Crack Willow (use? shave horse?)

Share experience of timbers and other greenwood materials - learn by other people's mistakes and triumphs.

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Re: Crack Willow (use? shave horse?)

Postby emjay » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:54 pm

I like it Tone. Use it for cob nuts with a bent hazel nut cracker.
Mick
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Re: Crack Willow (use? shave horse?)

Postby ToneWood » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:10 am

Thanks Bulldawg & Mick :). Tell me (/show us) more about this nutcracker! :D We have cobb trees in the garden that we planted.

I made a "Mini-Me" version of the bowl yesterday. It needs a little bit more work but almost done.
The remaining half/third of the bigger bowl was too thin and flawed to make a bowl from This is half of the other beech log shown above, with a branch stub.
Mini-Me beech bowl.jpg
Mini-Me beech bowl.jpg (72.05 KiB) Viewed 6928 times

There is a decent second half, so I might make a third or perhaps a small regular bowl, TBD. I like the look of these reverse bowls*, they add a welcome
variety to "the range of products" :D and the smaller format is probably more practical for most modern homes and old cottages.


*REVERSE BOWLS
Drew Langsner (of Country Workshops & author of numerous books) credits Swedish carver Bengt Lidström with pioneering the reverse bowl thus:
"This idea was pioneered in the 1960’s by the great Swedish bowl carver Bengt Lidström."
@ http://drewlangsner.com/statement.html

I find it hard to believe that nobody had tried this before ("ain't nothin' new" as one forum member's tag line reminds us, as did Chuck Berry & Van the Man :D). But perhaps Bengt revived/re-discovered/popularized/documented/developed it at a critical time? USA bowl maker David Fisher also credits Bengt Lidström as a (video) influence on this forum: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=471
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Life's a Beech

Postby ToneWood » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:46 pm

I decided to make a mini tradition bowl with the other half of the beech blank for comparison. The final size actually isn't that much different. Even though there is less wood to remove from the outside, the amount of careful axe work (with the LCA) required seemed significantly higher. Also, it's trickier to get the base & top level and the bowl rim needs more careful handling - there is a little more work left to do in that regard.
Trad beech bowl #3.jpg
Trad beech bowl #3.jpg (112.54 KiB) Viewed 6921 times

This week's bowls together:
The week's 3 beech bowls.jpg
Don't be fooled by the perspective - the back bowl is significantly larger than the other two. The 2 front bowls are about the same size, the front one might be slightly larger - its internal volume certainly is.
The week's 3 beech bowls.jpg (87.27 KiB) Viewed 6921 times
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Re: Crack Willow (use? shave horse?)

Postby ToneWood » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:57 pm

I thought I better redeem myself (& bring the thread back on track) by attempting to carve some crack willow bowls. Surprisingly the adze work felt a little harder than for the beech but the gouge work was an absolute pleasure, like cutting through cheese. The wood is a more willowy white than the reddish beech and it behaved far better than I expected - although the axe would sometimes split out a deep gouge, so some extra care was required.
Crack willow bowls + froe mallets.jpg
2 crack willow bowls in the making, plus 2 froe mallets. Planning to give one of the bowls to the person who so kindly gave me the wood (he didn't want anything).
Crack willow bowls + froe mallets.jpg (136.17 KiB) Viewed 6891 times

Crack willow bowls + froe mallets 2.jpg
My new crack willow froe mallet (on top) and my old, broken, over-sized beech froe mallet, which my son has kindly re-carved for me with the Lidl Carving Axe (LCA) - his first attempt at carving - so that it can be used again.
Crack willow bowls + froe mallets 2.jpg (115.89 KiB) Viewed 6891 times

Crack willow bowls - nested.jpg
The size of the bowls in images can be misleading due to perspective. Here is the carved bowl sitting inside the larger hollowed blank. I thought the pieces of wood used were of similar diameter, I just cut the bottom one longer as it had a longer straight/unbranching section - so surprised by how much larger it is turning out - thought it would just be longer. The larger bowl took much longer to hollow too, I'd estimate 3x as long - it'll be a more expensive bowl.
Crack willow bowls - nested.jpg (127.62 KiB) Viewed 6891 times

I really do like this reverse style of bowl, to look at and to make - I hadn't expected that.
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Re: Crack Willow (use? shave horse?)

Postby ToneWood » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:26 pm

Gavin was right, again. It proved tough to finish the willow bowls, so I have opted to leave them with significant tool marks, which I really like but certainly not everybody's cup of tea. I've also oiled them early to help stablilize them. I may attempt further finishing later, or I may just leave them as-is.
Willow bowl & edge guards.jpg
Willow bowls. The rear froe edge guard is ash. I initially thought the front draw-knife guard was willow but now that it is oiled, I'm pretty sure that it is beech.
Willow bowl & edge guards.jpg (88.04 KiB) Viewed 6846 times
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Re: Crack Willow (use? shave horse?)

Postby ToneWood » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:59 pm

The crack willow froe mallet (above) gave excellent service for a few months but recently split into 4 quarters along its length - pity it was a nice size/weight/shape but clearly not as long lasting as beech and the "failure mode" was unusual - the handles usually snap off. It's firewood now.
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