Utensil Carving Advice Needed - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-13-2015, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Utensil Carving Advice Needed

Hi All!
I just started trying to make utensils from fallen maple logs. So far, Iíve just been doing spatulas. Iíve found that there are some tasks which I donít have the right tool for. I have an old hatchet, a carving knife, a couple cheap hand saws, a file, and some sandpaper. Right now, Iím working on a spatula blank, but itís way too thick (about three quarters of an inch). The file is too slow, and the knife isnít up to the task, but the blank is too thick to use a saw on. What tools can I add to my collection to help with tasks like this? Would a fine rasp be the right tool for the job? Or should I go with a spokeshave or a hand plane? Iím patient and donít mind using hand tools, and Iím a student, so Iíd prefer not to buy really expensive stuff. I know Iíll have to get some sort of spoon knife eventually to move on from spatulas. I definitely plan on trying to make other stuff, so versatile tools are good.
Thanks for any advice!
Micah
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-13-2015, 10:52 PM
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You might try a good draw knife to thin the wood down some. A good tool for spoon making is a scorp, or a curved knife, very handy and great tools to use.

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post #3 of 4 Old 08-14-2015, 09:53 AM
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If your plan is to make utensils by only hand, consider a good set of carving tools, but do learn how to sharpen them. If you want to "cheat" a bit, then consider a Dremel hand tool that offers a variety of tool ends to cut, carve, and sand. Be safe.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-14-2015, 01:43 PM
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I've carved some spoons (70+) and sold a lot of them. Forks (30+) are much more of a challenge.
Tools:
Time for some free window shopping. First, look at the Mora #162, 163 and 164. Scandanavian crooked knives for carving the bowl voids in both spoons and kuksa (watch a few related Youtubes here.)
Next, look at the "hook" knives that farrier's use for horse hoof trimming. Most are quite similar to the Mora #171. The steel quality varies a lot. Hall (Canada) is probably the most durable. These are easily revised to 12 degree bevels for wood carving, I've done 10 or so. The best part is that your local farrier may part with a "worn-out" knife for next to nothing. A new Hall costs me $50. A worn out one from the local farrier was $5 each, plenty of wood carving steel in each one.
Next, take a look at the traditional crooked knives for wood carving which are used primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Kestrel has the best selection, North Bay Forge and Cariboo are also good.
Advice
1. You will need a knife with a sweep, a curve to the blade. Many to pick from. Learn what you're looking for is a cheaper way to get what you need.
2. You have got to learn how to sustain a "carving sharp" edge. That means learning how to properly sharpen a sweeping, curved edge. You can't but a kit to do this.
3. Conventional wood carving tools (gouges, etc) don't lend themselves well to spoon carving. Larger bowls and other dishes, yes.
4. Me? $15 spoke shaves for the handles. Crooked knives and a 9/15 Pfeil gouge for the bowl voids.
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