Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Spoonfest spoons

Here are the spoons I made/started at spoonfest. They're made from sycamore and cherry, using some of the techniques I learnt at the festival.





Birch scoop and spoons

Here are a few spoons I made before heading off to Spoonfest. The scoop is the first I've made. The curve of the scoop follows the original curve of the branch it was carved from. 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Handling knives myself

I've always admired woodware that has tastefully done kolrosing or chip carving. At the recently Spoonfest, I was unfortunately unable to go along to Janharm ter Brugge's engraving class. I have however purchased a chip carving blade and a stab blade from Nic Westermann. I'm aware that engraving, kolrosing and chip carving can all be done with regular wood carving knives I wanted something I would feel comfortable with. I can't think of a better way to ensure that a knife is comfortable to use than making the handle myself.

Using a piece of hawthorn, I carved out two handles, both styled on the handle my Ben Orford sloyd knife has. I'm quite pleased with the results and surprised at how quick they were to make, busting out each on them in an evening after work. With the handles and blades ready I just had to fit them. Oh his site, Nic recommends drilling into the handle then moving the bit side-to-side to create a space for the blade's tang to slot in, then epoxying it in place. Since I don't have a drill I popped over to my folks' place to borrow theirs.

The drilling was fairly easy once I managed to find a drill bit small enough. Without a proper workbench I had to clamp the handles to the armrest of the bench in their garden. Here I learned my first important lesson: don't let the clamp sit directly on the knife handle as it'll dent it. I took my time drilling and ended up with a hole a little wider than needed, but I whittled a few slivers of wood down to wedge the blade into the gap. In the end I used super-glue and my mini-wedges to fix the blades in place.

The final result is one I'm happy with as a first attempt at handling knife blades (something that could become addictive). The biggest flaw in my work is that the blades aren't set perfectly square into the handle. This might not be an issue as I get used to their position in the handle through frequent use of them, but it's definitely an aspect I could improve on if/when I put together another knife.

A bit more practice I think.

My next tool-making project might be either to handle an axe, or make myself a knife blade. Seeing as I'm pretty well stocked for tools at the moment it may be a while before either task comes to fruition. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Off to Spoonfest

This weekend is the first international Spoonfest, being held in Edale. Spooncarvers from around the world (although I imagine British carvers will make up most of the numbers) will gather to attend workshops, listen to talks, play with shiny new tools and carve lots and lots of lovely spoons.
I will be in attendance and I am thoroughly excited by the line-up of guest talkers and workshop holders. There are quite a few 'big' names from the relatively small world of spoon carving and green woodworking. There will be Robin Wood, Barn the Spoon, Jogge Sundqvist and Mike Abbot to name but a few. The full line-up can be seen on the website (just click on the image).
From the Spoonfest I'll be heading on up to Scotland. There will be a couple of days in Edinburgh for the craziness of the Fringe festival before heading into the Highlands to see Ben Nevis, Loch Ness and the Cairngorms.

Monday, 19 March 2012

New knives

Here are a couple of knives from the fantastic blacksmith and all-round nice guy Ben Orford. They are both handled with apple wood and the blades are 01 tool steel. I really like the handle on the sloyd knife (the smaller of the two), but I've found myself using the larger 'woodlander' more often. With a full tang, it's a very strong knife, allowing me to make big, powerful cuts with confidence. Recently I've been doing a lot of my carving indoors, so this knife is able to quickly remove wood in areas where I might otherwise use an axe.
Aside from being very functional items, I find both of these knives to be aesthetically great and incredibly comfortable to use for extended periods.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Birch and sycamore spoons

 A small bowled birch spoon with a thin handle.
 A shallow sycamore with a short handle and a bit of detailing on the end of the handle.
A spalted birch eating spoon. I quite like the shape of this one.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A ladle and an eating spoon

The ladle is in birch. Unfortunately there is a tiny hole in the bowl, probably caused by an insect. It is a very small hole and probably won't make a difference to its use.

This is a mystery wood taken from a firewood pile. It's got a lovely colour and grain to it. Let me know if you can name the wood.