Spoon carving from a Bushcraft perspective with Jon Mac...
I am a spoon carver who lives and works on Dartmoor in Devon.
I carve spoons and Kuksa from green wood, using the three principal bushcraft tools. The knife, Axe and hook knife. I find spoon carving gives me a greater understanding of these tools as I can demonstrate a precision of craft in the finished spoon. I have developed my own spoon carving knife 'The MaChris' which is made by 'Chris Grant' a fantastically talented bladesmith.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A MiniMac write up by WORKSHOPHEAVEN .

Here you can read a splendid write up by our good friend Matthew Platt.
I can't tell you how excited both Chris Grant and I were when we finished reading it.

Matthew owns and runs a business called 

He sells top of the range woodworking tools.
Please take some time to visit his web site.

FRIDAY, 17 APRIL 2015


Bespoke Hand Tools: The MiniMac Woodcarving Knife

spooncarving knife+MiniMac+bushcraft knife+workshopheaven

This is the best woodcarving knife I have ever used - by a very long way.

It is the finished product of a long collaboration between two good friends of mine, both of them wonderfully skilled craftsmen. Creative artist and woodcarver Jon Mac from Dartmoor and custom knifemaker Chris Grant from Arbroath. 

Jon Mac+Chris Grant

The knife began as a bespoke commission for Jon's work carving elegant spoons, bowls and kuksa. When you watch Jon carve you'll quickly grasp the care and consideration with which he approaches all creative tasks, the design of this tool is no exception. There isn't a straight line on it, and every curve has been considered, refined and perfected by hand and eye. 

Chris thrives on the creative process, he gets deeply involved in the design of each project, feeding in his rich experience of blade steels and heat treatment processes. Working to the highest standards in metal, wood and leather, he brings everything together to deliver an exquisitely handcrafted product. He only makes knives, but boy does he make knives!

spooncarving knife+MiniMac+bushcraft knife+workshopheaven

The development since the original commission has been entirely organic, other carvers have tried the knife and been sufficiently blown away by its performance and dexterity that, with Jon's blessing, they have commissioned their own. Jon is a big guy with large hands, so when the stream of people who wanted one showed no sign of abating, the two got together again to work on a smaller version of his original design that would be better suited to people with average sized hands.

The result is the MiniMac, same sweet balance in exactly the same spot as the MaChris, same extraordinary edge strength, but when you compare the two side by side you can see that the subtleties of both the blade and handle shape have all been completely reworked. The MiniMac is a stick tang, which makes it considerably lighter, although in use they both just blend into the hand.


spooncarving knife+MiniMac+bushcraft knife+workshopheaven+MaChris

I've had this MiniMac for a few months now, and apart from a couple of very light dressing strokes on 5 micron lapping film I am still using the original shaving sharp edge. 

The MiniMac has very quickly become an integral part of how I work; to the extent that trying to carve with anything else just feels wrong. I can work with it for hours with no fatigue and place cuts with a level of precision I had previously not understood. It is no understatement to say that I would now be at a loss without it. 


Could you still carve with a lesser knife? Of course you can, absolutely, but at the end of the day I carve for pleasure. There is nothing quite so luxurious as leaning against a tree on a sunny afternoon with a really good knife and a nice piece of wood and relishing every single cut.

©Matthew Platt

Saturday, 25 April 2015

German mountain pack Gen 2


When I saw this old style cotton canvas ruck sack I was taken back in time, quite a way back in fact.
I bought something very similar to this when I first started out on my hillwalking adventures.
It would get filled, usually overfilled, with things to sleep in and under.
Something to cook on and something to cook.
Whatever didn't fit in it was tied to it.

backpack+endicotts+armysurplus+rucksack

backpack+endicotts+armysurplus+rucksack
Load Carry N12 M Pack Gen2 +backpack+endicotts+armysurplus+rucksack
My old mate Kevin Endicott turned up at the farm last week with a boot full of equipment for me to photograph.
Most of the equipment I photographed has now been sold on.
However, Kevin still has a bundle or two of these useful packs from back when.

Kevin Endicott also has a more modern nylon variant.

Have a look at his web site at



A super ruck for the outdoor enthusiast.

Load Carry+backpack+endicotts+armysurplus+rucksack
Load Carry+backpack+endicotts+armysurplus+rucksack
Load Carry+backpack+rucksack
ENDY Stats: 
Capacity: Approx 35Lts. Gross. 
Dimensions: 
Height; 16" / 40cm 
Width; 14" / 36cm - max.
Depth; 6" /  15cm approx.
Material: Canvas. Cotton. Bound seams
Weight: 2lb 6oz / 1,075gms - typically