This weekend: lime-wood spoon & birch bark

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Re: This weekend: lime-wood spoon & birch bark

Postby ToneWood » Fri May 11, 2012 1:55 pm

Thanks. Yes that's it, Old World Wisconsin - it should be more famous. I only discovered it by chance when I drove past on a trip to go mountain biking (or was it climbing?). The nearest thing to it in Britain would be St. Fagan's Museum in Wales - but it's not the same. I guess some of the colonial working museums on the east coast of the USA might be similar but I've only caught glimpses of those on TV.

The only birch I am familiar with here is silver birch - easy to spot - there may be other types though.
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Re: This weekend: lime-wood spoon & birch bark

Postby ToneWood » Sat May 12, 2012 9:22 am

gavin wrote:That Lidl axe - you can fettle the handle better. I see its surface is smooth and varnished.

...I find it better to have a little trough or groove ( parallel to the ax handle) for the thumb. You can easily mark it by putting charcoal on your thumb, and a little grease on the ax. Apply charcoall-ed thumb to handle as if you were about to swing ax, and you'll see where to take your curved knife to carve a groove which will be deepest at the inside of the first joint of the thumb. Repeat this for the little finger tip. Let us know how you get on. If you have a 2nd ax, then take pix of your process and share with us.

Yes, I wasn't aiming to visually get rid of the varnish - just to get rid of the smooth, tacky feel of it in the grip areas. But until you drew my attention to it, I thought there less varnish left than that (can't recall if that was taken at the end of the process or not). I guess I may re-visit that. :)

RE. the thumb groove, somebody posted a good link (on the Jogge DVD thread) to this Swedish axe webpage and the axe handles there all have a kind of top groove (I think my HK adze handle might be a bit like that).
e.g.
Image
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Boiling oilstones

Postby ToneWood » Sat May 12, 2012 10:08 pm

I was busy this morning but started work in earnest on my next bowl this afternoon (see bowlmate thread for more on that). However, earlier on, I tried cleaning some oil stones, 7 in total, by boiling them in dishwater (detergent & water) on the BBQ outside and scrubbing them with a big, stiff scrubbing brush. It did clean them up noticeably but the older ones are still quite oily. The water here is hard, so washing soda might have improved the cleaning - unfortunately none was at hand. However, the stones look and feel clean enough to use with soapy water now, rather than oil, as lubricant/cleaner - and the act of sharpening with soapy water seems to clean the stones further.

While most of stones are cheap or moderately priced man-made stones, one of them appears to be natural sandstone. I wondered if it might be one of those old sharpening stones quarried in Leicestershire? It is quite regular in shape, pale yellow in colour (once the oil was washed off) and is very flat and very fine in texture - this will likely be a polishing/honing stone.
Last edited by ToneWood on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: This weekend: lime-wood spoon & birch bark

Postby ToneWood » Sat May 19, 2012 12:08 pm

The lime-wood spoon is no more. Starting final refinements last weekend before breakfast and before that all important first coffee and ended up hollowing right through the bowl! :( As a fall back I thought I'd make a straining spoon from it and carved 3 more holes in it :). However, I must have been half asleep because then I cut right through the side of the bowl! :( Oh well, I make a lot of mistakes with that spoon:

* Stem carved too quickly and far too thin. Didn't leave enough wood for hook
* Finished the bowl too thin
* left the pulp in
* Carved before first caffeinated beverage i.e. before fully awake/fully focused

Hopefully I've learnt a few lessons. The other half of the log, the skinny, spatula is finished & oil though.
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Re: This weekend: lime-wood spoon & birch bark

Postby ToneWood » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:19 pm

Shortly after reading Jarrod's excellent blog on using (live) birch bark, I came across a couple trees that had been "harvested" in a local wood! Large rectangular pieces had been removed from 2 adjacent silver birch trees. Rather close to the road/parking and clearly visible from the footpath - it seemed a little "insensitive"/indiscreet. However the trees looked healthy enough.

I see Jarrod's going to be at Spoonfest in the UK this Summer - hope I get a chance to say hello. :)
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Re: This weekend: lime-wood spoon & birch bark

Postby ToneWood » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:17 pm

After browsing through Wille Sunqvist's "Schwedische Snitzschule: Arbeiten mit axt und Messer" , I realized that my fish ladle is something of an affront to the aesthetics of Swedish spoon carving :D. So, a couple of weeks ago, I slimmed down the shaft, leaving the sides flat. I also cut back into the handle to bring out the shape of the fish's tail. The changes were subtle really but I think an improvement and the weight has been reduced in the process.

However, I was really struck by one of Bulldawg's large serving spoons recently. It was long and slim (and had a wonderfully unique bowl design) - and realised that I could and probably should go further. The fish ladle is/was very big & the bowl rather too deep (although I rather like that - and was really aiming to make it as deep as possible when I first carved it :)). So today I narrowed the neck of the fish ladle much more (& reshaped it), I reduced the thickness of the handle significantly, shaped the other side of the fish tail, hollowed the bowl making the sides thinner and lowered the top of the bowl to reintroduce a quirky raised bump at the handle, as the ladle had when I first carved it - which we realized we rather liked after I had removed it :(. I reckon I have reduced the mass & volume of the ladle by 30-40%! And reintroduced some character.

As a reminder, this is...
BEFORE:
Image
[More at: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2255&p=18012#p18012 ]

AFTER RE-WORKING:
Fish ladle - slimmed front.jpg
Fish ladle - slimmed front.jpg (129.26 KiB) Viewed 7528 times

Fish ladle - slimmed back.jpg
Fish ladle - slimmed back.jpg (62.97 KiB) Viewed 7528 times

Fish ladle - slimmed quirky bump.jpg
Fish ladle - slimmed quirky bump.jpg (49.55 KiB) Viewed 7528 times

Fish ladle - slimmed back2.jpg
This is the view of a fish that gets the spearo's heart pumping.
Fish ladle - slimmed back2.jpg (89.63 KiB) Viewed 7528 times


It's a different beast now. It reminds me more of a grey mullet than a bass! :) In real life, it is hard to match the sheer beauty of the bass but the underrated grey mullet is sleeker, fights harder & tastes better IMHO. To be honest, the original ladle felt much better in the hand to me - it was shaped to fit my hand in several grips - but I think the appearance is more interesting now and others will no doubt appreciate the reduced weight.

Update:
Image
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Re: This weekend: lime-wood spoon & birch bark

Postby ToneWood » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:51 pm

Final tweaks (I hope):
Image
Decided to model it on the grey mullet. The hanging hole is reminiscent of the golden spot seen on "the Golden Grey".
Back of mullet ladle.jpg
Back of mullet ladle.jpg (50.17 KiB) Viewed 7491 times

Need to finish smoothing it, re-stain the kohlrosing and re-oil. I really must stop then.
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