What tools do I need for spoon carving? - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 39 Old 02-27-2019, 05:14 PM
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Well, start at the fat end. Peel off some bark and try different cuts.


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post #22 of 39 Old 02-27-2019, 10:01 PM
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Don't be confused...!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conner.Michaux View Post
Okay guys i'm really confused about all your saying, i'm very new to wood working, I also have a very tight budget, I cant afford any nice files or multiple grits of sandpaper...The only things I have for spoons is, A hook knife, and two carving knives, I have no other wood working tools. And the only wood I have access to is dried hardwood lumber...I can afford to get some wood today, but Im still not sure if I can carve on lumber.
Hi Conner,

Your getting a lot of information, and that can be overwhelming for a beginner. Don't try to take it "all in." Process it in small bits.

Your goal is just making some simple spoons for now, and the wood for that is not hard to get and shouldn't cost you anything. Some landowners, if you ask nicely, will let you take a few small trees, or limbs that are still green. If all you can absolutely get is "dry fire wood" then soak it in a tub of water and oil it with a vegetable oil as you work it. This will make the cutting much easier even in woods like Maple. BE CAREFUL...too much oil can cause you to slip and cut yourself...but the oil does make a huge difference in lubricating the cuts and softening the wood also.

I was remiss yesterdays post of not mentioning the number one tool I personally recommend to anyone with limited funds and time to get into all the different hand carving methods. That tool is a simple "carving jack."

On my left hip, in a brain-tanned sheath (of squirrel and woodchuck...)...you will always find my "right handed" carving jack. It has six of the most common carving tools used, comes with a hone block and is all you really need to do some pretty advanced carving...spoons included.
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post #23 of 39 Old 02-27-2019, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
If you get a chance could you give some detail as how the incannal is used?
For the OP's project (spoons) if he is going down the path of..."carving chisels"...He doesn't need much...

Carving chisels, in general, cover a broad spectrum, and from many cultures. The diversity is just about endless; with each culture having there unique characteristics. Carving Chisels, have virtually and endless array of geometries with each manufacture (or Smith) perhaps having some standards. They will come (no mater the geometry) as either..."incanal" (bevel on the inside) and "outcannal" (bevel on the outside) types as each has a specific application.

In "spoon carving" the "incannal" (aka "Teahouse (Sukui) House joinery chisels" {外丸鑿 - Soto maru nomi What I use quite often...}..."Scribing gouges"...or..."pattern makers gouges style") are typically employed on the back of the bowl, the neck and the lip the most, but can have other applications as well...

I'm attaching a video below that is someone I respect and admire. He has given one of the best explanations out there regarding this topic. As he describes, and I learned as a child from my mother (a Master Carver in stone and wood) that as your skills progress you will advance into a more diverse range of profiles and bevel geometries...both incannal and outcannal...

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Last edited by 35015; 02-27-2019 at 10:43 PM.
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post #24 of 39 Old 02-27-2019, 11:35 PM
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Thanks for the video Jay, I appreciate it. That explains how and in seeing the video it has given me more ideas how they could be used. Cool.
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post #25 of 39 Old 02-28-2019, 12:40 AM
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You are most welcome...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJim View Post
Thanks for the video Jay, I appreciate it. That explains how and in seeing the video it has given me more ideas how they could be used. Cool.
I'm very pleased you enjoyed it...The "incannal gouges" are often overlooked and not well understood these days, as you could tell from just this conversation the OP started with a simple query...

They are often what I reach for the most...and love the best of all chisels...!!!......Today was a day of cutting joinery in a massive Dutch Barn...What was in my hands...???!!!...the most...a 4" wide 3' long "clabbard slick incannal gouge...and a 30mm 外丸鑿 - Soto maru nomi amoung other esoteric gouge chisels seldom used today...
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post #26 of 39 Old 03-02-2019, 12:50 AM
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Jay and Conner,
Here's a video I think would also help.....I enjoy most of third coast craftsman 's you tubes as there interesting and informative.


Enjoy!!!!
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post #27 of 39 Old 03-02-2019, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Tennessee Tim View Post
Jay and Conner,
Here's a video I think would also help.....I enjoy most of third coast craftsman 's you tubes as there interesting and informative.

Carving A Spoon From The Endangered American Chestnut // Woodworking ASMR!! - YouTube

Enjoy!!!!
That was my thinking also it would be a lot simpler to use common carving chisels to carve out the spoons. One thing I didn't care for in the video for the OP is the use of spoon chisels. They would be more difficult to learn how to sharpen than straight chisels and for that application are unnecessary.
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post #28 of 39 Old 03-02-2019, 03:04 PM
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The OP has a spoon knife. Good.



SN: "Spoon bent" gouges are not chisels and they are designed for a purpose.
All kinds of sharpening require learning. Probably driven by need and desire.
There's long-bent, short-bent and tracery-bent gouges to learn to do if you needed them.


Free-hand is no big deal but you have to practice and practice and practice.
Then, I found that all Pacific Northwest designed edges required a reverse or opposite sharpening process!



I freehand sharpen maybe 2 dozen+ crooked knives over my knee.

You can stand and watch and never figure out what I really did.



One overlooked orthodox process is the standard wood carving practice to carve a "stop cut" first

and then carve back to that to eliminate the possibility of long run-out splits.
You can see that in my picture of spoon carving = 3/4 Forstner bit cut hole.
That allowed me to do most of the rough out with a 9/15 then finish with crooked knives.
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post #29 of 39 Old 03-03-2019, 02:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
That was my thinking also it would be a lot simpler to use common carving chisels to carve out the spoons. One thing I didn't care for in the video for the OP is the use of spoon chisels. They would be more difficult to learn how to sharpen than straight chisels and for that application are unnecessary.
Carving modalties are very individualistic in nature..."chisel" or "knife" methods...both are about equal in the hands of a proficient practictioner...

I prefer "chisel" myself, however that is what I grew up around, and only saw my mother use "knife work" on rare occasion. She too, found them applicable only to specific styles of work comparably. With that said, in the hands of a Pacific Coast Carver, or other indigenous groups that use knife-work, the speed and dexterity of carving is both efficient and extremely fast...

Both are more than applicable for spoon work, and since the OP is a "clean slate" for having a foundation, either can serve them very well...

As for sharpening...that is purely a personal perspective in regards to speed and ease of learning...

I find most folks I have taught sharpening to learn to sharpen knifes and gouges about the same as it is as much "feel" as it is achieving a "set geometry." Of those that develop the skills to become proficient at it...me included...I find a convex (outcannal) surface much easier to quickly sharpen (hand or machine) than I do a concave (incannal) surface, yet the differences, once the methods are learned and muscle memory developed for them...the difference is marginal at best...with straight and oblique chisels not that far behind at all.

I (and those I teach) with the right set up can hone a keen edge (shave sharp if you choose?) in less than 30 seconds in most applications and even a damage (i.e. chipped, bent, or bevel change) usually taking less than 5 minutes before the honing process puts the tool back to work...if using a powered sharpening system.

Tools for knife-carving that have an incannal profile do not lend themselves to power sharpen as easily (though it can be done) and take a bit more time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian T View Post
..."Spoon bent" gouges are not chisels...
I agree..."The OP has a spoon knife." and this is good, as he is moving in a direction that will at least get him started...

As for "gouges are not chisels"......I think I have to challenge that understanding perhaps...and/or...ask more question of why you think so?

By definition (in English) a "chisel is: noun - a wedge like tool with a cutting edge at the end of the blade, often made of steel, used for cutting or shaping wood, stone, etc. and in many definition sources this includes gouges as being a "curved edged chisel."

As such they can be made of stone, glass, biological enamel, bone, as well as alloys, and have all manner of geometry.

When we look at other "wood carving cultures" the word for..."chisel"...includes gouges as well as straight edged versions of the tool...

Case in point for just two examples:

Japanese: "Nomi" 鑿 (or 鑿子是) mean the generic term "chisel" while "Maru Nomi" 丸鑿 is the word for "gouge" and you can see the same kanji used in both names...

Chinese: "Zozi" 凿子 means "chisel, "zh zo" for "straight chisel; "xi zo" 斜凿Oblique chisel; yun zo 圆凿 (Round chisel) "gouge" and the list goes on...

Within most of Europe carving cultures from the Nordic to Eastern European and Middle Easter culture the same holds true as far as I know?
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post #30 of 39 Old 03-03-2019, 03:15 AM
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In english, the term "gouge" provides me with a superior sense of the design of the tool = the edge has a sweep.
A "spoon-bent" gouge is not a spoon knife = totally different.
The function of the gouge is replaced by the progressive sweep of a Pacific Northwest crooked knife.



I think it's useful, also, to describe the "knife" in terms of the blade design.
Everything from the little straight-bladed detail knives through the swept "crooked" knives with their many shapes

to the massive crooked knives from the fur trade, the "Mocotaugan" style knives.
I have and use all of those.

The Mocotaugan blade is particularly useless as a carver.

For pack frames, canoe parts & paddles and snowshoe frames, magnificent.
Mine is a Sheffield blade of the pattern sold by the Hudson's Bay Company in their fur trading posts in the late 1700's.
I made the knife 3 ways crooked (sweep, cant & offset). Weak, weak performer.



I learned by long experience that the single-edge, single bevel farrier's hoof trimming "crooked" knife is a wonderful wood carving tool.
The tip is a scorp. Want a point, instead? A Dremel + curoff wheel will fix that in a minute. Many of the bladesmiths make both a right and a left handed knife = unlike a hoof, changing wood grain makes the pair very useful.
Mora #171 (Sweden) are single edged as are the Diamond #271 (Taiwan). Mora #188 is 2-edged but now you're far better off with a serious PacNW blade like a Kestrel 'C' profile. Besides Hall and Ukal, I know that there are at least another dozen big regional names.
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post #31 of 39 Old 03-03-2019, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay C. White Cloud View Post
Carving modalties are very individualistic in nature..."chisel" or "knife" methods...both are about equal in the hands of a proficient practictioner...

I prefer "chisel" myself, however that is what I grew up around, and only saw my mother use "knife work" on rare occasion. She too, found them applicable only to specific styles of work comparably. With that said, in the hands of a Pacific Coast Carver, or other indigenous groups that use knife-work, the speed and dexterity of carving is both efficient and extremely fast...

Both are more than applicable for spoon work, and since the OP is a "clean slate" for having a foundation, either can serve them very well...

As for sharpening...that is purely a personal perspective in regards to speed and ease of learning...

I find most folks I have taught sharpening to learn to sharpen knifes and gouges about the same as it is as much "feel" as it is achieving a "set geometry." Of those that develop the skills to become proficient at it...me included...I find a convex (outcannal) surface much easier to quickly sharpen (hand or machine) than I do a concave (incannal) surface, yet the differences, once the methods are learned and muscle memory developed for them...the difference is marginal at best...with straight and oblique chisels not that far behind at all.

I (and those I teach) with the right set up can hone a keen edge (shave sharp if you choose?) in less than 30 seconds in most applications and even a damage (i.e. chipped, bent, or bevel change) usually taking less than 5 minutes before the honing process puts the tool back to work...if using a powered sharpening system.

Tools for knife-carving that have an incannal profile do not lend themselves to power sharpen as easily (though it can be done) and take a bit more time...



I agree..."The OP has a spoon knife." and this is good, as he is moving in a direction that will at least get him started...

As for "gouges are not chisels"......I think I have to challenge that understanding perhaps...and/or...ask more question of why you think so?

By definition (in English) a "chisel is: noun - a wedge like tool with a cutting edge at the end of the blade, often made of steel, used for cutting or shaping wood, stone, etc. and in many definition sources this includes gouges as being a "curved edged chisel."

As such they can be made of stone, glass, biological enamel, bone, as well as alloys, and have all manner of geometry.

When we look at other "wood carving cultures" the word for..."chisel"...includes gouges as well as straight edged versions of the tool...

Case in point for just two examples:

Japanese: "Nomi" 鑿 (or 鑿子是) mean the generic term "chisel" while "Maru Nomi" 丸鑿 is the word for "gouge" and you can see the same kanji used in both names...

Chinese: "Zozi" 凿子 means "chisel, "zh zo" for "straight chisel; "xi zo" 斜凿Oblique chisel; yun zo 圆凿 (Round chisel) "gouge" and the list goes on...

Within most of Europe carving cultures from the Nordic to Eastern European and Middle Easter culture the same holds true as far as I know?
The guy in the video was just carving out a spoon with a spoon chisel which is fine for him. My thought is the OP has probably never sharpened a chisel and there won't be anyone there hands on to teach him. It's difficult enough to learn at first how to sharpen a chisel without having to start out with a spoon chisel.
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post #32 of 39 Old 03-03-2019, 04:36 PM
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Adequate instruction makes short work of learning to freehand sharpen a real spoon gouge, best known as a "short-bent" gouge.
The option that you can see is a "spoon knife." Very specialized when compared with a PacNW crooked knife.


Flat abrasive surfaces are entirely adequate. I will teach that in 5-10 minutes with quite a few things to practice to be consistent.
I was taught by a full-time career carver who was doing very, very well for himself. I am grateful for the instruction.



I would like to own a copy of the _complete_ part of the London Pattern Book which defines all the sweeps and bends.
I know that the numbers run up into the 70's with letters such as 'e' and 'F' (fishtail) appended to them.
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post #33 of 39 Old 03-03-2019, 10:20 PM
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The first time I carved anything I bought this set from harbor freight. It is low quality, but sharp and lets you use a few tools. I carved a few spoons with this set, plus I used a knife and a hatchet. https://www.harborfreight.com/woodca...-pc-69553.html


After that, if you like it, you may want to get a few finer gouges and specialty tools. Pheil gouges come very sharp and so are very user friendly, but not cheap. A kind of crappy picture of some recent spoons:
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post #34 of 39 Old 03-03-2019, 10:24 PM
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The first time I carved anything I bought this set from harbor freight. It is low quality, but sharp and lets you use a few tools. I carved a few spoons with this set, plus I used a knife and a hatchet. https://www.harborfreight.com/woodca...-pc-69553.html


After that, if you like it, you may want to get a few finer gouges and specialty tools. Pheil gouges come very sharp and so are very user friendly, but not cheap. A kind of crappy picture of some recent spoons:
Beautiful work Sean...!!!...
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post #35 of 39 Old 03-03-2019, 10:31 PM
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Thanks Jay!
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post #36 of 39 Old 03-04-2019, 04:01 PM
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I like the diversity. Some carvers don't do any "exploration."
Choices? I like the little ones the best. Makes me think of herbs and spices.
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post #37 of 39 Old 11-09-2019, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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How’d all, I’m finally going to be carving my first spoon, I have some rough sawed fresh cut cherry. Thanks for all the info, ive been coming back to this topic and have been reading it very often.

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post #38 of 39 Old 11-10-2019, 10:56 AM
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Howd all, Im finally going to be carving my first spoon, I have some rough sawed fresh cut cherry. Thanks for all the info, ive been coming back to this topic and have been reading it very often.
Please post photos. I would like to learn more.
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post #39 of 39 Old 11-12-2019, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conner.Michaux View Post
Im interested in starting to carve spoons, I have a Hook knife, Carving knife, And a little carving knife for more detailed work. I have access to a band saw and a chop saw. Is there anything else I need to make spoons? And are there any other hand tools I could get to make the process faster?



Thanks.

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