Edited 8/21/09: A couple of years ago I took an intro class on wood carving. The school had on hand some carving benches for the students to use but, naturally, I had to make my own design. Below is the design that I came up with. It was small enough for me to lug to class and large enough to handle most of the carving projects that I anticipate doing. It also allowed me the flexibility to accommodate various sizes of work and be able to reposition them without unscrewing and re-screwing braces. It can be clamped to a workbench for stability and a task light can be clamped to it. The dog (pup) holes are also handy for holding a few gouges at the ready without them rolling off the bench top.
My Sketchup model of the bench top carving bench.
My actual carving bench in use. I had not yet installed the drawer because In hadn’t settled on a final working height for the bench itself.
-- Best regards, Jack -- I may not be good, but I'm slow -- www.BarnhillWoodworks.com