[Leg Vise Chop] Starting Carving

Got a little time in the shop left after repairing my jack plane iron—that’s another post—time to start carving!

First I transfered the design using tracing paper (rub a pencil to cover the back in graphite, then retrace the design on the wood).  Then I used a 1/2″ bench chisel to make stop cuts around the larger portions of the banner.  It will be draped over the bottom section of the dragons so it is the high ground, so to speak.


After the stop cuts were made, I went around all the curvy parts wih my carving chisels and made more stop cuts, then started to hollow out the background around the banner and undercut the main part to give it a 3D look.

Once I was satisfied it was deep enough, I started on the left side and knocked down the two layers of the curled banner.  When I had three distinct layers I called it quits for the day.  It was 100 degrees in the garage and I needed to change clothes!


Man, this poplar carves nice.  Silky, like basswood only denser.  I really like it!


About Steven M. Vaught

A native son of Delaware, now living in Illinois, Steven is a writer, family historian, amateur astronomer, sometimes-gardener, woodworker, father to three wonderful children, husband to a wonderful wife, and caretaker of one cheeky vizsla.
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