Adze or gouge for bowls and kuskas?

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by amusin, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. amusin

    amusin Guide

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    So a week or two back I carved my first spoon almost on accident. Then set out to carve my first kuska and i'm nearly done and very pleased wiyh myself. But hollowing a bowl with the mora spoon knife was just a bit more work than I like even after i got the profile adjusted to suite me. So I need either a gouge or a tiny adze for roughing bowls and I'm not sure which I would prefer.
    I hope that some of the experienced carvers will chime in with the advantages and disadvantages of each along with some advice on where and what to buy.
     
  2. Sides

    Sides Guide

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    I use a hook knife, from Pinewood Forge.
     
  3. amusin

    amusin Guide

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    A better hook knife than the mora is definitely in my long tern wants list as well. Could you share more about what led you to that knife and why it works best for ya?
     
  4. Sides

    Sides Guide

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    I'm not a fan of Mora. I don't like mass produced knives, even though I have some. A friend recommended Pinewood Forge. He makes the knives himself, for spoon carvers. When I ordered it took about a month to get the knife. The blades are beautiful and scary sharp. I like to support the little guy.

    http://pinewoodforge.com
     
  5. stronghorse

    stronghorse Guide

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    +1 for Gouges

    I actually prefer using gouges for most of the work in carving the bowl of spoons, kuksas, and bowls. I prefer to use my crooked knives to do more 'finish' type work.
     
  6. bharner

    bharner Guide

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    I've got a vintage gouge that I picked up on fleabay for under $10 that works decently for spoons. I haven't found a good piece of wood for kuksa yet.
    But my spoon knife from Del at Pinewood Forge last week and it is absolutely amazing. It carves through birch like butter.

    Tapatalk ate my spelling and grammar.
     
  7. mahaney

    mahaney Guide

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    I am looking for a good adze myself. I have a spoon/hook knife, but am really looking for an adze to help get the bowl roughed out quicker. Thankyou for bringing this up!

    J
     
  8. Sterling Woodsman

    Sterling Woodsman Scout

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    I would also like to know what would be a good adze. The gransfors bruks gutter adze is over three hundred dollars (not sure why for such a small tool, it's almost double the price of their swedish carving axe). If someone could recommend a good adze (gutter i guess) that doesn't break the bank I would appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  9. Vintagebushcraft

    Vintagebushcraft Scout

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  10. amusin

    amusin Guide

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  11. pure_mahem

    pure_mahem Guide

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    After looking at these I definitely want one. BUT, I think it would be completely awesome if someone made one that could be slid onto the same handle we use for our Cold Steel Trail Hawks. That would give a lot of versatility to only having to carry one handle for multiple tools while offering a rather convenient method replacing handles and to the maker for handling the tool. So can anyone offer such a thing at a economical price on mass scale. If not currently offered I'm claiming rights to the idea here and now. Will trade all rights for the right to test prototype models and 2 finished models when the overall design(s) is/are perfected.:33:
     
  12. Pablo

    Pablo Guide Vendor

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    I've played around with an adze for bowls. I think with a tool that is "just right", it might be the way to go, but I've never been able to get mine to fit that description. I'll still use it to rough out large bowls, but it's not fun or efficient work at all. That said though, I'm with you on using the hook knife for large work (and by large, I mean more than cup or personal bowl-sized). My Mora works great for personal-sized utensils since I use mostly birch or aspen. I'm also still looking for the ideal roughing out tool for concave work. I'll follow this thread for sure...
     
  13. Sterling Woodsman

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    on a kuksa looks like most people use the adze just for starting/roughing the bowl shape and then use the gouge after that. I would think doing an entire bowl with a gouge would get very tedious. The adze would definitely make it easier.
     
  14. Vintagebushcraft

    Vintagebushcraft Scout

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    Im getting my revenge on my hickory tree by carving a kuska out of it now. I tried roughing it out with the gouge and it was not happening. The adze had it roughed out in about 5 minutes. Then I was able to shave it down with the gouge.
     
  15. amusin

    amusin Guide

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    so I'm starting to get a nice mental picture of what i want i think a tiny adze weighing in at 8-12 oz with a bit about an inch wide on about a ten inch handle will allow me to make quick work of hollowing things out and use my wrists rather than my elbows, but might be limited in how deep I can carve on a narrow bowl as I do like my cups and bowls at least as deep as they are wide.

    the other option that seems very attractive is a gouge of about the same dimensions and a nice wooden mallet to drive it. I think this would allow for reaching way deep into a bowl while still allowing quick but controlled removal of wood that is where the coffee goes.

    one other notion that has presented itself is perhaps including a small hand drill in my arsenal

    as I understand it so far
    adze: cooler looking and quicker, but one small enough to be easy to handle in cup sized work may not hollow as deeply as I would like
    gouge and mallet: more control and ability to dig deeper probably cheaper if I make my own mallet, less traditional

    one possible avenue is to purchase a knee adze type bit and use it both ways, anyone care to venture an opinion on that?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
  16. Sterling Woodsman

    Sterling Woodsman Scout

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    I spoke to drew langsner from country workshops today and he was saying that there's no need for an adze to do a kuksa or a small bowl. I bet it would make it go a lot faster but he said a gouge is all you need.
     
  17. Mr. Chips

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    I'm with Drew.

    A good sharp gouge is the way to go.

    I have carved hundreds of spoons, ladles, bowls, and Kuksas. Hook knives work, but are slow, especially for bowls and kuksas. I can't imagine attempting one with an adz. I am pretty sure that with my razor sharp Swiss gouges and maybe a mallet that I can carve far faster and more accurately than I ever could with an adz. I think an adz might be useful for those who don't have larger gouges and want to do large bowls, but even there I think that for accuracy and efficiency the gouge is what I would want.

    I do know for sure that the appropriate gouges will beat the pants off a bent knife for kuksas and bowls. Bent knives are ok for spoons, but even there I'd rather have a gouge.

    Not some teensy little thing, but a real gouge that you can shave with. For deep ladles, kuksas and the like, a short bent gouge (also called a spoon gouge is useful - actually pretty much essential.

    If someone wants to do this kind of work, and isn't opposed to power tools, a drill press and a Forsner bit will really speed thins up, though maybe not as much as you would think if you have the right gouges and the know how.
     
  18. amusin

    amusin Guide

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    did the first one with just the mora hook and 120 carver about the 4th time I resharpened the mora I started getting a better bite because I was shifting the bevel around a bit pretty happy with how it cuts now, but it took me a few days. I've just bought a fine gouge from a member here and ordered up a bit for a knee adze from mp knifes should make a nice progression in levels of force as I get better with the tools and wood. buying the used gouge, just the bit for the adze and sticking with the mora hook will make it all just barely fit in my hobby budget. and I'm sure I won't lose money if I lose interest.
     
  19. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    I agree with everything said but also rules are meant to be broken too. Ive talked to Drew and have some of his old books. He prefers gouges for sure. It really just comes down to what you prefer and what you are comfortable with.
    I used to be afraid to use the adze, but now that I understand it a little more, I can confidently chop to the line with it.
    Someone on the forum made me a custom adze to my specs. I wanted something a little smaller than the usual 'bowl carving adzes' you see from Hans Karlsson or Svente Djarve. So I wanted something about theh size of a 50 cent piece.

    I used to carve all my kuksas and bowls with spoon knives. But then I started to get risky and use the adze. Now I use it on every kuksa I carve. Its a gamble, one wrong whack and you cut into your bowl walls. I'd like to actually time it.. The adze is so fast with removing waste wood that I bet you could carve two in the time it takes to drill out one kuksa with a forsner and drill press.. and then cleaning out the machine marks.

    With all that said, I do like to change up my routines since I carve daily. I like to adze the bowl portion, then clean it up with a gouge. Then I chop the outside with an axe and then it's time for knife work. The more work done with heavier tools, the easier it is to finish up later with smaller knives.

    A lot of old school carvers used adzes to carve spoons as well.. great example in this swedish film that's been floating around for some time. This guy is so confident with an adze... I'll be there in a couple years...:51: If you watch, the spoon knife or twca cwm doesn't really have that much action... since the adze did most of the work. The spoon knife is there to clean up the adze work.

    [video=youtube;JW1YzoRmvUo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW1YzoRmvUo[/video]





    Here is a video showing my method. This was last year, and I'm much more accurate and confident. To have a roughly shaped kuksa.. it takes me 20-30 minutes with axe and gouge only.

    [video=youtube;8iGhbxqdgdg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iGhbxqdgdg[/video]

    [video=youtube;2ECNkzvloiU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ECNkzvloiU[/video]
    This second video is right after adze work. Then I take it out of my 'wood vice' and axe the rest.


    Also another thing I just thought about... when I carved dough bowls and kuksas before I had an adze... my hands and body hurt. Granted there are better positions to carve in that save the body from aches, but the adze really sped things up. One thing I like to do for more accuracy is mallet the pole on the adze like you would with a large gouge.

    The prices end up being the same. For a massive gouge, you paying at least $100 new. (Sure you can find a rare deal on ebay or modify one to a wider sweep) But most gougers like to have a couple of different sweeps. So it ends up being about the same price.

    Anyways, just a thought. There is no right answer. Once you think you have things they way you like.. the grains change as does the whether and your mind, and you'll end up with other carving tools. I do love gouges too... My poor wallet 8)
     
  20. Lasivian

    Lasivian Banned Member Banned

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    DAMN, he's mighty good. At the end I was thinking "I'll buy it, and a few more just so I can keep watching you work"

    I use Warren Cutlery knives with interchangeable blades myself. (https://warrencutlery.com/store/index.php)I have a small pack of a handle, a cur resistant glove (There is a big gouge scar on my hand that I never want to repeat) and a dozen different blades that I put in my gear for small carving. It's barely bigger than a pack of cards, and the hollow plastic handle allows me to feel a little more ultralight.

    A nice little adze would be really nice to have tho, that would save quite a bit of effort. I also like the idea of an adze and mallet for more control than a gouge and mallet.

    Who made your adze Adahy?
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  21. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Ive wondered about those warren knives. They look interesting.

    Randy_T built my adze but its not something he does everyday. You could ask him tho!

    Im in the research stages at the moment but I'll be designing a custom adze with MP Knives soon. Im asked daily about adzes and I think were going to come up with something really nice.
     
  22. chopchop

    chopchop Scout

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    Kestrel tool makes a really nice adze, I think... I haven't used one but I've had my eye on one since I got a crooked knife blank from him. I love the crooked knife, btw.

    http://www.rockisland.com/~kestrel/adze.html
     
  23. Sides

    Sides Guide

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    You should also look at a scorp.
     
  24. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Nic Westermann makes a MEAN scorp! I want one bad
     
  25. amusin

    amusin Guide

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    I was playing with my M.P. plate adze a little yesterday and it made me remeber this thread, and all the great advise and information on it. I'm loving the knee adze I set up with the bit from Matt Paul fine tool for a very fair price. with the branch I chose out for a handle I can dig deep. I do often find myself using a mallet with it, but still find the handle easier to grip than a gouge, that would change if I had a proper workbench and clamp though, I mostly carve in the living room I can swing the adze with one hand while I support the peice with the other so long as I think hard about where my fingers and the blade are. or hold the peice between my feet and pound the adze with a mallet.

    I'm not the end all of carving here. Several of the other folks who replied above do more carving every week than I have so far, but I'm figuring out what I like.

    Enjoy folks
     
  26. tipifam

    tipifam Banned Member Banned

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    i make my own scoop blades out of hacksaw blades. it's quick, works great and disposable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  27. Bad Little Falls

    Bad Little Falls Scout

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    Right a clog video..... In the second half you will see him using his block knife and later you will see an adaptation where there is a changeable bit and fixed blades of different shapes. A device like this can be use to make bowls with the right bit, inside and outside.
    [video=youtube;8hUmrr8Y5_U]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hUmrr8Y5_U[/video]
     
  28. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Ive seen this guys video before. Awesome stuff.

    Those stock knives are great and extremely powerful but I dont see much use hollowing out a bowl though. Maybe some of the work on a shallow bowl.
     
  29. Bad Little Falls

    Bad Little Falls Scout

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    The block knife can be adapted with a gouge, not on the same block knife but a special bar with a gouge affixed to it. Use the power of the block knife and direct it into a gouge. I only used that video because I could not find a proper one. I have used such a device, it is very cool to use. About half way down this link you will see a picture of some of Bill bowls, he was always finding new ways to make bowl carving easier for the regular people.
    http://www.yurtinfo.org/the-yurt-foundation
     
  30. Bad Little Falls

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  31. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    I was sad to hear Bill Coperthwaite passed away. A friend told me to order his book and the next day I heard about the accident. I wish I heard of him sooner.. what an amazing guy.

    I didnt see a stock knife in there but Id love to hear any more info on its hollowing use. I think it's great and of course I could be wrong, Ive never tried that method.
    The tools on the stump are the ones the man to the right is using in the photos.

    Ive been looking to find other methods of producing bowls as using adzes and gouges are pretty rough on the hands.
     
  32. Adahy

    Adahy Kuksaholic Vendor

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    Right on, I see what you mean. It'd be awesome to do some of the rough work, similar to adze work but more precise.
     
  33. juskojj

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    So I've been wondering what size/sweep gouges you guys use, suggest for spoons, bowls, kuksa ect and maybe brand.

    I ran across a guy on eBay from Bulgaria who makes adze from 4150 steel for $34, figured for that price why not try?
     

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