Friday 28 February 2014

Spoon carving knife holds movie.

It looks as if Spring may have a finger-tip grip on the Westcountry.
Since the winter solstice, we've had terrible storms, high winds and rain, one after another rolling in from the Atlantic.
We are hoping things will settle down soon.
Folks who live and work on the Levels have been underwater for months, so it was good to get out in the sunshine last weekend.
I've even managed to get out into the forest for a spot of spoon whittling.

spring flowers+dartington+westcountry

I packed a bag and headed down toward an old abandoned metal mine not far from my home.

kelly mine+dartmoor+devon mining history

Just above the old mine I found a patch of woodland bathed in sun light, and a wind blown Birch tree.


I had earlier packed my Gransfors Bruk small forrest axe.
Not my favourite axe, and I use it little, but it stands up well to the grit and grime of the forest.

gransfors bruks axe+small forrest axe

I chopped out a couple of useable rounds.
One with a slight crank or curve.
The other I would use as a mallet.

MaChris bushcraft knife+bushcraft knife with mallet

It didn't take a moment to carve a rudimentary handle.
Then a few wallops on the round I wanted to use for a spoon.

small forrest axe+gransfors bruk small forrest axe

You can split rounds from one end, or ...
Lay the round flat.

gransfors bruks axe+small forrest axe

I blanked the spoon out

spoon carving+spoon carving knife+MiniMac

Leaving the bowl for later.

spoon carving blank+lumix camera

And packed up for the stroll up the hill.

Bushcraft knife+MaChris bush craft knife+spoon carving blank

I wanted to have a walk about on the tops while the sun started to set.


The next day I spent some time finishing the spoon off.
Working the hook knife in a reverse hold, saves money on buying more hooks.

spoon carving+hook knife

One of the fiddly parts of spoon carving is managing the grain direction change on the back of the handle. If you're not careful you end up with a rip or ridge where the grain from the bowl end hits the grain from the handle end. If you are carving a flat handle this issue probably doesn't arise.
But, as you know, I like a bit of curve on my work.

spoon carving+spoon carving knife+knife holds

I've had a few novice whittlers ask how we can get round this.
I had a look at my Lumix G3 camera, and found that I can film movies with it.
Now I get a lot of satisfaction from my photography, but film making isn't something that rings my bell. However. I'm always up for a challenge, so I came up with this short movie.
The movie shows how to use two types of knife hold that allows the carver to change direction without changing the aspect of the item being carved.
Have a look, it's not too long...

Be careful with these holds, keep a sharp knife and sharp wits.
The thumb on top of the blade acts as a brake.
The end result ?

spoon carving+spoon whittling

A nice Birch soup spoon for a friend up country.

Spoon carving+whittling spoons

A slightly deeper bowl than I've carved of late.

spoon carving+whittling spoons

bushcraft knife+machris bushcraft knife+spoon knife

All in all a good carve

whittled spoons+carved spoons+spoon carving

Thank you.


  1. That's very helpful Jon. As a beginner I've had times like this and struggled with how to hold a piece and carve in control. It's one thing to look at a picture but it's great to see it demonstrated. Thanks for sharing. Your spoon and kuksa work continues to inspire!

    1. My pleasure Anon.
      I'm happy to hear these little posts help.

  2. Great post Jon, makes me inspired to go for a little spoon hike up the mountain out back.

    Beautifulspoon, love all the chips and facets... and on the bottom of the bowl!

    1. Hi Mr A.
      I have been out and about myself now the storms have abated.
      I hope you managed a jaunt into your forrest.
      Best wishes.

  3. Beautiful work as always fox killer. ;-)

    1. He he !
      Hi Leigh, long time no hear.
      Thanks for popping by mate.
      Best wishes from sleepy Dartmoor.


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