Beginning a big spoon

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Beginning a big spoon

Postby Clare Bannister » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:08 pm

Look at this pic of my first attempt at a big spoon. Advice please as they always seem to turn out flat. I was determined this one would be different but it is going the way of all Clare's first spoons. What should I do next? Apart from start again that is.....
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Postby Nicola Wood » Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:45 am

Hello Clare and well done for posting a picture :D You need to start with a thicker piece of wood and do more axe work to get a deeper spoon. I've some pictures that might help, but need to walk the dog and get into work so will post them later!
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Postby Nicola Wood » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:04 am

So, the easiest way is to start with half a log - a nice straight bit of branch which a bit thicker than you want the width of the bowl. Cut it to the length of your spoon, you'll get two from each log like this:
Image
Note how the bowl of the spoon is down near the centre of the log and the handle rises up nearly to the bark which gives it shape but it's still strong. The other critical shaping factors are the top of the bowl like this:
Image
and the back of the bowl like this:
Image
I hope that helps!
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Postby Paul Thornton 2sheds » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:03 pm

excellent illustration, thanks

i wish i always had x-ray vision to see whats inside a log, sometimes i'm most suprised with what i find........i'll be off to the woods tomorrow to find some of these logs with spoons in :lol:
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Logs with Spoons In

Postby Clare Bannister » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:47 pm

Thanks Nicola

I knew in principle that the answer would be to start with a bigger bit of wood but the pics make it really clear

I bought a second Granfors axe at this year's Ball, the one in the photo.
It has made the preparation of spoon blanks much easier. I start with the hefty one and progress to the lighter one.

:)
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Postby Nicola Wood » Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:53 pm

Yes, we have some little axes like the Gransfors small forest axe (is that what your is?) and I swap over to one when my arm is too tired for a Gransfors carving axe.
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Spoon carving

Postby Robin Fawcett » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:30 am

Don't forget - you can always make spoons from bent or curved branches Clare.
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Sharpening spoon carving tools

Postby Clare Bannister » Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:23 am

At the last Bodgers' Ball we came away with a small circular Gransfors axestone. But is it the best choice for sharpening the Gransfors axe I use for roughing out my spoon blanks? I tried it last night and wasn't too pleased with the results. Also - how do I most effectively sharpen curved spoon gouges? It seems to me that tool maintenance is THE key skill for the ongoing success of hand carving. I take your point by the way Nicola about making small spoons without an axe but I want to master ladles!
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Re: Sharpening spoon carving tools

Postby gavin » Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:04 am

Clare Bannister wrote: Also - how do I most effectively sharpen curved spoon gouges?


I know Clare will correct me if I am wrong, but I think she is asking how to sharpen a curved spoon KNIFE and not a gouge. Here is a picture of it:
Image

I know one curved spoon knife sharpening method involves sandpaper glued to dowels, but I have never sharpened a curved spoon knife.

So: I would like to know
1) what grit grades of paper work best when glued to dowels to sharpen the inside of a curved knife.
2) In the UK, do we ask for "emery paper" or "wet and dry sandpaper" , or is it some other word?
3)Besides the paper-glued-to-dowel method, what other choices have we?
4) And which of the other choices are best?

I understand we may then progress to "Autosol" chrome polish applied with leather glued to a dowel.
5) Besides Autosol with leather on a dowel, what other finishing techniques are available?

(I have rejected using a slip-stone or diamond "rat-tail" file, as I think both of these are too narrow and likely to leave a scallop or wave in the edge. They are more suited to bowl-hooks.)

If any one chooses to post pictures of their sharpening equipment, or method, that would be very helpful.
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Re: Sharpening spoon carving tools

Postby Nicola Wood » Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:39 am

gavin wrote:1) what grit grades of paper work best when glued to dowels to sharpen the inside of a curved knife.
2) In the UK, do we ask for "emery paper" or "wet and dry sandpaper" , or is it some other word?
3)Besides the paper-glued-to-dowel method, what other choices have we?
4) And which of the other choices are best?

I understand we may then progress to "Autosol" chrome polish applied with leather glued to a dowel.
5) Besides Autosol with leather on a dowel, what other finishing techniques are available?

1) you just need to work through the range you get in an average mixed packet, it's not that critical as long as you finish at 1000 or higher
2) emery or wet & dry, I don't know of another word
3) we've found that's best
4) as above
5) as above!
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Re: Sharpening spoon carving tools

Postby gavin » Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:44 am

Nicola Wood wrote: 1) you just need to work through the range you get in an average mixed packet, it's not that critical as long as you finish at 1000 or higher


Thanks for that Nicola. ( l love your signature logo BTW!)

1) How many grades of paper or steps do you suggest?
2) What would be the coarsest grade you would start at?
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Postby Nicola Wood » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:32 pm

Your average packet usually has 4 grits. They seem to start around 240 and go up to either 1000 or 1200. Most folk I've talked to who sharpen in this way reckon it's not absolutely critical and any combination seems to do the job. What is more critical is your patience in getting the angle right so you work all the bevel with each grit. There's no tricks of the trade that I know with that; just patience and concentration!
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spoon kit

Postby Andy Coates » Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:13 pm

I didn't know people used abrasive to sharpen spoon knives, so that's helpful. I'd assumed that you sharpn them just as you would a conventional carving tool, with a leather strop and paste.

I use a flexcut multi-bladed knife for other carving work, and find their stropping block - shaped for each blade - a great help, and their stropping compound, called flexcut gold, also very good.

With this in mind I made a flat leather-topped block for the knife, and a round leather-covered strop for the spoon knife. Both work well. I do the bevel on the spoon knife on the flat block after I've "cleaned" the inside on the round strop. Both are rubbed ovr with flexcut gold.

I'm sure Autosol does the job, but feel that FG is made for the jib of honing carving tools, and is probably better for it. But will bow to wiser heads.



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really big spoons

Postby steve tomlin » Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:26 am

i like to make big spoons and ladles from naturally curved branches and forks, you need to start with a big piece of wood so good axework is essential
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Re: Beginning a big spoon

Postby bulldawg_65 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:32 pm

Thank you so much Nicola for the graphic. I have been carving mine the other way around making my bowl on the outside of the log. Maybe that is why I have been having so much trouble with break outs. Thanks again. I now have something to go off of.
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