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Spoon carving frustrations

Discussion in 'DIY and Traditional crafts' started by Tony, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Robson Valley

    Robson Valley Full Member

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    Sorry for the double picture. This is light-weight to be used 1-handed.
    The fingertips are 1/2" apart. You can see that the blunt end of the "pointer" is 1/2" from the mark.
    The Pointer assembly with Arm 2 is a slider on the Spine.

    The wood carving being measured is the right front leg of a 24" green sea turtle.
    Hollowed on the underside, I wanted to see 3/4" birch wood thickness.

    Just as easily could have been a stock pot ladel.
     
  2. DanBow

    DanBow Nomad

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    I've only been at it a couple of weeks. So far I've learnt that I need to use the axe more but I'm still struggling on carving the bowl and the intersection between spoon and handle.
     
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  3. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    That intersection, where the grain changes direction/pitch, is the one place where you have to 'feel' the wood and you know if you've got the blade sharp - it needs to be like a razor :)

    If you can't get it quite right with a blade, sandpaper may sort it.
     
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  4. Ogri the trog

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    One of the best pieces of advice I was given came from you Tony.

    Some years ago you advised that "a spoon had to fit three places - your hand, your bowl and your mouth!"

    Admittedly, I had already tried several spoons by that time, and I don't carve that many, but it struck a note with me and has rung true every time I carve one.
     
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  5. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
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    Thanks for posting the pic Robson Valley, good to see and simple to make goodjob

    It's great hearing about your experiences, keep it coming!
     
  6. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
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    Nothing worse than a spoon with lovely grub on it that doesn't fit in your mouth :D
     
  7. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Can't get that image out of my mind!

    grub on spoon - 25.jpg
     
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  8. DanBow

    DanBow Nomad

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  9. Tony

    Tony White bear (Admin)
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    Ha ha, that's a big old grub!

    DanBow, yeah, I hear ya, at the Winter Moot I did this big ladle, left most of that bark on for a while and when I took the bark off I'd gone through the bottom of the bowl and not noticed, right pain! So, bark off earlier in the process from now on!
     
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  10. Fraxinus

    Fraxinus Settler

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    When working difficult grain on a spoon project utilise the stop cut method that we employ when working with an axe. Use the knife to make small 'V' cuts across the grain so the knife does not blindly follow the easiest grain route.
     
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  11. mr dazzler

    mr dazzler Native

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    I've been carving for maybe 15 years, probaly a lot longer since the early 90's? I cant remember, but maybe 10 years since I started on spoons. But regardless, I would say the best 3 things to study as a new spoon carver (or any sort of carver) is 1/ learn how to sharpen (remember angles) 2/ Read the structure in all the species of wood 3/ devlop a feel for 3D form
    As any joiner will tell you, any cut into wood will work much more efficient if its skewed (blade at an angle to the direction of grain so it slices rather than snow ploughing and raising splits.
    On those transitions on concave areas of a spoon, try cutting moving very slightly forward, but with a long sideway's slicing action, you cut the opposing fibres before they have time to open up into a split
    On difficult wavy, quilty, tangly grain, take 6 or7 or 8 very light cuts instead of one heavy cut
    Go as far as possible with each tool. By that I mean don't fanny about axing when you could do some splits, or waste time doing with a knife what you can do with an axe. I use a huge scorp to save time on bowls nowadays, the spoon knife does the fine finish that's all
    Don't get into the "I must get this that and the other designer tools" mentality
    Don't reject a spoon as a revolting munter too readily, sometimes it isn't instant seeing a good form in a particular piece of wood
    Don't get precious with wood and don't be afraid to take risks
    Oh yes, almost forgot, to develop strength in your fingers and thumb, carve spoons out of old wall studs. I do dozens, its also a good way to try different forms if you simply haven't got a nice log of cherry or apple to hand. LOL just yesterday I did 5 and experimented with SCORCHING what a carry on, the bowl was around 1 1/2 mm, caught alight and POOF the side of the spoon disappeared
    Check out Jogges knife grips video series (on MORA's youtube channel) Its an education
     
    #31 mr dazzler, Mar 23, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  12. Dean

    Dean Mod
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    What I have noticed when I teach spoon carving is that first time carvers develope tunnel vision with regards to the neck of the spoon, 90% of the time I have to tell them to leave it alone or they are going to loose the handle and to work on removing waste from the back of the bowl which many new carver leave as a really thick egg cup, also telling them to slow down and take their time and to enjoy whittling rather than racing though the process. Sharp tools work better than blunt, yes you is allowed to use sandpaper if you wish, don't worry if your spoon looks like a monstrosity you should have seen my first one and the more you carve/practice the better your spoons will become.
     
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