Large carvings are a rewarding challenge. While the work and time involved
to create a large carving can be enormous, the results are almost always
worth the effort.
One of the biggest challenges encountered in working with large carvings is
positioning them so that they can be carved comfortably.
Many years ago I built the carving cradle shown below just for holding large
The pictures shown below are not laid out as a pattern, they are simply to
give you an idea of how you can make your own cradle to help you with your
own large carvings.
Notice that the carving is positioned on a slant. This allows me to more
easily raise the carving from time to time to keep my perspective.
The overall dimensions of the cradle are:
68 inches long (at the floor level) / 35 inches from the floor to the top of
the crossbars / 24 inches wide.
The carving cradle can also be used for very, very large carvings. This
walnut log was over 12 feet long when I started carving it (I carved a large
Indian face in it). Later I cut the log down to 8 feet long.
The crossbars at the top keep the carving from rolling during carving.
I used old pieces of carpet to cover the crossbars to keep from scaring the
wood during carving.
The crossbars are bolted to the long platform to allow me to more easily
take the cradle apart for storage when not in use.
The board at the bottom of the cradle acts as a "stop" for the base, keeping
the carving from sliding down as I'm working on it.
The cross-bracing shown here was actually added after carving a few large
Indians. The crossbars used to extend on down and out, but I found myself
tripping over them when walking around the carving. And believe me, you
don't want to trip when you are carrying razor sharp woodcarving tools.