£5 eBay spoon carving knife set review

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Clickhappy

Full Member
Jan 3, 2016
39
10
Coventry
I ordered this set a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't find much information on it so now it's here i thought I'd share my initial impressions with you.

I'm not an experienced wood carver but tried wood carving on a general bushcraft course and decided that it was something I'd like to spend some more time doing.

This is the set I went for:
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.co.uk/ulk/itm/283216802842

It was the cheapest I could find and I didn't expect it to be up to much but when it arrived it looked pretty reasonable. The edges of the blades however were crudely ground and had machining marks all over. I put some 320 grit aluminium oxide paper on the bench to improve the edge followed by 600, 1000 and 2000 grit wet and dry. The blades seem fairly soft as it was quick to remove material but have come up nice and sharp.

I've never tried to sharpen a crook knife before and would have been a lot less comfortable giving it a go if it wasn't so cheap. I put marker pen all over the bevel then practiced getting the angles right to sharpen the whole blade. Couldn't avoid taking slices out of the wet and dry paper while working on the middle of the crook.

Here is a picture of my first spoon, I've made it from green lime wood.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,131
1,286
McBride, BC
You have done very well for an early effort. Sharpening is 1/2 the work. Do more.
I have carved lots of spoons, forks and dishes. I'd eat with your spoon.
Your advantage is in that you will have some useful experience when you look for better quality tools.
You got lucky, too = some cheap tools are impossible to sharpen with enormous frustration.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,131
1,286
McBride, BC
NO. I have no difficulties sharpening any edges (except diamond for electron microscopy.)
I start at 600 and finish with 0.25micron AlOx.
Some cheap tools have good metal and they are easily worked. Clickhappy found some.
Other edges are very poor metal. They go into the clay box or the soapstone box.
 

Clickhappy

Full Member
Jan 3, 2016
39
10
Coventry
I've just got back from a friend's place where I used his Mora spoon knife. The edge was far sharper and the bevel on the back of the back of the blade really helped when working on the bottom of the bowl.

I think I'll have a go at removing some of the material from the back of the blade using a grinding wheel to reproduce the rear bevel. Need to have another go at sharpening the edge too.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,131
1,286
McBride, BC
Clickhappy: all the crooked knives used in wood carving here in the Pacific Northwest have the bevels on top.
Every farrier's hoof trimming knife has the bevel on top of the crooked blade (great wood carvers, too)
However, dedicated spoon carving knives often have the bevels on the outside/bottom.

I have yet to read any realistic explanation of the reason(s) for the difference.
The shavings should spall off the bevel face, just as the slabs do when using a froe.
Just as the bark does when using a big draw knife on a 48" western red cedar log.

My advice is to go ahead, fool with it to see if you can figure out the value.