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Kuksa / Kasa / Cup

Discussion in 'DIY and Traditional crafts' started by Kepis, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. Kepis

    Kepis Bushcrafter through and through

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    Next project, not carved a cup for a little while, although im not sure i have the strength in my hands currently to carve this big ol' lump of dry Sycamore.

    [​IMG]20181015_153539 by Mark D Emery, on Flickr
     
    zornt likes this.
  2. crosslandkelly

    crosslandkelly A somewhat settled

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    Looking forward to see how you do on this.
     
    Kepis likes this.
  3. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Could you 'start' the carving of the bowl by drilling some large diameter holes first?
    Easier on your hands.
     
  4. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    At least a few 3/4" Forstner bit holes and bash out the webbing between the holes.
    Very effective for any large feast dishes, there's still all the pleasant finishing work.

    Even a single hole gives you the essential "stop cut" to carve towards.
    A 9/15 gouge for rough out is quite fast.

    Depth: about 1/4" to 3/8" short of close-to-the-line. The hard point of a Forstner bit
    crushes the wood ahead of it to leave tell-tale white dimples in the bottom of the bowl.
    You can carve those away.

    If not, then a farrier's hoof knife sharpened ar 12*-15* is effective.
     
    norfolknun likes this.
  5. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Even the Same artisanal kuksis, that cost loads of money, have the bowls roughly hollowed out using machines.

    So do not feel that you are cheating by using technology! And it will save your hands.

    (edit: The Sami word for these cups is 'kuksi')
     
    #5 Janne, Oct 16, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  6. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

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    I've been thinking about this for a while. A finnish friend told me years ago about a ring shaped piece of steel mounted on a 3MT arbor, that is used to rough out kuksat. I've not ben able to get a 2MT blank arbor threaded for a 10mm drawbar for my mill; the blank arbors I can find are all 3/8" Whitworth threaded.

    So my other ideas were to use a big Fortner bit to rough out a flat bottomed hole (I think I might have a 3" or even a 4" diameter bit). Or even, to use a hole saw and a big spade bit in the centre, then use a circular slitting saw blade on a long arbor to cut from the centre hole cut by the spade bit out to the line sawn by the hole saw.
     
  7. Paulm

    Paulm Full Member

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    I've made a few by hand and it's very hard work, especially if the wood is not particularly green which doesn't help !

    There was a time and effort saving removing the bulk of the waste with a forstner bit, I used a 1" or so size and several holes as the larger bits would just stall the drill press, and then gouges to finish.

    Now I'm back up and running with my woodturning lathe I'm thinking of roughing the shape out on the bandsaw and turning the inside of the bowl on the lathe, and possibly doing the lower part of the outside on the lathe also. Will have to experiment a bit and see how it goes.

    Not got the same entirely hand made ethos of course, of axing out the blank by hand and carving with gouges and knives, but I've done that too, and although very satisfying I probably wouldn't rush to do any more that way as it takes me ages and kills my hands !
     
  8. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    There are no prizes for the time used to do the rough-out.
    None. Might as well hog out the waste as fast as you can.
    Then spend the time to focus on all the lovely fine hand work to finish.
     
    Paulm and Janne like this.
  9. Keith_Beef

    Keith_Beef Native

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    I stumbled upon a very interesting video on YouTube yesterday; a chap in Derbyshire demonstrated making a kuksa. He covers selecting the wood, the best tools and the basic tools that you can get away with, carving techniques (lots of very useful advice), advice on drying and sealing.

    I have some gouges, don't yet have a push knife, but I'm looking out for a clog makers knife, and I'd dearly love a twca cam.
     
    Hunkyfunkster likes this.
  10. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
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    Good video, great for getting people from a lump of wood to a finished kuksa goodjob
     
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Great vid, very informative.
    Traditionally kasas were always made either from a burl, or a heavily curved bole/branch junction.
    Less chance of splits and cracks..
     
  12. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    I use 1/2" and 3/4" Forstner bits to drill a lacework of holes in the rough for most bowls and dishes.
    Then use a mallet and gouge to knock out the standing wood. Might take 30-60 minutes.
    Then you get to fool with the real carving part.
     
    Janne likes this.
  13. norfolknun

    norfolknun Full Member

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    Brilliant video. Also a helpful guy when asked questions (on his Facebook page)
     
    Hunkyfunkster likes this.
  14. Hunkyfunkster

    Hunkyfunkster Full Member

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    Have a look for Alex Yerks, if you haven't already. He's the Kuksa king. Very knowledgeable man
     

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