More spoon carving with spalted Beech over the weekend.
I’ll let these season for a bit before the final finishing.
Nothing like a dead standing Oak tree to test the fit and strength of a newly made Ash axe handle…
…both handles were hung and secured only with Oak wedges. Happily they both passed the test without fault.
The heads are an old 4lb Gilpin (or is it a Brades, I can’t remember now) and an unstamped Maine pattern double bit.
All the best.
I have a few large beech logs that have been awaiting my attention since last spring. I was slack and didn’t seal the ends so I was unsure how workable the wood would be after so long, fortunately the workshop isn’t exactly a dry environment.
Happily they haven’t cracked too much and best of all they have spalted beautifully without going too soft to be viable. I already want to make some bowls from this stuff.
After splitting down some suitable sized billets I spent some time roughing out a large spoon & two Gooseneck Spatulas™ (ha ha). As well as being an enjoyable way to get back up to speed with the axe it is a good way of assessing the workability of the wood, if the spalt had gone too far the impact of the axe would soon make it apparent.
Now the basic shape and lines have been established they will be further refined and finished with hook and straight bladed knives.
I’ll report back when they have been done.
All the best.
I thought you might like to see how this spoon began taking shape and what it looks like after a few years of use.
This one began, as many do, being hewn with an axe from a billet of wood split from a Beech Log. The wood had spent over a year weathering in the yard at my workshop and had developed a Spalt running through the grain; lovely patterns caused by fungus penetrating the wood and forming hard dark barriers at their margins. If left too long in such damp conditions the wood becomes crumbly and brittle in places but fortunately I used this piece before that had happened.
Once the rough shape is formed with the axe I use whittling knives & curved spoon knives to refine it further before setting the piece aside for a while to allow any remaining moisture escape.
Once the wood is dry the knives are used to carve the final smooth surface and the piece is sealed with Flax seed oil to protect it.
Here are some images of this one after it has been used for a few years and begun to gain some real character.
I am busy writing new content to add to Whittle & Stitch so in the mean time I thought I’d post a couple of galleries of some the work I have done.
Spoons & bowls.
All items have been hand carved using axes, adzes, whittling knives and spoon knives. No sand paper has been used so the finish is smooth and durable while retaining the tactile faceted surface created by the tools that made them. Flax Seed Oil is used to seal and protect them during use so they age gracefully and beautifully over the years.
Tools for green wood workers, coppicing, bushcraft and outdoor enthusiasts with hand made wooden handles & leather cases.
The two axes here have traditional straight handles carved from Ash secured with Oak wedges. Careful attention is paid to the throw and alignment of the heads and the direction of the grain in the wood to ensure efficiency and durability during use.
The Finish style Puukko (knife) has a Masir Birch handle with a Lauri PT 95 blade . The sheath is hand dyed vegetable tanned leather with a Beech wood liner for safe and secure carriage.
There will be more to follow shortly.
Thank you for looking.