Stock Knife Spoon Making?

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Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby Roger Day » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:51 am

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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby SeanHellman » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:30 am

That is a great jig you have there, I like the way you can adjust the height of the spoon when working on it with the stock knife. So what are your timings from start to finish?
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby Roger Day » Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:13 am

Thank you Sean.
The stock jig is a multi purpose rig I built for experiments with using clog and stock knives out of their original context. Lovingly it has become known as "The ClogMate", for mirroring the ever popular 70's B&D Workmate.
The "Spoon Anvil" is one of several Add-ons I have made to present different work pieces for the knife, with flexibility, safety and speed in mind.
It took me longer than most skilled carvers can do it all by hand, but that included filming time and my lack of real experience with the technique.
My projection is to refine it to the point were I can reduce the time considerably, and make stock items of good design in a very economically viable fashion.
The idea is open to the floor, and I encourage others to consider the potential possibilities, with the view of exchanging and developing the whole idea for the benefit of larger green wood working community, and the sustainable land management that it would support.
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby robin wood » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:41 pm

I think a well used stock knife could speed spoon production slightly but not a great deal over good technique with axe and knife and to me it looses much of the appeal of being able to do it anywhere with minimal tools. I was surprised to see you using the hollowing knife rather than a straight knife and yet not using it for the hollowing. When I first started spoon making 20 years ago I considered making a mini pair of stock knives with a straight and a hollower for spoons but once I could use hand held tools well I gave up on the idea.

Set designs for production runs, yes great idea, it is the way green woodworking was always done and is still my chosen way to make a living.
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby SeanHellman » Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:40 pm

I should have said, Hi Roger and welcome to this small and sane part of the internet. I am also particularly interested in finding ways of speeding up the making of greenwood items, and have experimented with making spoons fast. I think 16 mins is my fastest, and a little less for the fan birds. I approached spoons with what I know, that is the shaving horse and drawknife. Roughing out with the axe and straight onto the shavehorse. I now shape the inside of the bowl with a long handled hook knife, it is remarkable just how few strokes, and how quickly the bowl can be shaped with 2 hands on the hook knife. I use these tools because they put less pressure onto my hands, which at times are beginning to feel the years of manual work they have undertaken. I also like you finish up with a knife in the hands.
Some people may cough and splutter, but when in the workshop I use a small bandsaw for cutting the shape of the spoon out of a rived plank of green wood. This can save a wee bit of axe time and helps get fast consistent results. I have no problems in using powered tools when appropriate, a powered bandsaw can easily be replaced with a pole or spring reciprocating saw.
The only way of making anything fast is by making lots of them. Keep every 50th spoon you make, it should make a very interesting record of your development.
See my bloghttp://seanhellman.blogspot.com/search/label/cheap%20spoons for an article I did on making spoons fast.
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby RichardLaw » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:20 pm

The stock knife jig looks very interesting, I appreciate the many benefits and flexibility of it compared to the humble stock that the knife usually sits in. I'm just wondering though how long it might be before the knife busts off one of the steps. When working on a spoon handle the knife would be well away from the jig step, but how about working on the tip of the spoon underside? I'm thinking about this from the point of view of having used a stock knife for bowl outsides and the stock has serious scars now - blimey you should see a serious clogger's stock. Anyway I guess with care this problem could be avoided. But Murphy's Law always seems to work for me (which states "The more inconvenient an occurrence the more likely it is to happen.") and I bet I would strike one off the first day! Could maybe make that piece out of elm or some seriously cross-grained stuff.
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby Roger Day » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:03 am

The “Idea” is the important part, not the current actuality.
This is innovation.
Something new, in product and technique.
It is not my goal to replace hand carved spooning methodology with a stock knife.
And no tool or technique can produce the same effect, but not everyone wants to pay £25 upwards for a hand made spoon.
This is an experiment, an adventure into possibilities.

Great Blog Sean!
Yes the film you link of Ion Constantin was the start of this for me. Wow, that man, what skill, and speed.
I too noticed the hook he used, and I became open to the potential for using large leverage tools.
SO I also made a hook with a very long handle.
But........
Later on, I became involved with the coppice group. There I came to experience tent peg making with a stock.
The pegs are made at speed and have many of the cut features of a spoon.
Maybe they are not all works of art but as you so rightly say "As long as they work".
That's the point. To produce a serviceable, well made, hand made object, in great numbers.
And with the inherent beauty of the economy of labour in it’s making, as well as the “Of the Knife” surface.
To make an enchantment in wood accessible to the masses.

The pegs are made ideally with as few strokes as possible, with a theoretical minimum being the number of sides the form is made of. Apply this to spoons and we have an exciting development.
And not just spoons. All sorts of objects.
Spoons contain all the cuts, concave, convex, long and short.
They are an archetype of treen. They are a lesson to learn from, later to be applied to many other things.
Can you image, a spoon made in a similar fashion, where the shape of the knife produces the shape of the object with heavy single cuts. A bowl in four, a handle in six, etc and all with graceful radiuses that come from the shape of the knife. But only a guillotine has the power to deliver the sheering force required, repeatedly, with control, and ergonomically for the maker

My film has provoked your comment, and I am grateful for all. Thank you for taking the time to consider me idea. Already I have started to re-evaluate some of the process, and even have a different stock in mind for this specific task. The rig I present is a test rig, and not intended to be a finished production tool. Learning is my aim.

Work holding is always a big issue in making, and my stepped anvil is my initial solution to the problem of presenting work at different heights and that the arc of the knife can be compensated for

Richard, as you so rightly say, the top step is vulnerable and is something I will have to address. But it is only the top step as that is where the cutting is done. The rest of the steps are to extend the length of object one can work and only give support, they are not anvils themselves. I believe, as you suggest, with appropriate wood and orientation of grain, and maybe designed to be replicable this can be solved. I will incorporate that point in my next development.

Robin, the reason I did not use the knife to cut the bowl is because it has too big a radius, but yes with a set of knives that would be resolved. Also I use it upside down because I imagined, as I stated earlier, that the curve of the knife can be used to create the radiuses of the spoon. Unfortunately this is dificult to do with the knife I have as its bevels are ground for a diffent task, but this could be changed.

Thank you all again.
Last edited by Roger Day on Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby robin wood » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:47 pm

Ion Constantin was very impressive. He made a spoon in 10 minutes including posing for photos, and it was a good spoon. I drew round his hook and forged a copy which works well in experienced hands, I also bought an adze from him which I use regularly. He hollowed the bowl of the spoon with a few swift chops with the corner of a large adze before refining with the hook. I was desperate for Stuart to run a 10 minute film of him doing a spoon start to finish but Stuart wasn't so impressed, filmed other stuff and the battery died. I was on stills and have a very good set of slides.

He was not unique at the local town market there were three similar Roma selling similar spoons.

Roger I quite agree there is good mileage in making stuff quick and selling it at a fair price. I was first inspired by those photos in Herb Edlin's Woodland Crafts of Britain with huge piles of chair legs, clog soles etc. If folk could really make stuff that fast then it ought to be possible to make a living today I thought. I like to think we work within a tradition though, there is a lot to learn and most of us are no where near as good or as fast as the craftsmen of a century ago. Traditional craftspeople have always innovated and produced jigs and tools to make the work smooth and fast whilst saving the body from undue strain and adapting traditional techniques to make goods suited to the modern market. When it becomes interesting to me is when someone has put the time in to refine it and master the skill so that they can turn things out of good design at speed. I think that is what we admire in Ion Constantin's spoons and in Sean's birds.

"Unfortunately this is dificult to do with the knife I have as its bevels are ground for a diffent task, but this could be changed."
Yes that was what surprised me, it is the hollower, bevel on the outside flat on the inside, designed for hollowing the upper part of the sole where your foot sits. I would have thought a straight stock knife would be better for the job you were using it for.
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby Robin Fawcett » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:16 pm

Roger Day wrote:The “Idea” is the important part, not the current actuality.
This is innovation.
Something new, in product and technique.


BTW Roger I published this on my blog back in Summer 2009...
http://treewright.blogspot.com/2009/07/stock-knife.html
http://www.facebook.com/GreenWoodwork?ref=tn_tnmn[url=http://www.treewright.co.uk/]
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby Roger Day » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:18 pm

Robin Fawcett's blog>>>>
Looks like I am in good company, thanks for posting that Robin
Robin Wood>>>>
I agree with nearly all you say Robin,.... We obviously come from the same school of thought, which is good to know. I hesitate to try to expand on anything. With hindsight I see I have not presented my idea clearly enough, as there are sublties to what I am suggesting that have been overlooked. It would be better to wait until I can show you the state of the art in the future, when I have realised my ambition more clearly. Thank you all for your valuble input, I have learned a lot from this thread.
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby Mark Allery » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:06 pm

Hello Roger,

good to see you on the Bodgers forum. Hope you are well and survived the winter!


Roger Day wrote:
I hesitate to try to expand on anything. With hindsight I see I have not presented my idea clearly enough, as there are sublties to what I am suggesting that have been overlooked. It would be better to wait until I can show you the state of the art in the future, when I have realised my ambition more clearly.


No quite the reverse. I'm sure that there is much for us to gain from your explanations and ideas. People trying things, discarding what doesn't work too well and refining what does is the basis of our progress - so please take the time to keep us upto date with how you are faring! Also I'm making a career of doing things the wrong way around, I started off left handed and its got worse from there - cue debate on which way up to use a drawknife!

look forward to catching up with you before too long,

cheers

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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby Roger Day » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:02 am

Hey Mark,
Thanks for the Welcome my Friend.
Yes debate..... I came across one tread on the use of the title "Bodger".....
I laughed, I am the best qualified of anyone I know, not only a bodger, a lodger and a Roger.........Beat that!

Yes I will be posting more on this subject. "Heretics Corner" is a good place to be, pushing the stick around a bit can't hurt anyone.

Building a wooden money printing press right now, hope to stir up the markets with this one....LOL....
Oh and then onto the wooden space ship......
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby 81stBRAT » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:30 pm

Mark Allery wrote cue debate on which way up to use a drawknife
Bevel up always, unless needing a curve, gives more control
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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby Mark Allery » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:04 pm

SeanHellman wrote:I a powered bandsaw can easily be replaced with a pole or spring reciprocating saw.


Yes, and my bandsaw will soon become powered by a pole if the motor gives up or power prices increase much more! Or maybe a stationary bicycle! Round about the same time you'll catch me harnessing my landrover to the cattle on the commons!

SeanHellman wrote:The only way of making anything fast is by making lots of them. Keep every 50th spoon you make, it should make a very interesting record of your development.
See my bloghttp://seanhellman.blogspot.com/search/label/cheap%20spoons for an article I did on making spoons fast.


Now that is a great idea.

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Re: Stock Knife Spoon Making?

Postby Roger Day » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:11 pm

Absolutely Richard.......
Up/Down....Different physical dynamics for different effects.
As a carver I love the curving action of bevel down....works like a sculptor's gouge with the bevel constantly forcing the cut to exit the wood. Can produce beautiful concave shapes.
I personally struggle with a bevel up....works like a carpenter's chisel, with the straight part of the blade forced against the wood, it holds it in the wood to the end of the cut. Can produce convex and straight cuts.

As part of my stock knife experiments, I converted an old drawknife into one. After playing with it I have decided I will grind it on both sides so I can use it as a sculping knife with concave capability. Of course with many strokes and a guiding hand, it will cut convex forms as well.
Also as an experiment I attached a car track rod end as the pivot instead of a hook, to give me as much axial rotational frexibility as possible.
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