure it was within my abilities. This didn't come out too bad (maybe a little like a child had done it) so I decided to draw up a design that could be transferred to wood. I thought that if I used my name on the wood it would make it personal to me, I also chose four tools I use a lot - a mallet, jack saw, level & bevel (in case you couldn't tell!).

Using some spray adhesive I fixed it to the piece of beech I'd decided to use. I know beech isn't the ideal wood for carving (believe me I know now!) but it this has got to survive in the back of my van so needs to be hardwaring and pretty tough.

Happy with the layout I set about chopping round the design then removing the background. It's pretty difficult to get the background smooth (I'd imagine it would be easier with lime or a softer wood) and I got to a stage where I was going to do more harm than good if I carried on.

I then tried to make the tools look 3d and give them detail before giving it a coat of linseed oil.

I'm now going to buy a piece of walnut to make a box for a new(ish) oil stone I brought at a car boot and mount this in the top so it should contrast nicely.

It's never going to win any awards, with so many imperfections everywhere I look, but I'm quite pleased that I managed to have the patience to carve it (and I really enjoyed doing it)


  1. Pretty good for a first attempt kev!

  2. Thats a nice bit of work, well done. carving can be very satisfying and its pretty quiet so its relaxing too .

  3. I'm impressed, I cant have a go at you for owning carving chisels and not using them now!

  4. Well done. That's a beautiful piece, even for an experienced hand.

  5. Thanks for the comments everyone. It's really encoraging, I'll have to try a few more but I'll need an idea that grabs me first!


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