Adahy's 2013 Work in Progress - Hand Sculpted Carvings and Tools.

Discussion in 'Hudson Valley Handcrafts' started by Adahy, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    I decided to retire my older 'Work in Progress' thread and start a new one. That was started in November 2011 about six months before I became a vendor. It's kind of funny, back when I started that project, I had no idea I'd become an official 'vendor' here at BCUSA.

    Even though it's only just however many hundreds of days later, maybe six hundred something?... You can really look thru that thread and see rapid progression. There is a reason as soon as I'm finished with a carving project I put it away and grab about log without looking back.
    I've realized that everytime I start a new project I have more knowledge and skills gained and I'm excited to start the new piece, and try out the new cuts and theories I've learned from the last one.
    For now instead of making a carving thread, seperate tools thread, etc.. I will compile it all into one here.

    So this will be where I catalogue my projects up to date. Not all of them, but the majority of it all. As some of you may know I've been planning some big things the past couple of months. I'm designing and hand forging my own line of carving tools with Matt of MP KNIVES. (A vendor collaboration.. what is the world coming to?!?!?!?

    We haven't announced anything officially, or when things will be up for sale... but we have started our 'Research and Development' stage in the process. He's been teaching me to hammer the anvil on my own, and we've both come up with some exciting new knives.

    I present the ________ Large Hook/Spoon Knife:
    [​IMG]

    I keep getting a lot of questions about where, when, how....We're not making these with stock removal methods. Were making these the old fashioned way... with a flame, hammer, and anvil. No cutting out cookie cutter sheets of metal, and sharpening a drawn on bevel.. we're going to get cut, get burned..and it's all a part of the process.

    and I really do mean what I say.. I must test these thoroughly. Being able to slice a piece of paper, or making a feather stick is not a 'real test' in my book. I will actually be carving kuksas, spoons, and other things with these before advancing to the next design. There's a lot more to a knife than just the very sharp edge.. especially with a carving tool.. that is bent. We've already made about 3-4 different 'Large Hook Spoon Knives' and they're all great, but I'm looking for something I haven't been able to find with the other great smiths who make similar knives. (Del Stubbs, Svente, Karlsson, Orford, Budd) So I'm posting a photograph of the first model that we've both decided should be the official first model.

    Something I'm still deciding is how I'm going to handle these. Most of the other makers of spoon knives put generic/quickie handles on their knives. This is a way to keep costs down. Well I've broken off most of my handles on my Karlsson knives and he charges $60-80 per knife. So I'm pretty set on the idea that I will be sourcing the handles myself and carving them to shape. This means, harvesting the materials locally, burning the hole for the tang to be inserted (which gives a perfect custom fit) , and shaping it all with a knife. Materials will change of course and I'm not sure if I'll offer options of wood. Everything is still up in the air still. Lately I've been making handles out of Yew, which is as tough as nails unstabilized. It also cuts with a glass finish. Some people don't like the tooled surface of handles, but I assure you there is a method to my madness. Sure I could waste time and money sanding for hours to make factory looking handles, but the tooled texture is KEY. It's all about grip, and actually being able to feel the tool. These are sharper than any spoon knives I've used and it's just another level of safety having a better grip. It's a really easy knife to get cut with since 99% of all cuts are towards your chest, and or thumb.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is I want to offer something that isn't really available. Fine tuned carving tools. Most are made for the carver to personalize, and there is nothing wrong with that approach. That's a very old school tool mentality.. hence why most vintage axes have huge cheeks.. they're made to modify specifically for the tool's purpose. I will be honing these ready for carving.

    I'd like to also state that I'm not saying these are better than other similar knives around the world. I've used a good majority of them and always found them missing something. Each one had it's positives and negatives. After modifying some, having numerous blades custom made, talked to other very influential carvers.. I realized I should try this myself. Which only made sense financially, and as a carver. I really believe that understanding the tool itself and it's relationship with wood is one of the key factors of mastering a tool or technique. I'm far from mastering anything, but learning why these cut where the cut, the sweet spots, and all of the cons will help me improve many of my skills.

    Every tool made will be something I would personally use and love. I'm not making knives, slapping some glue and a handle and throwing it in a box. I have to spend a lot of time sharpening, honing, and testing.. if I won't use it, I won't sell it.

    Anyways enough rambling..

    I present to you the ______ Large Hook/Spoon Knife. [No name yet] This is a left handed spoon knife. Large hook is great for general purposes... digging the bowl, and also cleaning cuts.
    The handle material is locally harvested yew. Very ancient wood, with a peculiar colored grain.

    This knife was custom made for a fellow here on the forum. I will make a 'waiting list' thread or something similar once I get more details covered.




    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]
    Here is the right handled version in the same handle material. This has a more exagerated handle. Naturally crooked and has different 'flip grips' involved. I may also decide to make all handles bent. This really aids in torque, and also is easier on your bones in some cases.
    The handle was whittled to fit my hand, so in other words... this one is mine!

    I just got a 10,000 grit Waterstone from Cellis (Another great vendor here) You can go to his shop by clicking here. I am a huge fan of this sharpening method. It's messy, the stones are delicate, but there is nothing like the sound of a knife on a stone. It's like carvers meditation.
    I will probably be sharpening these tools with this method. (Which is expensive and takes time)

    The small knife in the photo is a 'Sloyd' Knife Matt and I came up with. It's our take on the swedish carving knives. This is about as long as my pinky finger, and comes to a very agressive point for detail carving. I can Carve a spoon or kuksa with just these three tools.




     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  2. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    [​IMG]
    Here is the lefty spoon hook (unsharpened) next to a Svente Djarv hook.

    [​IMG]
    Sharp?? It passes my test with a thumbs up!

    [​IMG]
    This weeks sales. All sorts of treen.




    Last night I got a new Silky saw from Cellis' shop. I'll never use a Bahco every again. I was so excited that I went for a moonlit hike in the woods behind the house to find a spoon tree. I decided on Black/Sweet Birch.
    The same went thru it like butter, and I was home in five minutes to get to carving. I have to say.. hiking with only moonlight and felling a tree felt very ancient to me for some reason... there was still snow on the ground, so everything had a pale silver glow to it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is what I crafted. This birch species if a lot harder than the others.. but it leaves a much nicer finish I'd have to say.​
     
  3. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    thread is open, post away fine treen folk!!
     
  4. Aurelius

    Aurelius Scout

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    Another Subscription Begins!

    Good Luck and great job so far!
     
  5. JPGoober

    JPGoober Tracker

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    More great pieces.... Looking forward to seeing more.
     
  6. Crco

    Crco Scout

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    Your thread commentaries are on a much higher level than everybody elses, man. You really know how to pull in the reader. :)

    So Silkys are a notch up from Bahco Laplanders? Interesting. I always thought of them as somewhat similar. I saw Cellis' kiridashis earlier ... I'll make an order with him soon.

    Just to note from my experience, curved carving knives intrigue a lot of folks I know. But the biggest drawback to them is the complexity of sharpening them *properly*. You might have a more improved selling process if you provide a complimentary and detailed assessment (and/or with YouTube links) of how to easily sharpen them. That might persuade folks who are on the fence (due to sharpening issues) to pull the trigger!
     
  7. 556mp

    556mp Bushmaster Vendor Bushclass I

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    Here is a fun one :)

    [video=youtube;-4-Byuzj8Qc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4-Byuzj8Qc[/video]
     
  8. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Gee thanks Craig! I worry too much about scaring people off with my ramblings.. beating around the bush... not getting to the point 8)

    Well I had my Bahco for over a year. Used it everytime I camped .. cutting green wood and seasoned hardwood. After my last Ohio trip, I was getting really cold numbed hands from how long it took to cut thru 3-4" elm. The teeth still felt really sharp.. but I saw BushTramp's videos and his silky slays trees. So I thought I'd try one out, and at least in my opinion... I think it's 20X better.


    You are correct on the sharpening thing, and Matt already beat me to it. I plan on making new videos since that was shot with my cell phone :54:Don't tell HBO, Discovery, or AMC!
    Also my sharpening skills have vastly improved. That was filmed a year ago I believe. I may show different methods. Japanese waterstones are pricey, so some may scoff at that fancy stuff. So I will do sandpaper for the DIY guys as well. I just need to save up about $400 for a new HUGE harddrive before I coninue my video making.

    Thanks again, your comments are always warming and your insight is always dead on. You're getting close to being a kuksa carver manager by the minute brother! haha
     
  9. silhouette

    silhouette Scout

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    Oh man can't wait till those spoon knives become available.
    What model silky saw did you get Alex? Was going to upgrade from my cheapy Gerber to a Bahco but might have to change that now.
     
  10. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Youre on my list of folks to email first!


    I got this saw from Cellis.

    I like supporting other vendors here, and besides.. it was around 10$ cheaper than amazon so it's a double benefit. I'd recommend it. It flexes a little more than a Bahco, BUT this also means I need to let the saw do more work instead of getting really rammy with it.

    I love it, and for the price it's killer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  11. NJWHN95

    NJWHN95 Scout

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    I am so excited after reading this thread (normally this is where an exclamation mark would be, but just that simple punctuation mark does not convey my excitement)

    That is so cool guys. I am really excited to see how all of this turns out, and hopefully I will be purchasing some of your tools! I will be watching for updates, good luck guys!
     
  12. Carbonmated

    Carbonmated Guide

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    Alex,I love your work. A true craftsman in every aspect. Wish you well in this adventure of making these carving knives. You had me at left handed Carver.....
     
  13. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    You've found a good hole to fill and you are filling it with gold :dblthumb:
     
  14. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Thank you very much. Glad to see so many people as excited as I am. It's going to be a lot of work but I think everyone will love the tools even more that way. We're going to make everything per order instead of stock piling them. This way we don't end up killing ourselves in the process.

    Thank you very much, means a lot 8)

    I notice it's tough to find left handed tools, or to be honest to find any good carving tools. Ya have to jump thru hoops to get them these days. Pinewood forge is behind schedule, the Swedish makers are a little tricky to get a hold of as well. Might help if I learned swedish right?

    Thanks Andrew 8)
     
  15. silhouette

    silhouette Scout

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    Ill be patiently/anxiously waiting! Ha ha.

    Oh awesome, going to have to give him some buisness as well!
     
  16. Sequoia Kid

    Sequoia Kid Guide

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    That carving knife is beautiful Alex (well, everything in this picture is beautiful). Will you be selling those too? When the time comes I would jump on the chance to get a wonderful NY forged, Alex/Matt colab carving knife, and one of your crook knives too (but I've already said that). Also, are these knives flat ground, or are they convexed?

    ~Oliver
     
  17. Mtnfolk Mike

    Mtnfolk Mike Supporter Supporter

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    as always great stuff Alex.. love the spoon knives man... may have to get one.. i would also love one of those Saami coffee bags. that you're lovely lady made..:4:
     
  18. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Thanks Oliver. The carving axe there is made by a smith named Ronnqvist from Torr.


    At first this was just a quest for my own tool kit but I keep getting more people asking if we'd make more that I think it'll be a great idea. Each piece will be unique, almost as a steel/wood carved piece... that carves!

    Matt and I are eventually aiming to put out an axe of a similar nature, and style, but with our style of course.. We're not reinventing the wheel though.. these are ancient tools, and there are so many amazing designs already out there.

    We've already started working on the lil' brother version which at this moment is 14oz. A little light for anything other than a 'Spoon Axe' as I've been calling it. Everything is still sort of in the air at the moment. It's not everyday I get a chance to hang out with a talented blacksmith... and on top of that, let's me make decisions sometimes.. So I've been working with Matt on some concepts we are both mixing together. But we're taking our time to actually put it to test. Not just make fire prep and things, because there are plenty of axes out there good at that already. I want something that can obviously be used for that, but put carving time into it and see if it excels in that area.

    [​IMG]


    The hook knives up there are almost flat ground. I did them freehand, and with Matt's advice started to really like this very slightly convexed edge. I've really liked how they carve so at the moment I'm going to keep testing. I eventually want a smaller hook, and a flat-ish mocotaugan knife.
     
  19. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    [​IMG]


    It's funny you mention that brother, we just ordered 10lbs of leather for that... :53: Hate to spend the loot at the moment, but I think these will go over well.

    The one in the photo is just a prototype. She made this up quick out of an old leather jacket I had laying around. I rushed her so I could try them out camping. We're possibly thinking of different colors as well.

    Thanks for them nice words!
     
  20. Sequoia Kid

    Sequoia Kid Guide

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    There's nothing more beautiful to me than something that is as everyday-useful as it beautiful and artistic, and vice versa, and I've found that the most powerful examples of this are things that are made by hand, and things that were truly cared for while they were being made.
     
  21. Steven Long

    Steven Long Guide Vendor

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    This sounds awesome Alex. Congratulations my friend. Can't wait to see what you two come up with...

    Hey man, us stock removal guys get burnt, bloody, and battered too! :4: But I do wish I had a forge, anvil, and a nice set of hammers to play around with :3:...

    I wish you two the best in your adventure together and I will definitely be placing an order when you guys get everything straightened away.
     
  22. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Thanks Steven, it's going to be a blast.

    I hope I didn't make it sound like I was knocking stock removal at all. A lot of my favorite tools are, just a different ballgame and workflow. Pretty much identical minus the anvil and other little things. Some processes can be quicker, some slower. It's just more fun to hit the knife with a hammer.

    Thanks for the wishes and good words, I will eventually put up a list. (mainly because I have a tough time keeping track of everything)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  23. Steven Long

    Steven Long Guide Vendor

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    I know Alex, I was just playing around. I have been wanting to hammer and scratch something for a long time. The finish on a forged knife is actually my favorite.

    I have a hard enough time keeping track of my few projects, I couldn't imagine how it would be with your work load.

    Sounds good and can't wait to be on that list. I'm really looking forward to seeing whats next!
     
  24. Mtnfolk Mike

    Mtnfolk Mike Supporter Supporter

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    Awesome Alex.. definitely want one of those man.. keep me posted.. :)
     
  25. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Will do good buddy!
     
  26. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Here is tonight's Black/Sweet Birch studies. Eating spoon with knot in the handle

    Trying out some new axe swings here and there on the carving stump.

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    The past 3 days spoons.

    When they're backlit I can really see how rusty I've been

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  28. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    In between finishing off kuksa orders I've been trying to work on my spoon design.. Here is the last 3 days spoons.

    I took a break and went out for a walk in the woods. I saw one of the only White Birch trees within a 20 minute walk was blown over after the blizzard so I brough the axe and saw to gather some new carving wood.

    [​IMG]

    I then realized how will I bring this 10" round tree home? I grabbed an antique sleigh and brough home the "spoon" branches for now. I was an axe wielding santa pulling his sleigh of treen thru the slush. It actually was horrible.. I piled up over 100lbs of wood and the rails were rusty and it was hills all the way home. Whoops!

    But it was fun to get carving. Here is my latest 'kit' I really like.
     
  29. Mudman

    Mudman Guide Vendor

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    Me gusta, Me gusta a lot.
     
  30. Crco

    Crco Scout

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    The 3rd one from the left ... I see an evergreen conifer design on the end of the spoon. Similar to that kuksa with the Fimbulwinter design of yours from fairly recent. I like that symbol style even more with the spoons.
     
  31. Sequoia Kid

    Sequoia Kid Guide

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    How do you like your mini, it's new right? Pretty fun little bugger huh?
     
  32. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    At first I was skeptical. We have arguments from time to time. I did all these spoons here with it. I'm used to using the weight of the bit and weakness of the grain to my advantage so with this you have to use more girth behind the swing to get it to bite. Its only a 12 ounce head.
    It's very expensive to just say HEY LETS BUY ONE. I was traded this by an awesome member here and I'm liking it. If you are into the hatchets I'd say go for it. You can't lose value on a Gransfors so I always stick by that.

    Also I'm still testing it and haven't made a final decision yet.

    I've been hiding that in some of my carvings. Glad someone else notices them. I really like the simplicity of the pine tree. Its also an arrow.

    8)
     
  33. Schwert

    Schwert Guide

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    Beautiful new tools Alex.

    That hook looks exceptional, and that sloyd sings...perfect blade shape on that one.

    Let me know when those hooks are rolling for sure.

    Your spoons are taking on a real Adahy-style. (That is a good thing :) )
     
  34. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Thanks Schwert, truely means a lot coming from a well seasoned carver like yourself.

    The tools are coming along. I'm getting out all the jitters and figuring out what works better with what.

    I'm glad to hear my spoons are starting to have my style whatever that is... :33:
    Ive been repetively trying to carve spoons in sets using natural crooks. It's really fun to try to stick to a pattern, but at the same time following the fiber. A hundred more or so, and I think I'll have it down 8)
     
  35. Schwert

    Schwert Guide

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    Style is one of those things that is hard to define, but pretty clear on seeing. All of your work has an Adahy style...that undefinable character that comes from your soul.

    You have carved more spoons last night probably than I have carved in my whole life so you are constantly refining your style. The new tools are just an extension of your style and likely make freeing the spoon from the wood easier too.

    I am really quite impressed with the hook. My large Svante hook is pretty useful, but it is much less refined (needed a bit of work) than my smaller Stubbs hooks...this one of yours looks to be similar in size to the Svante but much more perfectly setup for use.

    That sloyd really has just about captured the perfect form and function of a carver....similar to the Mora 120 in shape which is near ideal but with a form factor that really takes it to a higher level of functional art.
     
  36. Schwert

    Schwert Guide

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    [​IMG]

    I got this new Svante Sloyd for Christmas. A very similar blade shape to yours and one that is really growing on me. I still tend to prefer my larger puukko for roughing work, but this sloyd from Svante is feeling better and better every time I use it.

    I am preparing for my annual grade school wood carving demo (troll carvings) and this may be the knife I use this year...though I do have a spectacular new puukko from Joonas Kallioniemi coming in a week or so that will be awfully hard not to use.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  37. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Schwert, that looks nice. I should take a picture of my little sloyd knife with something for scale. It's maybe 2 1/4" (Blade)

    I like it. I'm still tweaking it. I need to round off the spine more, because it beat up my hands a bit.
    _________________________



    Here is tonight's spoon studies in White Birch... the one to the far right is kind of ironic and a bit of humor most carvers would understand.

    I try not to get mad when an unexpected cut happens with the wood. The stem just popped off that last spoon when I was just finishing it up. The grain was a bit wonky anyways with that knot on the rim. Sometimes when you're working with nature as your medium.. you can't really predict or boss around it's design.

    So instead of chucking it in the woodstove, I decided to clean up the end. I used it and it actually is really comfortable and easy. I might make more. Maybe a necklace for food lovers?

    [​IMG]
    The first spoon is naturally bent. As one of my favorite carvers says "Form Follows Fiber'

    [​IMG]

    So as always, nothing goes to waste. It's making me rethink spoons as a structure, but also maybe experimenting with design features.. do we need a stem? If you leave this one in your pocket and sit down, it may not break... just some thoughts.
     
  38. Schwert

    Schwert Guide

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    The shorty did make me smile. Good save.
     
  39. Mudman

    Mudman Guide Vendor

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    That's a pocket spoon Alex! lol I'd rock it.
     
  40. Crco

    Crco Scout

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    What about converting that pocket spoon (as Mudman so eloquently put it) into a quasi-spork that is something like this:

    big-mini-bamboo-spork.jpg

    P.S. Don't anyone buy those little sporks. They're low quality. Although I'm sure that if Alex made his own rendition of them, they'd be killer and world-class quality.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2013
  41. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    ...HAHA best P.S. ever. I was thinking it'd make a cool necklace. Neckspoon, I'm gonna try it 8)
     
  42. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    I went out in the forest today to harvest more white birch that a storm took down. It's been muddy out so I have to carry each piece of the tree trunk over my shoulder.

    I took out this double bit an 85 year old man gave me the first time I met him. 'Vern' That's what I've named the axe. I took pictures of this a while back.

    I haven't restored it yet, but it shoots as straight as an arrow.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Jess wanted to take an olde timey photo of me. Life woulda been nice before tv, radio waves and cell phones.

    [​IMG]
    You can see how green this birch is compared to the other wood I have in stock. Some wild cherry, spalted birch. Some isn't suitable for kuksas anymore.

    [​IMG]
    The MP KNIVES / ADAHY Short Spoon Froe

    [​IMG]
    The Gucci Swedish Carving axe I haven't used much until recently. Cody of Adventure Sworn knives helped me modify the bevel for supreme carving capabilities.
     
  43. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Now it carves as if the birch was a frozen potatoe. Birch is edible.. I wonder how these chips would taste fried? They're about the same millimeter as a common potatoe chip or as the english say a 'crisp'.

    [​IMG]
    Carving larger sculptures is tough sometimes. It took me 3 tries to get a decent kuksa blank. I have to hew each piece from it's half round state. Then I flatten the face, and start digging the bowl. Well it took three tries. Two went into the woodstove pile.
    With spoons or anything else smaller, it's easy to spot a problematic piece of wood or a 'dud'. Sometimes you almost finish up a kuksa before realizing it has a fatal grain.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  44. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    [​IMG]

    Three hours later I'm at this state. Look at the grain in this one!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  45. Mudman

    Mudman Guide Vendor

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    Can't wait to see what comes of these brother!
     
  46. xRangerx

    xRangerx Turley Club# 177 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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  47. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    You should see what yours looks like my friend. It still feels heavy so it needs more time drying. Or maybe it's heavy because you can fit a cantaloupe in it :25:
     
  48. Crco

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    Terrific photos, as per usual, Alex. You really bring your daily carving processes to life for us non-&-amateur carvers. In a way that transcends visual appreciation, really.

    You make a good point about the edible nature of birch. There's a lot of terrific Google-able resources out there on how to eat inner bark on birch trees. At least one native tribe is well known for making bark an important part of their daily diet. Up in your area of the mountains of upstate New York are the Adirondack tribe. That name translates to “bark eaters” in the Iroquois language.

    BTW, what do you do with those mountain of wood chips that you compile on your work shop floor?
     
  49. Sequoia Kid

    Sequoia Kid Guide

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    Beautiful photos Alex, looks like you had a productive day. Quick question, what gouge is this? Also, what did you finish your GB carving axe's handle with? It looks so cool.

     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  50. Mudman

    Mudman Guide Vendor

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    lol I can't wait to show a few people. Maybe I will mount a camera to my hat to catch their facial expressions.
     

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