This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

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This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby ToneWood » Sat May 19, 2012 12:29 pm

I read with sorry this morning that forum member Ian S. passed away last week. See the Chisel & Mortice Terminology thread for more information.

I was up hollowing my new oak bowl with my dinky HK adze this morning, before breakfast at 8am. The adze it cutting through it just fine (just as Ian S. had told me it would, sigh) although the oak is harder than most wood I've encountered so far but it sat around for a few months, so is probably not as green as it might be. I soaked it once before working on it and again last night, after starting to hollow it. It completely fills the slot in my bowlmate :) - Happiness is a big wooden bowl(TM) :D
Bowl-Bowlmate - tight fit 350.jpg
Happiness is a big bowl blank
Bowl-Bowlmate - tight fit 350.jpg (97.85 KiB) Viewed 7348 times


I dropped by the local charity shop (poor mans antiquing) this morning, looking for an old leather belt to make a strop. I guess they know that I am interested in woodcarving and had put some things out that might interest me. I was about to leave w/o finding anything (unusual) and they drew my attention to a large carved log on the counter, depicting 3 life-size and detailed carved lizards on a log and foliage on a "burred out" log [add image below later]. It is beautifully carved (reminded me of the mouse detail David Fisher carved on the edge of one of his bowls - but there is a lot more of this - it is 17" long & 6" high - and it is, perhaps, even more detailed), it shows considerable artistic talent and expert carving craftsmanship not to mention man hours of work but I was going to leave it - no space for it. When I turned it down, they decided to remove it from sale & send it down to the local auction rooms," darn" I said, well buy they said, so I did. I think they wanted it to go to somebody who would appreciate it. It was quite cheap, especially for such a well made, complex piece. I've noticed a little damage and a crack but nothing significant, both on the back away from the main features, which is remarkable considering the complexity of the piece. I'll dust it down, oil & wax it. Perhaps my role in life is more to be an appreciator and restorer of craftsmanship rather than a producer :D.
3 Carved lizards.jpg
I suspect this is Balinese
3 Carved lizards.jpg (63.26 KiB) Viewed 7348 times

Off to collect some pallets & offcuts for kindling & "projects" this afternoon.
Last edited by ToneWood on Fri May 25, 2012 7:46 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: adze work / Hans Karlsson v Jakruss adze designs

Postby ToneWood » Sat May 19, 2012 1:12 pm

I've worn all the skin off the centre of my right palm with the adze work - for about 7mm diameter. I oiled the handle of the adze as it seemed a bit dry, perhaps that was a mistake? I'm thinking I may smooth and/or wax the bulbous end on the handle (it is quite rough) to make it less abrasive when pivoting in my palm. It's taken me a while to appreciate the HK adze but it is a remarkable tool, well designed/evolved and surprisingly effective for such a diminutive tool. The inward curve of the base of the handle just ever so slightly got in the way carving out the round bowl today - so I can see why the Jakruss adze is often used with the handle reversed (i.e. so that it curved back out of the way), makes sense.
Adze hand.jpg
Adze hand
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Last edited by ToneWood on Mon May 21, 2012 10:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby ToneWood » Sun May 20, 2012 7:34 pm

Sanded the bulbous end of my HK adze & a couple of other rough spots & rubbed some of my waxy homemade linseed oil & beeswax - much better :D

Finished the adze work on my bowl. Gouged out the rough edges left by the adze with my HK curved gouge - the wood had dried out noticeably, the wind today didn't help. Eventually it was done although I was left with an annoying rough depression in the middle of the bottom of the round bowl. It seemed unwise to tackle it further with the first gouge, so I switched to my shallower (150mm radius) HK dog-leg gouge - which proved to be the ideal tool for tackling the rough depression, being both relatively flat and broad. The dog-leg made it easy to work on the bottom w/o fear of accidentally digging deeper. Great tool :)
Oak bowl with HK dog-leg gouge on bowl mate 350.jpg
Oak bowl with HK dog-leg gouge on bowl mate 350.jpg (101.67 KiB) Viewed 7348 times


Might need to tidy up the inner rim a little more with the gouge but pretty much done with the inside. I still have most of the bark on the outside (must have missed that bit on the DVD, Jogge doesn't have the bark on when hollowing), so outside axe work next. I carved the outside first in the past, so this will be interesting. For some reason, struggling to sketch out satisfactory (and symmetrical) handles - need some inspiration.
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby ToneWood » Mon May 21, 2012 10:42 pm

I've added some images (above & below) to this thread & a couple of others, to go with posts from last week (apologies for the delay).
Bowl today.jpg
Bowl today - before "end of play", those corners have gone now.
Satellite receiver?
Bowl today.jpg (115.08 KiB) Viewed 7348 times
Last edited by ToneWood on Tue May 22, 2012 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby bulldawg_65 » Tue May 22, 2012 12:23 am

Looking good Tone! Love the lizard log!
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby red_beard » Tue May 22, 2012 4:48 pm

I'm digging that big bowl. Great job!
God bless!*

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Bowl Handles (not fork 'andles)

Postby ToneWood » Wed May 23, 2012 9:49 pm

Man, this bowl is taking a lot of axe work on the outside. This "stood around" oak carves hard after nice fresh soft limewood. I keep the bowl wrapped & moist in the shed between axe work outs. I'm very pleased with the inside of the bowl, it came out remarkably well so far; sometimes I think maybe I should have carved deeper but then feel the depth & bottom thickness and it is already deep and it really would not have been safe to go any deeper. In the past, the inside was the hard part - this time its the outside that is providing the challenge:

Help!
This is my first bowl with handles (I hope) and I am feeling rather anxious about how to deal with the handles now. There is a distinct possibility that I might slice one right off with the axe or, later, slice them through with the draw knife. Especially as one handle has a good size knot in the middle of it; fortunately the knot is still green enough to slice through - but axe blows are sometimes splintering it :(. Any tips or suggestions on protecting/preserving/shaping the bowl handles? I need some kind of plan; I've sketch the basic shape of the handle on the plan view of the handle but beyond that I am winging it. My other fear is that they will end up tapering off to nothing and I will end up having to cut them off :(.

Part of me would like to stop using the axes at this point as the outside now has the basic bowl shape but there is still quite a lot of wood thickness left to remove - it's taking a long time using v. sharp axes (I guess its safer that way). Perhaps I should give the draw knife a go - rather earlier than planned? The Robin Wood bowlmate should help with that - never had it before (a David Fisher bowl horse would likely be more secure for this next step, maybe next time).
Last edited by ToneWood on Wed May 23, 2012 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby SeanHellman » Wed May 23, 2012 10:09 pm

Looking good. Handles on bowls do add a lot of extra work but can be well worth it. Do not make them too chunky and make sure that the wall thickness below the handles are the same as the rest of the bowl, It is easy to have thick end grain here. Do as much as you can with the axe. You may find it easier with a gouge going across the grain below the handle. I would also keep the extra length of the handles until you have finished all heavier work.
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby ToneWood » Fri May 25, 2012 7:35 pm

Thanks for that Sean. I saw your post just after you posted it and have been keeping it mind as I work on the bowl.

Here's the bowl as she (round bowls being feminine) looks this evening. There is definitely some potential there...
The attachment Bowl side potential 400.jpg is no longer available
Bowl side potential 400.jpg
Bowl side potential 400.jpg (53.68 KiB) Viewed 7253 times


But also some challenges, not least the handles and these...
Bowl tha she blows 350.jpg
Bowl tha she blows 350.jpg (71.44 KiB) Viewed 7253 times
Bowl top chips 350.jpg
3 fairly serious chips missing from the top rim (hate that - as it means the bowl will need to be reduce in size).
Bowl top chips 350.jpg (79.14 KiB) Viewed 7253 times
Last edited by ToneWood on Fri May 25, 2012 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby ToneWood » Fri May 25, 2012 7:40 pm

Oil and waxed the lizards (wife hates them - she has a point :D).
Wax lizards 350.jpg
Lizards, oil & waxed.
Wax lizards 350.jpg (61.26 KiB) Viewed 7253 times

One more shot of the bowl tonight, featuring the wonderful 600g Lidl carving axe, which I am using for all the detail axe work.
Bowl  with Lidl axe 350.jpg
The big bowl of happiness (TM)
Bowl with Lidl axe 350.jpg (66.15 KiB) Viewed 7253 times
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby trollwumple » Fri May 25, 2012 9:59 pm

Nice bowl, looking good.
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby bulldawg_65 » Sat May 26, 2012 2:22 am

I love those lizards. They look real now!
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby jrccaim » Sat May 26, 2012 4:22 am

As to preserving bowl handles: linseed oil my favorite, especially the unboiled stuff if you can get it. Can use anything you want on a handle. It need not be food-safe. Mind, this does not apply to the rest of the bowl. That really has to be food-safe,u nless the bowl is meant for decorative purposes only; if the bowl has to be food-safe I use Canola oil. Available in the US very cheap. This is an ersatz oil, largely rapeseed oil and some other stuff. Short for "Canadian oil" :) . All veggie. Any veg oil will do from a safety point of view; I may be paranoid but I avoid hydrogenated stuff becase it is not good for you. Walnut oil may be best but it is fearfully expensive, at least here. Since I find it a nuisance to switch oils in mid-bowl, so to say, I use the same stuff all the way through. Best is to put oil on warm. I find many coats much better than one. Take your time. Let one coat soak in before you put another one on. Go buy a paintbrush and put on about five coatings. I do this with my spoons and they have lasted years without further treatment.
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby ToneWood » Sat May 26, 2012 5:24 pm

Hi jrccaim, sorry I didn't make my self clear - I was primarily concerned about preserving the handles against tool damage. Perhaps I should have taped them. I think Canola was a brand of rapeseed developed for human/animal consumption (regular rapeseed isn't/wasn't). The thing about linseed (& walnut & a few other oils) is that it hardens over time ("polymerizes") - which I don't think Canola does. However I too use it (actually Lidl's rapeseed cooking oil) on cooking utensils too :). Anyhow, things have progress somewhat further to day...

I decided to forgo further axe work (with one exception, see later). I start shaving the sides with my father's old draw knife - it's very sharp now - it peeled the sides away very nicely and quickly (faster than the axe, as I was having to be careful with the axe), leaving a nice smooth surface. Although I banged knuckles on both hands (still thinking of draw knife designs optimised specifically for bowl making). I was done with it in no time really - although I may have to go back & remove some more thickness/weight later. Then I switched to a metal Stanley-style spoke shave - after a juddering start, then a quick adjustment, it work quite well and, as the surface became smoother, it just got better and better - shaving off those "gossamer shavings" :D [see: PBS's the Woodwright's Workshop video on planes]. I tidied up the edges with Pa's old metal "palm plane", which to my complete surprise also worked beautifully (I had previously cleaned it up and sharpened for practice:D).

Bowl shaved.jpg
Bowl shaved.jpg (73.38 KiB) Viewed 7211 times


BTW the bowl fit beautifully and VERY securely in the bowlmate. The 3rd piece of roughly wedge shaped wood I picked up fit the gap perfectly, a sharp blow help everything nice and tight - in fact I had to knock the wedge out with a firm blow when I was done. The bowlmate rocks!
Last edited by ToneWood on Sat May 26, 2012 5:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: This weekend: Ian S, Oak bowl, carved reptiles & pallets

Postby ToneWood » Sat May 26, 2012 5:27 pm

I had previously trimmed a cm or two off the longest handle, before reading Sean's advice (above) but there is still more than a cm to spare on each end. Today I cleaned up the top rim with the "palm plane", so I had to redraw the handles. This gave me the opportunity to remove the handle split shown above :). I think the handles may be a little smaller than I originally drew but I was just roughly sketching the areas to be preserved from the axe.

Since the above images were taken, I have axed down the sides of the handles a bit and started to shape and smooth them out a bit with my vintage Gilpin gouge and a very cheap (cost maybe £3.50 new 6 years ago?) but effective chisel (see image above). They'll need some more work, hopefully tomorrow as the wood is getting dryer - I wet the bowl before bagging it for the night which slows rather than stops the drying/hardening.
Last edited by ToneWood on Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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