sweetheart kuksa

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sweetheart kuksa

Postby Nicola Wood » Mon Jun 23, 2008 8:30 pm

Robin and I made this at a British Blades bushcrafty do last weekend. Just oiled it up and I'm rather pleased with it :D
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and it fits nicely in the hand too
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I'd like to make these to sell, but took rather a lot of time even though we're both quite fast carvers. Next step is to try with Robin turning the bowl and I'll carve the handle - that should speed it up!
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sweetheart kuksa

Postby Steve Martin » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:57 am

Beautiful! I really like the shape. What wood is it?
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Postby Nicola Wood » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:33 am

It's alder which is a really lovely timber for the job. Easy to cut when green and hardens well as it dries.

It was interesting that I found I needed to work with both a left and a right handed hook knife inside. With a spoon I usually just use a right hander and can turn the spoon to work all the way around, with this there were some bits I couldn't reach and needed to work with the leftie.
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Postby monkeeboy » Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:53 am

Nicola Wood wrote:I found I needed to work with both a left and a right handed hook knife inside. With a spoon I usually just use a right hander and can turn the spoon to work all the way around, with this there were some bits I couldn't reach and needed to work with the leftie.


What make is your left-hand hook knife?
I know there is no Frosts leftie.

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Postby Paul Booker » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:10 pm

Nice work Nicola and Robin.

I dislike the production kuska's coming out of Scandinavia that have been machine made. The tool marks make it for me!

Reminds me I must get mine finished otherwise it's going on holiday with me.

Paul

PS what size bungee cord do you want Robin?
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Postby Nicola Wood » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:58 pm

monkeeboy wrote:What make is your left-hand hook knife?
I know there is no Frosts leftie.

We use ones by Bo Helgesson, but at the moment he's not responding to emails so are stuck for supplies. I think Svante Djarv does lefties and I'm sure Ben Orford will make them.
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Postby Andy Coates » Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:11 pm

I loved this cup, and thought I'd have a try at your suggested turn & carve combination. The carving isn't up to your standards, and it isn't a finished cup, but here's what I managed with a lathe (electric) a piece of cherry (the Alder that grows in Suffolk is stringy and awful to turn), and a carving knife...

I won't be copying it again...this was just to see if I could. Hope you don't mind.

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Andy

and I'm sorry the pic are so bad!
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Postby Tomio Imaru » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:30 am

Nicola
Nice kuska.
You carved it with twca cam and without turning?
If the tool's knife and also the blade are long enough to reach to the bottom of the kuska, it would be easy to carve.

The kuska looks very nice and has a good tension in shape. The image of my kuska is changed. Lovely handle and it's angle.
I would try someday.

I heard that a kkuska is originally made from the birch knot blank.
Is it possible to make a kuska out of burr maple? If so, it would be wonderful.
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Postby Nicola Wood » Wed Jun 25, 2008 8:45 am

Andy - I don't mind you copying - they say imitation is the greatest form of flattery! It's how I get to understand something I like is to make a copy, or often several copies until I get a feel for what it is that is good and how to absorb it into my own work. My critique of your own work is that your form rather too flared, starting narrow at the base and getting wider as it goes upwards. If you make the form more globular with a slightly undercut rim it will look better, fit more nicely in the hand and be more stable when you put it down. Have you tried drinking out of it yet?

Tomio - kuksas were originally made of birch because they are Scandinavian in origin and birch is their main hardwood. Ones made from burr are lovely and maple would I imagine be good, however trying to get a good tooled finish in the twisty grain of quite a hard wood might be challenging! We use alder because it cuts very easily when green so makes the hollowing easier.

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Postby Tomio Imaru » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:51 pm

Alder tree is not so popular for wood craft in Japan I think, though we see it
sometimes.
when I make chairs , I usually use a few wood as chair blanks.
And I never thought that I use the wood as the chair making material.
The range of wooden bowl material goes wider than the furniture making material.
It is funny to know a feeling new wood on the lathe.
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Postby Andy Coates » Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:06 am

I have used it o drink out of, yes. But then that's not a new thing for me. I have an Oak coffee cup I turned quite a while ago. I'll post a pic later if I remember to take one.

I think I allowed the shape to be dictated too much by the turning process, so agree it could be more rounded. Having a substantial rim flying whilst you try to cut behind it is a nuisance when you are working on such a short vessel...the headstock is in the way. But I'll try a V2 and see.
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Postby Nicola Wood » Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:37 am

So you left a wide rim on all the way around and cut it off by hand afterwards? I guess the power of a power lathe makes this a viable option. When Robin's turning something like this he would cut it virtually to shape before it went on the lathe, just leaving a counterbalance piece on the side opposite the handle so it doesn't vibrate on the lathe too much. I look forwards to seeing version two!
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Postby goldsmithexile » Thu Jun 26, 2008 4:13 pm

Andy Coates wrote: (the Alder that grows in Suffolk is stringy and awful to turn), and a carving knife...


I noticed that as well. I got some alder from Mr Garnham that come up from worcestershire or herefordshire it was OK
Birch can be real clean and clear but some of that is as stringy and wild as elm, I got some from Lopham that was like that, good for fire wood :lol: :lol:

Nice kuksa bowl rob and Nicola the transition from bowl to handle makes that form, you seem to have a real eye for that, fusioning the 2 parts into a convincing whole samewith the spoons you do
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Birch & Alder

Postby Andy Coates » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:07 pm

Two years ago I was offered over 20 tons of mixed alder and birch from around the broads...they were cutting back from the banks in a major re-work of the waterways...none of it was useable. All grown on VERY wet land, and all useless. I doubt it was even suitable for firewood.

In the end much was left in piles as habitat...but it all rotted down into lovely mulch after only eighteen months!
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Postby Nicola Wood » Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:07 pm

Re the alder have you tried storing it in the log for a while before turning / carving it? Robin finds this improves some timbers. You have to discard the end few inches which will have dried out, but the rest will still be quite green and should be less stringy ... I think it used to be described as "mellowed" when it had been stored like this.
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