The old time woodshop journals #25: Practices in Spoonology: Part two

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Blog entry by jjw5858 posted 09-03-2012 10:26 PM 5328 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 24: Dominy inspirations and tales of a turnscrew Part 25 of The old time woodshop journals series Part 26: The last blogs forgotten »

I have entered an important stage creating these smaller more swedish styled spoons. That stage is simply practice and seeing if I can produce a sufficient rhythmic pattern by exercising more than one roughed result. It’s best to let a green wood piece dry for anywhere up to a few days to 2 weeks before doing any serious finishing work so I thought this to be a good time to keep the ideas flowing and hone on beginners skills.

It’s surely an exercise of challenge and chance when axing down to the spoon handle lines using your developing style of eagle eye vision, respect for the blade and growing confidence to sculpt what can soon become a useful kitchen utensil. I see a much broader spectrum of woodwork when moving through these practice spots and it is a wonderful bonus to encounter the textures and aroma of green wood fresh for new design.

We went for a short hike on this labor day and me and my Dad discovered we do in fact have a pretty nice
selection of Hickory! Not a huge tree by any means about 20-25 ft high 5-6 inch diameter at the bottom and we fell it away for some nice handles and parts to be created at some later learning experience. Not my first choice for carving and I figured the toughness of this stuff might make for some decent blisters…but I got to work and had a go at hewing and carving this chunk of Hickory into a new rough to make a trio of spoonage adding the previous 2 made of Cherry.

First time working with Hickory and it’s resiliency is amazing! On this particular session it was very apparent that the moves are becoming much easier, my plan more organized with less unnecessary wood removal.
Cutting out hand drawn patterns makes for easy carving sessions far more pleasing than taxing your tools and hands on sizes that will only prove insufficient in it’s final output. With that said I can still see that my own unique shapes and ideas still need a little less thickness in some areas. This will only improve with additional work but I am greatly satisfied thus far with the progress I have made.

The basic elementary set up is now sound knowledge for me to always keep as the correct formula for running a smooth spoon making operation.

My current list of things to remember:
Sharp tools and keep them that way!

Green wood especially fruit/food woods (Cherry, Apple, Pear, Maple, Walnut, Hickory…etc.)

Avoid knots as much as possible

Remove the branches pith to help avoid cracking

Put your fresh cut work overnight in a tightly sealed plastic trash bag to also avoid splitting depending on your climate.

Respect the tools especially any hatchet work

Positive safe hand grips when carving

Rest your hands/body every 25-45 mins.

Continue to observe your work as you remove wood.

Never work angry or upset.

Only use handtools….lmao….just kidding!

I hope some of you out there that have not gotten a chance to try some of this wonderful handwork have the
opportunity to do so soon. This makes for a terrific set of moves and gained knowledge of using knives or hatchets as well.

More to come as soon as I have a little more dryer work to make some final touchups with!

Thanks for looking in and have fun!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

5 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2971 days

#1 posted 09-03-2012 10:51 PM

Keep the quest going!!!! You are doing great.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2787 days

#2 posted 09-03-2012 10:58 PM

I am glad you spoon adventure is continuing. I really like reading these. :-) i was going to ask you where you get your wood – but you explained that one here.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30475 posts in 2901 days

#3 posted 09-04-2012 12:44 AM

You’re doing awesome. Not sure I would use the hatchet though. I have some history there I don’t care to revisit :-)

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19385 posts in 3130 days

#4 posted 09-04-2012 12:55 AM

These are so cool. Who would think of making spoons with a hatchet!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Mauricio's profile


7163 posts in 3714 days

#5 posted 09-04-2012 05:32 PM

I will try this one day, it looks like fun.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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