Here is a quick rundown of how I carve a bird. If you prefer to cut it at the table as people request it then more power to you. In my opinion it is far less of a mess to cut the whole thing up before dinner and not have to do it after eating way too much food. Remember to let the meat rest for a half hour after cooking before carving it. This lets the juices work back into the meat and makes the turkey easier to cut up.
Lift the leg at the joint and cut straight through the center separating the two bones. I leave the skin on the drumstick for an extra treat.
Slice down from the back of the spine as close to the body as possible until you uncover the hip joint. Work the knife in between the bone and then slice straight down to remove the thigh. Repeat for the other leg.
Cut the bone away from the thigh meat. I like to chop the dark meat into large chunks for anyone who wants it. I will also use the dark meat before the white in most leftover turkey dishes later in the week.
At the base of the breast cut in toward the body until you hit the wing joint. Cut through the joint and remove each wing.
Cut the wing from the shoulder at the joint. Trim all the white meat from the shoulder blade and set aside for cooking. I like to leave the tip on the wing for those folks who like chewing on them.
Snap the back at the spot where the ribs meet the spine. You may need to use the knife to remove it completely. Pick over the back well removing all bits of turkey from the bone, which makes for excellent soup and stew meat.
At the bottom of the breast cut straight back from the base to the ribcage.
Flip the bird right side up and slice the breast straight down in pieces as big as you want. Repeat for the other side. Take the bones and carcass and place in a large stock pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam and simmer on low for an hour to make some excellent stock.