Help with Spoon & Bowl tools basic kit

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Help with Spoon & Bowl tools basic kit

Postby Richtea71 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:20 pm

Hi all Well I am trying to make some decisions on my tool list, am on a tight budget at moment, work Finished at Christmas... so I am looking to do spoons, bowls etc to start as well as a bit more greenwood carving. So I wonder if this knife set is worth it ?https://www.heinnie.com/razor-edge-basic-bowl-spoon-carving-kit-right-handed
They look really good but would really appreciate your input.......

I have got two axes sorted so far.

I cannot make mind up if to get a drawknife or not?
How about a couple of gouges ?
Hope you all don't mind me asking these questions.
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Re: Help with Spoon & Bowl tools basic kit

Postby Davie Crockett » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:53 am

Hi again Richtea,
No problems with you asking questions we're all still learning...Robin Wood has written a great blog about what knives to get:http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/wood-craft-blog/2013/01/29/best-spoon-carving-knife-hook-knife/ And sells blades himself. A few other UK makers that come to mind are Nic Westermann, Josh Burrell and Ben Orford.

Personally I've got a Ben Orford right hander and a flexcut carvin' jack. A drawknife is a nice to have but you'll ideally need a shaving horse to go with it. The knife set you show looks OK but I've no experience with that brand so can't comment. There are loads of UK makers of spoon knives and it's well worth obtaining a blade and handling it yourself to save some pennies.

Good luck!
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Re: Help with Spoon & Bowl tools basic kit

Postby ilerner2 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:58 pm

Richtea71 wrote:Hi all Well I am trying to make some decisions on my tool list, am on a tight budget at moment, work Finished at Christmas... so I am looking to do spoons, bowls etc to start as well as a bit more greenwood carving. So I wonder if this knife set is worth it ?https://www.heinnie.com/razor-edge-basic-bowl-spoon-carving-kit-right-handed
They look really good but would really appreciate your input.......

I have got two axes sorted so far.

I cannot make mind up if to get a drawknife or not?
How about a couple of gouges ?
Hope you all don't mind me asking these questions.


Just some observations based on what I have found carving spoons - I think you are going to find two negative things about that set you posted the link to.....one being the handle might be to short for comfortable work and two would be that from the photo at least I suspect the blades will flex too much.

I obtained a beginners set from Robbin Wood a while back to get me going. I've since bought four more hook knives of various shapes and sizes and a shorter bladed sloyd knife Mora 120. If I were to do it again I would buy the Mora 106 and Robbin's hook knife separately and avoid the carving hatchet he sells. Mine was poorly ground, although it would cut paper when I first unwrapped it buy the time I got through axing out my first green blank it was already breaking fibers of the wood rather than cutting them. A few strokes on the leather strop brought it back again but after doing two more green blanks it needed tickling again. I don't think the steel is of very high quality - it is a cast steel head rather than forged. The Mora 106 and Robbin's spoon knife that came in the kit though are both magic and Robbin put's longer handles on his spoon knives making certain carving techniques possible that you simply can't do with a shorter handle. I'm now saving my money for a decent forged carving axe like the Gransfors Bruk or similar. Yes it will be twice the price but I think you get what you pay for in this department. I don't see why a person should need to strop an axe more than once for every 10-15 blanks when the wood is clean and green and that's a minimum. Every blank to every second blank is just not acceptable.

As mentioned the draw knife will require at the least a decent vice to hold the work but will not be very comfortable to use compared to using a proper shavehorse or shavehorse/spoonmule combo.

There is a tremendous amount of info on sharpening on the net. I think before I'd go for more tools I'd put more emphasis on keeping the ones I already have nice and sharp. There is absolutely nothing so satisfying as that first fine shaving cut with the knife after it has come off the strop and it cuts like butter. Sharp tools will go a long way to preventing you from developing hand problems.

Good Luck
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