Spoon carving.

Spoon carving with Jon Mac.
A blog following my journey in the world of bushcraft, spoon carving and kuksa carving. Home of the JonMac MiniMac carving knife.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

MaChris workshop visit.



Well that was a busy summer !!!
Sarah and I managed to spend some of our holiday up in Scotland with Chris Grant and Kit.
Chris and Kit looked after us at their lovely home near the Cairngorms, way up on the East side.
I managed to spend time with Chris in his busy workshop and
we also made time for lots of sightseeing in his beautiful country.

Chris took me through the complete process of making one of our MaChris knives from start to finish.
Chris and I also had a look at using a couple of new (to us) steels for our Evo project.
We'll shortly be testing Niolox and Nitrobe 77.
Of course we will still use 52100 for our MaChris and MiniMac lines.

bushcraft-knives


bushcraft-knives.bushcraft-knife

Chris showed me how the knife is shaped and prepared for heat treatment.
I found trying to capture the various processes technically difficult as the light in the workshop is minimal. But I hope I have managed to capture the skill and concentration that Chris exhibits when he is hand crafting one of our MaChris knives.

bushcraft-knives.sloyd-knives

You can see in the picture below a sequence of steps we take when a design moves from a drawing into a prototype.

machris-knives

We will often carve a wooden model to get an initial feel for the proposed knife design.
The photo below shows the model then a blank shaped and ready for heat treat and the finished product.

bush-craft-knife

Chris employs a multi stage heat treatment for the MaChris knives ensuring a totally stable product with the correct crystal structure.
The steels we use are carefully chosen, many steel types have been discarded during our journey toward the professional MaChris knives now available.

machris-evo.bushcraf-tknife


chris-grant-blade-smith

Once the blade is shaped, heat treated and cleaned up Chris applies our trademark using an electro etching stencil. It leaves a clear crisp mark.

electro-etching.machris-design

Some final hand polishing to get the blade looking just so.

blade-smith


chris-grant.blade-smith

The MiniMac blade being worked on below, received a good polish and was handled with some of Chris's ancient bog oak.
It's being put through it's paces by Patrick McGlinchey.
I've heard through the grapevine he's as pleased as punch with it.

sloyd.spoon-carving-blade


Whether it's a MaChris a MiniMac or Evo, all of the knives from Chris Grant's workshop are hand finished, the handle is shaped by eye and touch.
When you buy a MaChris knife you are buying a hand crafted, carefully constructed, professional knife.

spoon-carving

The finished MiniMac.
Did I mention that Chris also crafts the leather sheaths ?

spoon-carving-knife



leatherwork



knife-sheath

The full tang scales are attached using Loveless bolts and two ton epoxy from WorkshopHeaven.
The MiniMac handles are married to the blades using a hot steel technique plus a spot of Two Ton.

workshop heaven.appoxy

You can see the Loveless bolts shining out on this MaCro.

macro+bushcraft-knife

And this SmaChris kitchen/utility knife.

Utility-knife

Talking of marrying handles to blades, Sarah and I tied the knot at Totnes during the summer break.
We had a super day and exchanged rings made by Chris during our visit.
Thank you to all who shared our day and a big thank you for all the messages of congratulations we received over social networks

jon-mac.sarah-mac.wedding


As you may know, Matthew Platt of WorkshopHeaven will be taking on sales and orders for our MaChris knives.
If you wish to place an order, head on over to this page at 
And sign up for his news letter.
He should be stocked up for the new year and he'll let you know when the MaChris knives become available.

Thanks once more.
Jon and Sarah Mac.



Thursday, 20 August 2015

Damasteel wedding rings (Chris Grant)

Sarah and I are getting married on the 22 August 2015.
Our great friend Chris Grant made our rings from Vinland Damasteel.
Thank you so much for this great gift Chris.
Well, pretty much everything is in place, we're looking forward to seeing our friends on the day.


Thank you all for following my blog over the years and for your ongoing support and friendship.
We thought you might enjoy the rings, Chris even managed to make a knife from the remaining billet.

Jon Mac and Sarah.
Aug 2015.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Spoon carving a new Endicotts Army Surplus web site.

Spoon carving a new Endicotts web site ?
Well, not entirely true, however, the SpoonCarvingFirstSteps company camera and mobile studio has been working overtime to get Kevin Endicotts new web site and web shop up and running.
For those of you who do not know about Endicotts Army Surplus it is the Westcountries premier army surplus store. 
Infact I'd be prepared to say it's the countries best !

Endicotts army surplus+surplus equipment+expedition equipment

I have been using Endicotts store for over 25 years now buying and testing all manner of equipment that I have used with Mountain Rescue and my more personal escapades.

Endicotts army surplus+surplus equipment+expedition equipment

Kevin Endicott launched his new site over the weekend.
It is jam packed with very well priced equipment which you can now purchase on line with a click of your mouse.
Kevin and I will be starting part two of the product shoot covering clothing and larger equipment very soon.
The LBM has been very helpful....

Endicotts army surplus+surplus equipment+expedition equipment

Whilst the Moose Man has been looking after my boots.
I think they need a bit of a polish.... ?

Endicotts army surplus+surplus equipment+expedition equipment

Kevin has managed to procure some brand new unused/unissued stock.

Endicotts army surplus+surplus equipment+expedition equipment

He also has plenty of the old favourites.

Endicotts army surplus+surplus equipment+expedition equipment

If you nip over to his web site you'll find some bargains, special offers and a nifty competition.

Endicotts army surplus+surplus equipment+expedition equipment

So either march down to his shop.
Endicotts
2 West St,
Exeter,
EX1 1BA
01392 433331

Or place your order on line via the brand spanking new web site and virtual reality shop.


Endicotts army surplus+surplus equipment+expedition equipment

Great equipment for your adventures...
Jon Mac.



Sunday, 28 June 2015

MaChris sales move to a new home at Workshop Heaven.


Due to an increase in demand for our MaChris line of knives
Chris Grant and I have passed over the sales and orders to our good friend and colleague
Matthew Platt
of 

Nip on over to Matthews web site and sign up for his news letter.
He will inform you of availability and price via a regular email.


The MaChris Bushcraft/Carving knife.

machris.bush-craft-knife

Design :- Jon Mac.
Crafted by :- Chris Grant.



The MaChris bushcraft/carver has been in production for five years now.
It is a superbly crafted knife designed for maximum comfort and minimum maintainance.
A fast knife in the hand, this knife will allow the user to undertake the simplest or most demanding carving work.
The MaChris bushcraft/carver is made using 52100 bearing steel.
This steel is extremely tough and will not chip or fold even in the hardest of wood.
The super keen cutting edge can be easily serviced on a good quality Japanese water stone.

The MaChris bushcraft/carver has a Scandinavian grind which is ideal for carving or skinning.
The fine tip will allow a tight turn when tackling internal curves.
The handle has been ergonomically designed to give a high degree of comfort during long periods of use.
The handle design will enable the carver to deliver maximum power in both forward and reversed grips.

The overall dimensions of the MaChris bushcraft/carver are.
Length :- 230 mm.
Spine width :- 3 mm.



The MiniMac carving knife.

sloyd-knife.spoon-carving-knife

Design :- Jon Mac.
Crafted by :- Chris Grant.



The MiniMac carving knife is made using 52100 bearing steel.
The MiniMac carving knife is a smaller version of our MaChris bushcraft/carver.
This smaller knife is an ideal size for more delicate, refined carving work.

Again, the handle design will enable the carver to undergo long carving sessions with little fatigue.
The blade is mounted to the handle via a pin tang.

A light fast knife with a fine tip useful for tight internal curves and chip carving decoration.

The overall dimensions of the MiniMac are.

Length :- 200 mm.
Spine width :- 2.75 mm.

The MaChris EVO.

bushcraft-knife.bushcraft

Design :- Jon Mac.
Crafted by : Chris Grant.




The MaChris EVO is brand new from MaChris Design.
This particular model is a prototype made in a very resilient and tough stainless steel.
CPM 154.
The handle profile is very similar to the MaChris bushcraft/carver giving the user a high degree of comfort and speed whilst at camp.
The handle scales are stabilised Caledonian bog oak some thousands of years old.
(stabilisation by Crandart knives)
This is a flat grind bushcraft/camp knife designed for some tough use.
The spine is a full 6mm tapering down to nothing at the cutting edge.
The design will allow the user to batten some reasonably large wood for the camp fire whilst also being delicate enough for use in the camp kitchen.

The overall dimensions of the MaChris EVO are.
Length :- 250mm.
Spine width :- 6mm.

At the moment we are testing a prototype and if all goes to plan we will make the EVO available toward the end of 2015 beginning of 2016.
I will keep you informed of it's progress.

I would like to convey our thanks to our present customers and we extend a welcome to our new MaChris knife owners.

Yours.

Jon Mac.

©MaChris Design.







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







Sunday, 29 March 2015

Hand carved spoons, kolrosing and chip carving.



I've been experimenting with some new spoon carving designs.
A touch of chip carving alongside simple tattooing.

spooncarving+kolrosing+sloyd+woodenspooncarving

It's quite amazing what can be achieved by the simple application of the tip of your knife.

spooncarving+kolrosing+sloyd+woodenspooncarving

Plus a little dry ground coffee.

spooncarving+kolrosing+sloyd+woodenspooncarving

Once again, I used a compass to mark out my design.

spooncarving+kolrosing+sloyd+woodenspooncarving

Then painstakingly added the depressions with the tip of my MiniMac carving knife.

spooncarving+kolrosing+sloyd+woodenspooncarving

Some of the spoons here are left plain as the natural markings are quite enough.

spooncarving+kolrosing+sloyd+woodenspooncarving

spooncarving+kolrosing+sloyd+woodenspooncarving

 I've been using my most recent MaChris for quite some time now.
The MaChris bushcraft/carver Chris made for me in 14C28N  has proved to be almost as resiliant as the 52100 bearing steel that is used in our standard MaChris knife range.
There is not much between the two.
I like the idea of a rust proof bushcraft/carver, especially when one lives in a wet and damp environment like Dartmoor.

spooncarving+kolrosing+sloyd+woodenspooncarving+bushcraftknife+bushcraft

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Enjoy.