Friday, 29 March 2013

Spoon carving tutorial Pt 1

I thought it may be a useful resource to document in detail how I carve a spoon from start to finish, so I will take loads of photographs of the various stages and try to detail how I approach things as well as trying to throw in some tips for beginners as I go. Firstly though, let me say that anything I put up on here that is my own design or idea (rare though that may be), is put there to share ideas so I don't mind if anybody copies at all:- feel free. I only say that because I read some discussion recently on a social media site about etiquette when borrowing a design (which in my blue collar ignorance I was unaware of).
    Anyway, to get started - the only tools I use apart from a saw when preparing the original billet, are the 3 in my banner, viz:- Gransfors carving axe, frosts sloyd knife and Helgess spoon knife. I was going to go and get a nice log to use but realised the wife had borrowed my motor so I,ve had to use a piece of willow I had lying around. Its not a timber I'd favour for making treen as it is rather soft in my opinion; but on the plus side its dead easy to carve (akin to chilled butter with a good sharp knife).
The billet is a quarter of a log split radially through the pith. I did a course with Fritiof Runhall, as I think I have mentioned before, and follow to a great extent his methods. Fritiof always orientates the spoon so that the open bowl faces the bark and the handle is as close to the cambium layer as possible. Therefore the picture above shows the underside of our spoon. The first job is to work out where the front rim of our spoon will be and set about creating a nice flowing crank, from handle to bowl. Here I have marked out roughly where front rim will be.

So I axe at about 30 degrees up to the front rim to start forming the shape of the bowl.

It is important at this stage to take a shaving off each side of the bowl to ensure there will be sufficient thickness, this will become apparent later on.

Now you can see I've axed down to our rim from the top of the bowl, making sure I'm pretty parallel. This will be a useful reference plane for when we start removing material from the upper face of the spoon. I've also started to remove material thin the handle beyond the bowl.

Now to start removing material from the underside of the handle. Not too much at this stage but starting to form that nice curve. Remember we want the upper face of the finished handle to be as close to the bark as possible.

Ok that's far enough for tonight, I'm not very good with computers so this is a struggle for me. I've got further with the spoon but I will document that tomorrow, I,ve got banjo practise to catch up with......

This weeks tune is Hell broke loose in Georgia, love it!!


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