multi-axis spoons

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multi-axis spoons

Postby Steve Martin » Sun May 25, 2008 10:55 pm

Image
Hopefully, you can see a pic of 4 spoons. From left to right - 1) maple, 4 axes to make bowl wider and handle thicker; 2) elm, 2 axes to make handle thicker; 3) mahogany, 2 axes to make bowl wider; 4) sycamore, single axis. To make the bowl wider, I move the axis on the bowl end of the spoon about 1/2" left or right of center and parallel with top edge of bowl of spoon. To make the handle thicker I move the axis on the handle end of the spoon 1/4" to 1/2" at a right angle to the top edge of the bowl of the spoon.
All are sanded with a flax oil finish. These were turned on a power lathe but I have turned similar ones on my pole lathe, but I don't sand them and finish with flax or walnut oil. I carve the inside of the bowls with a hooked knife after splitting them, unless the grain is crooked or there is evidence of branches off the pith in which case I saw them.
Robin, Thanks for tutorial on posting pics in 4/03/08 message in "Time for a forum rebrand?" thread. It worked!
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Postby robin wood » Fri May 30, 2008 8:13 pm

They are impressive turned spoons. Mostly we see turned spoons made as in Mike Abbotts first book, turned on 1 axis split through the middle then scooped out...they tend to be poor spoons. If you do any more and had your camera I would be interested to see a few photos along the way.
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Turning spoons

Postby Robin Fawcett » Sat May 31, 2008 12:40 pm

In Mike's second book "Living Wood" he describes a technique taken from Eric Rodger's booklet on Making Traditional English Wooden Eating Spoons (ISBN 0-9529849-0-3). I'm not sure that it's available anymore - time for a reprint maybe, likewise Wille Sundqvist's book "Swedish Carving Techniques".

Eric's description is "cut the blank about 1" (25mm) longer than normal i.e. 7" (185mm). The bowl and handle are marked out on the face and cut out. The points at which the blank is mounted on the lathe are close to the tree centre on the handle end and close to the bark on the on the bowl end; this gives a tilt to the bowl. The handle should be roughly shaped with the knife or spokeshave and the top of the bowl shaved down. Now turn the handle and knop using the last 1"(25mm) of the handle to run the string when finishing(!?). Remove from the lathe, complete the bowl and decorate the knop with carving if you wish."

Mike says that "the further you can offset the centres at each end the more attractive and functional will be the final spoon, giving the bowl a good angle to the stem."

Both he and Roy Underhill (In the Woodwright's Workbook) suggest that you can outline the shape of the bowl - Roy turns on two centres at the bowl end and turns the back of the bowl too.
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multi-axis spoons

Postby Steve Martin » Thu Jun 05, 2008 4:30 am

I have made 2 more multi-axis spoons and will try to illustrate my steps with photos. The blank is dried spalted maple about 2"x2"x13 1/2". The finish is 3 coats of flax seed oil.
1) Mark center and multi-axis points on one end of blank. The m-a points are about 1/2" from center. Image
2) Mark center and m-a points on handle end of blank, perpendicular to plane of bowl points. M-a points are about 3/8" from center.Image
3) Mount blank on lathe with handle end on center and bowl end on one of the m-a points. Image
Then turn that half of the spoon bowl. Image
4) Remount bowl end of blank on opposite m-a point and turn that second half of bowl. Edges of bowl should line up with corners of blank. Image
5) Remount bowl end on center and handle end on one of the m-a points. Turn first half of handle. Take care not to turn too deeply on bowl end as handle will be round at this step. Image
6) Remount handle end of blank to second m-a point. Turn second half of handle. Image
It's difficult to see in the picture but I turned the first half of the handle too far and the handle broke before I got the handle completely symmetrical. :wink:
7) Split or saw the blank in half following the plane of the bowl edges. I had to saw this one because of a knot in the blank. Image
8) Carve out the bowl, clean up any odd pieces at intersection of bowl and handle, sand as needed and apply finish. ImageImage
Hope this adequately clarifies my process. Apologies for the photo quality. I am not a photographer. Apologies also for using the power lathe but I had no appropriate green wood for my pole lathe. :roll:
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Postby robin wood » Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:29 am

great pics Steve, well the content is great :D , thanks for posting, I would not have worked out how that was done but its simple once you have seen the oics.
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Postby paul atkin » Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:15 pm

thanks for that steve, very interesting and the spoons are great.
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multi-axis spoons

Postby Steve Martin » Fri Jun 06, 2008 5:01 am

Thanks. I don't know why the pictures are so big. When I did the preview yesterday they seemed smaller but when I first viewed them just now they were huge. It did show some detail better but I understand about downloading, slow servers and services, etc. Can anyone suggest how I can do better :oops: ?
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Re: multi-axis spoons

Postby bulldawg_65 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:39 pm

Really neat! I just saw an episode of Roy Underhill making a replacement handle for a chisel using that very technique. The still shots you put up make it look easier than Roy did.
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Re: multi-axis spoons

Postby jrccaim » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:01 am

Steve Martin wrote:Thanks. I don't know why the pictures are so big. When I did the preview yesterday they seemed smaller but when I first viewed them just now they were huge. It did show some detail better but I understand about downloading, slow servers and services, etc. Can anyone suggest how I can do better :oops: ?


Hmm, I just wasted 15 minutes. Bodger's cut me off because I forgot to check the "log me in..each visit" box. Grrrr. Pox on box. Anyway, this is not an oops. It ain't as simple as it might be. The size of the picture depends on (a) the setting of your camera (b) the amount of reduction you do (c) the scene in question. As an example I tell my camera to use what Nikon labels "e-mail format", roughly 700x1000 pixels. I then reduce that by 60%. This gives me a file size of 30-35 KB, and that will (usually) fit Bodger's forum without scroll bars. But it is scene dependent. The number of different colors in the scene affects the size of the jpeg file. So you have to experiment a bit with your camera. If you have told it to take maximum resolution pictures you will have to reduce much more than 60%.Bodger's has a maximum file size of I think 50KB -- not sure of that -- but that for sure will generate scroll bars on the post.

OK, that out of the way. This is a beautiful example of taper turning. Old-time machinists did it in metal, before compound slides on lathes were common. If you offset the center (either by offsetting the tailstock itself or, as you have done, by offseting the center) and move the tool in a straight line parallel to the bed you will turn a taper. Two separate offsets and you have compound tapers! Bravo! I didn't think you could do that on a wood lathe, powered or not. I have learned something, and thanks for posting as you did.
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Re: multi-axis spoons

Postby simon » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:46 pm

Eric Rodger's booklet on Making Traditional English Wooden Eating Spoons (ISBN 0-9529849-0-3). I'm not sure that it's available anymore - time for a reprint maybe, likewise Wille Sundqvist's book "Swedish Carving Techniques".

Erics great little book is available from
http://www.woodlandcraftsupplies.co.uk/ ... 8036d51fa4
only £4.50
Make it, mend it, wear it out,
Make it do or do without.
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Re: multi-axis spoons

Postby bulldawg_65 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:46 pm

Here are a few I finished today. From top to bottom, A large maple stirring spoon, an ironwood eating spoon, and an orange osage coffee scoop. My chip carving/decoration needs some major work, but I think these are keepers. The bowl of the coffee scoop looks like orange hard rock candy, you feel as if you could just dip your finger into the wood! Any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.


Ordered my copy right around Christmas. Still haven't recieved it yet. I'm thinking the postal service is really slow!
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Re: multi-axis spoons

Postby gavin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:16 am

bulldawg_65 wrote:
Here are a few I finished today. From top to bottom, A large maple stirring spoon, an ironwood eating spoon, and an orange osage coffee scoop. My chip carving/decoration needs some major work, but I think these are keepers. The bowl of the coffee scoop looks like orange hard rock candy, you feel as if you could just dip your finger into the wood! Any constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated.


Ordered my copy right around Christmas. Still haven't recieved it yet. I'm thinking the postal service is really slow!

Contact the owner, Matthew Robinson. I worked with him at Royal Highland Show 2012 and he will move heaven and earth to see you right.
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Re: multi-axis spoons

Postby Ian S » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:42 pm

gavin wrote:....I worked with him at Royal Highland Show 2012....


Been using the Tardis again, Gavin?
How sharp is sharp enough?
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Re: multi-axis spoons

Postby gavin » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:08 pm

Ian S wrote:
gavin wrote:....I worked with him at Royal Highland Show 2012....


Been using the Tardis again, Gavin?

My error - make that 2011... :oops: I've been planning the 2012 season lately
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