Spoon Carvers?

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by BC-Medic, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. BC-Medic

    BC-Medic Scout

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    Just bought my first hook knife I started to rough out a spoon from Applewood I have the shape traced with a black Magic Marker. Anybody have any pointers or any good tutorials they can point me towards on the best way to actually carve a spoon? Also, the Applewood that I have is still pretty green I caught it about a month ago, and I split it down today it's still pretty wet inside. What few videos I've seen on YouTube people talk about green versus dry, I know the would probably should not be seasoned, I did not really get into the bowl much today but I was dying to try the knife out and I did it did not seem to be taking off as much as I thought it would should would be dryer? Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Zunga

    Zunga Bushmaster

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    wet is Probaly easier on your blade and elbow. it wouldn't hurt to have a common table spoon nearby. many first timers make bowls deeper than needed. the crank or downward slope from handle to bowl is important to ease of use. I use gouges so can't advise in hook knife technique. but I would think slow and steady still applies. have fun and watch your fingers! :dblthumb:
    Cheers Jim

    Edit. I forgot to mention a good (doesn't mean expensive) wood rasp is a big work saver. a 10 inch half round is typically $15 or under. some prefer a straight blade and shaving for the same tasks. i use it to thin a bowl and handle once its roughly shaped. the rasp moves a lot of wood quickly. to much pressure leaves deep tooth marks. which means a lot of sanding. I think a straight blade would allow for the rough look much better. the round side helps with getting rounded tapers roughed out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018
  3. HannahT

    HannahT Firebug Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    If you want something dryer to work with until your wood dries out a little @T. Pollock sells some nice spoon blanks. I think the video I saw that helped me on a super-beginner level was from Coalcracker Bushcraft. He explained some of the stuff that everybody else seemed to know but I didn't :)
     
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  4. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Still going Supporter

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    Wood carves easier when it is green brother. The spoon knife takes some getting used to. The first few cuts hollowing out the bowl won't take much but as the bowl forums it will take more out with each stroke. I use mine like an ice cream scoop taking out potato chip shaped wood chips.
     
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  5. BC-Medic

    BC-Medic Scout

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    That's the way I understood it....but it's not working well.....the vids I have watched.....man they make it seem easy....it 10 20 seconds they already have a bowl formed....
     
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  6. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Still going Supporter

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    Yes sir they do.
    But they also have years of practice. And they are probably carving birch.
    Apple wood is a hardwood. Take your time it's not a race there's no hurry. Keep a spoon close by for reference.
    Then carve away anything that doesn't look like a spoon. :4:
    You will do fine brother ! Yes there will be mistakes made and even a few disasters but it's all part of the learning process. Keep carving you will get better. ENJOY !

    There are endless YouTube vids about spoon carving. Sorry I can't recommend anyone.
     
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  7. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    Applewood is a very hard wood to begin with. When I carve any hardwoods, I keep a bucket of water near me. I frequently dip the wood into the water, it helps soften the outside layer and will give you a smoother cut.

    Number one rule is patients, Rome was not built in a day!
     
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  8. OrdinarySpring

    OrdinarySpring Tracker

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  9. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    69B12775-501E-4034-8C24-1BDD0759C321.jpeg

    Green wood is generally preferable.

    The most valuable tip for working with green wood I have picked up is, while you’re making something and even for the first day or two after you make it, keep it in a ziplock with a bit of damp rag when you are not working on it. There are a number of times I’ve started something like a spoon, and then when I come back to finish it or keep going the next day, small cracks have developed as the wood dries out... and small cracks grow into big cracks. If you keep it in a ziplock, with some damp cloth at first and later just the ziplock, no cloth, you slow the drying process, and the wood has time to adjust as it dries and shrinks... no cracking.

    That’s a specific tip... two more fundamental points...

    1) Go slow, be patient, and enjoy it. Think of making your spoon or whatever as an activity to be enjoyed for itself rather than a project to be accomplished. Not only does this make working with wood more enjoyable, but — I’m convinced from my own experience — you also work more safely and end up with a better product.

    2) This is really fundamental and important, and applies for any type of carving or material... Only work along one axis at a time. Look at your piece from the top to identify swells and asymmetries you want to address by removing material, and only work on that for a few minutes... don’t skip around. Then, rotate the piece and look at the same area from the side, again looking for swells and asymmetries to address. Work on that and that only. Then look at it from the end.

    You want to change axes fairly frequently — don’t do everything you want to when looking at it from the top and then switch to the side, because then you often end up needing to remove something that will affect your earlier work — but when you are working on a bit or section, only work along one axis at a time.

    I get best results when I pick a particular area — like the back third of the bowl — look at it from the top, take away bulges and balance out asymmetries for a couple minutes, then look at the back third of the bowl from the side, work on that for a couple minutes, then look at it from the front or back and work on that for a couple minutes. Then, do the same thing with the middle of the bowl... then with the front of the bowl. Etc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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  10. Carabnr

    Carabnr Guide

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    @BC-Medic How's the spoon coming along? Apple wood is tough, but the spoons are super fine. If you got a Mora knife hooked blade, that may be the problem. There's something about the geometry that isn't happening. When I use a spoon knife, I scoop up carefully across the grain, and later after it dries I go more down the grain with a push from my cupped left index finger. Gives better control.

    Spoons are so much fun!
     
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  11. BC-Medic

    BC-Medic Scout

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    I gave up for now on the Apple wood. I think I bit of more than I could chew for my first spoon attempt. Yesterday I grabbed a piece of Maple that I had cut over the summer. Still a little green but here is my first spoon. Albeit small and not pretty it is a spoon. Going to let it dry a few days and finish shaping the end of the handle 20181203_090534.jpg
     
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  12. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    Getting there! Way to keep at it!

    Do you have any poplar (properly tulip magnolia) around?

    For some reason it doesn’t seem very popular as a carving wood but I really like to work with it. Very easy to carve but the finished product holds up to use quite well. The one eating utinsil I have carried on all my woods outings for the past year is a spoon I carved from poplar.
     
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  13. BC-Medic

    BC-Medic Scout

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    I have looked and not sure how prominent it is in NH , I could be missing it. I would love to get my hands on some for carving .
     
  14. PLackey

    PLackey Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Crepe myrtle works well for spoons and they grow back profusely.

    My advice, which I've learned from others on here at meets, is to do the bulk of the work with a hatchet, and to leave a little handle sticking out the tip of the bowl until you are just about finished with the spoon. The extra handle makes it a lot easier to flip the spoon around and gouge out the opposite side of the bowl if you have something to hang onto.
     
  15. Niagara

    Niagara Scout

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    Also... strop often. Plus... strop often.
    Sharp tools make a huge difference.
    Niagara
     
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  16. BC-Medic

    BC-Medic Scout

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    I'm going to try the handle on the other end next time, as it was difficult to flip the spoon and work it the other way. I started of with a hatchet but the only one I have was way to thick . So roughed it out with my tomahawk. I was following Ben Orfords video on spoon carving ,he is right. Close quarters the long handle gets in the way. I came close once buying a GB wilderness hatchet but didn't, I might have just found an excuse.
     
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  17. BC-Medic

    BC-Medic Scout

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    I did my friend many times....I'm a bit obsessive with stropping my sharps.....lol
     
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  18. PLackey

    PLackey Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Like this one? :D

    20181203_141144.jpg

    LL Bean still has them on sale. 105 shipped. :16:
     
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  19. BC-Medic

    BC-Medic Scout

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    Ohh... booooiiiing....!!!
     
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  20. wisconsinwalter

    wisconsinwalter Supporter Supporter

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    You may have created a secondary bevel on the edge if you are stropping in leather.

    That secondary bevel needs to be removed.

    Apple is an easy wood to carve when green.
     

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