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.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Removing a chip from your treasured Axe ...

From time to time I get questions from people asking me "how to".
One such question was from a chap who asked how to go about removing a chip from his treasured G.B Axe.
On some Axes you can go about this job with a couple of good quality files, and finish up with a thorough sharpening on a stone. This would be the way to go about the job on my main firewood Axe. It is a 'No Name' and the head is quite soft.
I also own a Granfors Bruks, and  I know that the heads are quite hard. I would approach this job with a certain amount of care, slowly abrading the metal rather than filing.
Before you start this job it is worth making a note of the angle of the bevels at the cutting edge ...

axe carving

Try turning your stone on it's side, this way you wont damage the working face.
You will need to remove metal all along the cutting edge.
This way you will manage to keep the correct sweep of the cutting edge.
So starting at one end, move the head along the stone, lifting the helve as you go, presenting the whole cutting edge to the stone..

axe carving

And to the end...

axe carving

Repeat this until the you have a good clean radius...

axe carving


axe carving

With Princess Polly Poule looking on...

axe carving

As you will imagine, although this action will eventually render the cutting edge free from chips, you will now have to re grind the cutting edge...
Earlier you made note of the grind angle, it is now time to restore those angles....

axe carving

I would start with a course stone and then work toward a fine and finer finish.
The stone in this photo is a medium of around 800 grit...

axe carving

Steady the head with your left hand...
Keep a look out for a bow wave of water at the cutting edge. This wave will give you a clue to the correct angle of attack...

axe carving

Moving the head along the stone, presenting all of the cutting edge in a nice even motion...
Take your time, there is no need to hurry any of this work...

axe carving

Ten or so sweeps away from you, turn the head over and ten sweeps toward you. All these actions need to be counted, so both sides of the cutting edge receive the same attention...

axe carving

After this process and when you think the edge is somewhat restored, then make one sweep away and one toward...one sweep away and one toward....Do this about 10 times...

axe carving


axe carving

In this way the new bevel will be symmetrical...
Once you have achieved a good edge with the courser stones move onto the finest.
This final stone is around 6000 grit...

axe carving

Repeat all the previous actions..

axe carving

When you have achieved a keen edge, then it is worth giving the Axe a good strop on your leather belt...

axe carving

And start carving again...Enjoy.....J