I was crushing pretty badly on the carved oilstone holder I photographed at the Brown International Tool Auction and Dealer Show (at right), so I decided to make one.
I'm using my other current crush—Swiss Pear—for the carved section of the lid, and bacote for the box itself.
First, I carved a practice piece with pine and found that the carving doesn't need to be very deep—in fact, too deep doesn't look good—to achieve a 3-dimensional appearance.
I also discovered that it's best to sneak up on the final outline of each tool, otherwise you might chip out a section by mistake.
I used gouges that matched the curves and chisels for the straight lines to define the shapes of the tools.
Once I removed the waste from the background—only 3/32" deep—I cleaned up the cuts around each tool to create their precise shape.
Some edges of the tools were dinged up in the process, but they were to be beveled in final form, so no big deal.
Only three little tools are finished and some rough areas in the background need to be smoothed, but I can see why someone would want to carve the lid on an oilstone holder: It's fun!