View Full Version : Carving bench

Doug Carpenter
09-19-2009, 10:02 AM
Does anybody use something like this:

I have an older electric drafting desk that I am going to convert into somethinglike this. The table will be much bigger like 48" by 30". The desk make a nice base because it raises and lowers with a motor. And it goes high enough to stand at. The table tilts with a lever. This is a good option because checkering is slow work and it is nice to change positions one and a while.

I work on gunstocks. I have a checkering cradle clamped to the desk now but having a new top with holes for hold downs will give me more options.

I am going to build the top out of LVL material. I made a bench that I posted on the projects thread called concept to share. The top will be made the same way. I have already cut my peices.

I guess your holdown needs differ based on what you do. Since a gunstock has no place for holes a carvers vise doesn't seem to apply. Woodcraft has a nicelooking vise that mounts in a 3/4" hole. I will probably get one and add it to my arsenal. I'm thinking of a tray to organize my checkering tools too. They get mixed up easily because there are so many of them and the cutters are so small that one you set one down you spend ten minutes finding it again!

Charlie Kocourek
09-20-2009, 2:00 PM
HI Doug,

I think you are on to something and I like it very much!!

I designed and built an adjustable height workbench for regular woodworking. I use a scissors jack to adjust the height and I have another scissors jack that is used for a mobile base. You can see my bench at my website, jack-bench.com.

Later I found a really nice drafting table at a garage sale that is very solid. The height and the ange of the table are adjustable with one lever. I bought it with the idea that it would make a great carving bench. I have not used it yet, but I think it will be perfect!

I have not gone to the projects page yet, but I will. I would like to see some pictures of your drafting table.


Doug Carpenter
09-20-2009, 4:31 PM

That bench is really nice. I think the adjustable part is awsome. I think it would be good to sell the plans. Do you plan to sell the jack as well as the plans?

I bought plans for a dupicator carving machine from a guy that just sells the plans. I think it was like 20 bucks. I am going to post pictures of it too. I thought a thread of shop made tools, benches, fixtures and jigs would be fun.

I will post pictures when my carving desk is done. I was really fortunate to come upon this motorized drafting desk. Actually a friend of my brother's gave it to me for helping them install a window. It has a drafting machine on it as well and I am trying to decide if I am going to install it on the new desk top as well. It has a light on it that slides along with the tool and the light is really a neccessity when checkering a stock. Trouble is I am going to make the new top smaller so I'll have to cut the parts on the drafting machine to install it. Once cut it will never be anygood for the bigger top. I would like to make it a dual purpose thing because now and again I draw plans for jobs that I have coming up.

I would be interested in seeing your drafting table. I don't think I've ever seen one like you describe.

Charlie Kocourek
09-21-2009, 10:17 PM
Hi Doug,

I am glad that you looked at my website and that you liked my bench design! I used regular scissors jacks like the ones we have in the trunks of our cars. I got them at a salvage yard for about $15 each, so I don't plan to sell the scissors jacks. If I can find a source I might sell the crank handles. I also thought about making and selling jigs for routing the dog holes. First things first. Right now I still have to finalize the plans! The plans are turning out really well and they are almost done.

I don't have a picture of the drafting table that I bought. The table is kind of buried in my garage. The next time I get at it I will take a few shots and post them on the Creek.

Thanks, Charlie

Doug Carpenter
09-21-2009, 10:25 PM
Oh wow. I guess I was thinking the jacks were somthing bigger than car jacks. Have you sold many of the benches?

I was thinking of taking a picture of the drafting desk I am going to use but I too have alot of stuff pile under and around it so I'll have to clean a little first.

I'm curious......I may have to buy a set of plans just to see what you did.

Charlie Kocourek
09-23-2009, 10:32 PM
HI Doug,

The bench you see on my site is the only one. I built it for myself to use. It was going to be my dream bench. And it is! I am an active member of the Minnesota Woodworker's Guild and we have a furniture exibition every year called Northern Woods Exhibition and I decided to make it nice looking so I could show it off at the show. The bench was a big hit and everyone loved it!

I had conversations with at least a hundred different people that week. Of course lots of people wanted it for a workbench, but I was surprised how many people talked about using it as a piece of furniture. One guy wanted to use it as a table in his game room. Another talked about using it at their cabin. People thought it would be cool to use it as a table and that it would make a great conversation piece.

By the time the show was over I decided that I would sell it if the right person came along. Consequently, the bench is in my basement with a blanket over it. I have never even used it! Go figure. After I get the plans done I will give it a year or so to see if that right person comes along. If not then I'm gonna finally start using it!

I will let you know when the plans are done.


Peter Benders
09-24-2009, 9:31 PM
wow... this is designer stuff, i would love to have one in by seating area