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, 14 September 2010

Spooncarving... Without a hook knife.

A friend of mine in Croatia showed me a photograph of a spoon she had carved. She has no specialist bushcraft tools so used her imagination and came up with a splendid idea, she used some broken glass. 
This got me thinking, how do I carve a spoon bowl without a hook knife. I know you can use a hot coal and a straw to carefully burn a depression in a bowl, but this often ends up with cracking if not done extremely carefully. Then I remembered the friction fire lighting blog I posted a little while ago.

jon mac

I carved out a rough spoon shape and applied fire lighting logic...

jon mac

Here is the rough spoon blank. I marked the centre of the bowl and with my knife I cut some semi circles....

jon mac

Cut across the grain and angle the knife tip at about 30 degrees...

jon mac

Scratch out the waste wood and you are left with a nice depression in which to seat your drill...

jon mac

Using the same technique as in the fire lighting, bow until you see some coal forming around the bottom of the drill...

jon mac

With this technique you will have to regularly remove the coal dust.
You can help the process along by niching the depression from time to time...

jon mac

After some time you will end up with a nice uniform bowl shape...

jon mac

With your knife, carve the spoon shape you desire...

jon mac


jon mac

To finish your spoon scrape it carefully until smooth all over...

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And then oil...

jon mac

ENJOY...J