First Spoons

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Re: First Spoons

Postby ilerner2 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:42 pm

Hi Steve, just to clarify I did not act on the glass scraper simply because I don't know how a person would shape them to get an even curvature etc.

Funny you mention getting better at things and seeing the results change etc. I've found over the years that some of my projects yielded the best results when I did something wrong and had to modify the original design. Yesterday was a prime example, I was working on what was going to be a large salad spoon and doing the roughing out when due to the twisted intermingled grain .... roughly 1/3 of the bowl split away on one side while axing it out. So rather than throwing it away I just kept working away at it hoping to salvage it. It also had wood worm damage that I hoped to keep to ad character to the spoon. The worm hole ended up forming the eye of the head of a goose on the end of the handle and the spoon bowl just ended up being a very nice asymmetrical shape that was kind of flat on one side and elliptical on the other. Turned out to be one of my nicest spoons yet lol.

Not sure if you noticed, I'm living in Mexico. There is not much woodwork done here due to termites and other wood eating pests so the only thing you will see wood used for pretty much is furniture. And the furniture here is pretty rudimentary hence they call it "rustico" as in rustic. Most times the wood is stained, varnished etc. right over the finish the wood had on it when it came out of the planer or jointer. Very crude by most standards. I haven't seen a saw blade in years. Hand Saws are non existent it seems and other wood working tools are very hard to find to buy except in the big cities which I avoid like the plague. So this leaves me wanting for many otherwise common items that would be easy to find living in the USA or Canada. But that's a small trade off to all the other benefits of living here.

I was not happy with the performance of the Robbin Wood Axe that came in his starter kit that I bought. I spent 3/4 of an hour with a bastard-file file and re worked the the blade. As it wa,s it was ground way too blunt and even when sharpened it would have the propensity to glance off the wood surface rather than biting into it. It cuts far better now but still won't hold a good edge for more than a few spoons. The head is of a cast material and I believe it to be too soft for the purpose. I'll buy a good hand forged axe like a Gransfors Bruks or Hans Karlson of similar design in the future as a dedicated carving axe and retire the Robbin Wood one to making kindling or camping tasks. The crook knife I quite like as it cuts well and holds a pretty good edge as does the Mora 106 that also came in the kit......I love that knife!!!

I'll maybe try ordering a three piece scraper kit from the USA and have it delivered here. That will get me going but for now I'll continue to either leave the spoons knife finished or sanded. I prefer a knife finish to be on the outside of the bowl with a sanded finish on the inside. It just seems to be more sanitary that way making the inside of the bowl easier to wash after use.

The text program here seems to be adding characters and words I've not written. I hope it corrects itself during the posting process. Fingers X'd.
ilerner2
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Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:59 am
Location: Jalisco, Mexico

Re: First Spoons

Postby ilerner2 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:05 pm

Steve Martin wrote: Another trick I use is to dry the wet finished carved blank in the microwave. Weigh the blank on a kitchen scale, record the weight, heat in the microwave for 1 - 2 minutes, let cool, weigh, record weight, heat for a shorter time, let cool, weigh, etc. until the weights between hearings are equal. After the first two heatings, watch because the wood may burn, so you may want to try using a lower setting for an equal time. Burned poplar definitely stinks up the microwave. My wife wasn't happy. Practice and watch as you learn how different woods react to the heat. You can actually see the water/steam exiting the end grain. Than you can put final cuts and oil/stain/paint on the wood. It is a delightful journey. Please enjoy it as you learn!


Hi Steve, I wanted to share a little info with you on this subject as you may find it interesting and of use.

I can only comment on Mango wood as it is the wood I have been working with lately where I have been microwaving to help dry my roughed out spoons. What I have been finding is that the microwaving process has been changing the color of the wood, perhaps this can be avoided with shorter time intervals? As the wood comes out of the microwave I often see small amounts of water/sap boiling out from the fibers of the wood. Upon being completely dried these areas are a darker color from the sap in the wood. I think what is happening is the sugars that remain in the sap are scorching and caramelizing those sugars causing them to go darker.

As an experiment I carved four spoons from two log sections - two spoons from each section that was split down through the pith. One spoon from each section I microwave dried and the other spoon from that same section I let air dry naturally for three days between 75-80 degrees F. in my shop. I wish I had take photos to illustrate the difference but the microwaved spoons definitely showed darker grain lines than the non microwaved pieces.

This is just my observation and it may vary by shorter microwave intervals so the heat within the wood never gets high enough to caramelize those sugars allowing the sugars to dry remaining a lighter color.

I suppose a person could use this affect to his/her advantage if one were trying to enhance the grain somewhat on otherwise dull uninteresting wood.

Cheers
ilerner2
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Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:59 am
Location: Jalisco, Mexico

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