Serving Board


Look at all of that flat surface, 8 x 20 inches of it!  Not a hollow in sight.  So when I made this walnut serving board recently, I just had to sculpt the bottom.


img_0402If you’re short on green wood, this might be a great project that will help hone your adze skills.  I started with a dry walnut board, 1 1/2 inches thick, that I had around.  I penciled some guidelines on the edges, then worked cross-grain with the adze — working in toward the middle from both edges to avoid blowout.  I quickly pared over that surface with some cross grain gouge work, then hand-planed the top smooth.

The recipient is fond of the pineapple motif, so I carved a series of them on each end using simple gouge chip cuts.  I first realized the incredible possibilities of this technique through Peter Follansbee’s work in reproducing the furniture and carving patterns of the 17th century.  Here is just one of Peter’s posts over the years incorporating the technique in a variety of ways.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Essentially, you drive a gouge straight down, then make an angled second cut somewhere behind that to remove a chip.  By varying the size and sweep of the gouge, the distance between cuts, and the arrangement of the elements, all sorts of interesting shapes and patterns can be created.  Effective and a lot of fun.





This entry was posted in finding wood, patterns, Uncategorized, walnut and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Serving Board

  1. mysticcarver says:

    Elegant and beautiful .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul Anderson says:

    Dave, Your serving board looks great. I have made a few bread boards by cutting some larger logs parallel on the to the two sides of the pith. This produces two nice quarter sawn boards. I already have plenty of wood chips, so why not make a bread board out of the wood. My old chopping block even produced some nice boards out of soft maple with some very nice spalding colors. Thanks for sharing. It is always nice to see beautiful uses of the wood around us.


  3. Mark says:

    What gouges did you use for these particular pineapples?


    • Dave Fisher says:

      Mark, below are the gouges I used, but keep in mind that sweeps from various makers can vary and a number of other combinations could produce pleasing results. Designs can be adapted to use the gouges one has on hand. I’ve bought a lot of carving gouges over the years, and a selection comes in handy for stuff like this.

      Sides: #8 25mm
      Leaves: #8 10mm and #7 11mm
      Bottom: #8 6mm
      Middle Divisions: #6 14mm


  4. Michael says:

    A Happy New Year, David. That is another lovely piece of craftsmanship, and it is a reminder to me that my neighbour, who is a cake maker, said there is a growing market for hand made cake stands for weddings etc., (turned or carved? I’m not sure which, or maybe both). I did have a brief look around the Internet and there are some constructed with reclaimed wood and nicely finished, but I want to find some decent sized pieces of timber to make ones out of single pieces, I’m not sure what timber – have to make time to experiment, nothing ventured – ….
    Anyway thanks for sharing. All the Best.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s