Most of my woodcarving has been rather small stuff, 3 inches square, 4 inches square, 4 by 6, 5 by 7, nothing very large. It’s been my practice to hold it securely in a frame like device that has movable stops. If a stop doesn’t fit the work piece exactly, a couple of wedges tighten things up.
It works great. Nothing moves. Nothing slips. All cuts are secure. Yet, sometimes the directions of cutting is awkward. Oh yes, one needs to become ambidextrous in tool handling and that’s not very hard. However, there are times when the angles just don’t work out well for either hand.
So, I tripped across someone using a different method (YouTube, you know). Actually, I’ve seen similar work several times. The work piece is loose, but jammed into a corner or into other stops to absorb the work force. Other than the moments that cuts are being made, the piece can be moved around easily and quickly. Some wood workers plane wood this way. One particular arrangement for “stops” looked interesting, so I fabricated the contraption. As you see, it’s simply a pair of wood strips with notches cut in them. Since, I’m right handed, arranging them as shown is natural. The work piece can now be quickly oriented in almost any direction and always have two points of contact to keep is steady.
This box lid is about 3.5 inches by 6 inches and I’ve used this frame for both hand powered cuts and mallet assisted cuts. It’s worked well for this piece. And… all of the work is done atop my carving bench, or my BoB, bench on bench.
Oh yeah, none of this works well unless the screw slots are “clocked.”