Blacksmith coal forging classs and the tools I made there. #2: Swan neck bowl gouge

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Blog entry by mafe posted 03-31-2016 11:53 PM 3337 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Two days intensive class on Fyn, Denmark. Part 2 of Blacksmith coal forging classs and the tools I made there. series Part 3: Small spoon knife, making the handle »

Swan neck bowl gouge
making the handle

In this part I will give the swan neck bowl gouge I made a handle so it can be brought to use.

This blog is dedicated to my friend Madts who send me some beautiful Mesquite wood that I used a bit of for this handle, while smoking on one of his late fathers pibes (more about this in a later post).
Thank you Madts.

I bought an old tractor rage tooth (app 70 cm total) and from a piece of this I made a go on a Swan neck bowl gouge. The steel are a really fine carbon steel that works perfectly well for making cutting edge tools.

So on to the forge, heat up the steel and hammer away.
This time again I had to learn new, to make the blade hollow and flat.
I hammered the end flat and then rounded it on the anvil, not hard at all and it was made really quick.

This was the result after shaping, hardening and tempering.
Long neck bowl gauge.

Beautiful Mesquite wood that was a gift from Madts.
Yes I am a lucky man and have had the luck of meeting up with Madts here in Denmark more than once.

Cut up a small piece, in this way I will still have wood left for another project, perhaps a knife handle…

Drilling a hole for the gouge.

We got a handle…
Ahhhhhhhhhh – naaaaaaaaaaa…
It might be uncomfortable.

So we better shape it a wee bit.

Just cutting on the two sides, like this we have the rough shape and since I want a rustic handle to match the tool, it will be shaped by hand and not on the lathe this time.

Used a oc sander to shape the rest, I kind of like this tool, quick and don’t clug up so fast.
Then just sandpaper 100 grid for finish.
Want to keep the marks and the bumps visible.

Soaking in Danish oil and letting it rest.

My ohh Madts, that wood really is beautiful.
So deep in the color and with a warm glow.



Now time to mount the tool in the handle.
I cut marks in the rod for a better grip.
Also clean it up a little so the epoxy will stick to the metal.

Mixing epoxy.

Push it all the way in, remove the epoxy that comes out and clean up.

Time for branding.
Kind of like this, it means that a job is done.

Polish with wax also a little on the metal for rust prevention.

Swan neck bowl gouge.
Here with the spoon knife that also got it’s own handle by now.

Yep good control and perfect fit in my hand.

Still need to sharpen the inside curve, but here you get a picture of how it’s used.

Wrapped up in leather to protect the edge.

That’s it.
New tool to the carving tool family.

Hope this post can inspire others to make their own tools.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

10 comments so far

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3433 days

#1 posted 04-01-2016 12:02 AM

Another piece of old timey metal gets a new lease on life! :)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View madts's profile


1921 posts in 2940 days

#2 posted 04-01-2016 12:08 AM

Mads: Hvad kan jeg sige??

Translated: What can I say!!


-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View lew's profile


12931 posts in 4356 days

#3 posted 04-01-2016 12:56 AM

Nice “new” tool!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jerry's profile


3309 posts in 2249 days

#4 posted 04-01-2016 01:38 AM

Nice! Really impressive workmanship and range of skill.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View albachippie's profile


773 posts in 3636 days

#5 posted 04-01-2016 09:35 AM

Brilliant, lovely story in pictures too,

Well done,

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland

View Schwieb's profile


1896 posts in 4062 days

#6 posted 04-02-2016 01:32 AM

As always, nice work Mads. I have a forge that belonged to my grandfather that I have always wanted to put to use. You continue to inspire me.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Brit's profile


7888 posts in 3443 days

#7 posted 04-02-2016 11:11 AM

You look right at home bashing that red hot steel Mads. The concentration shows on your face.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3404 days

#8 posted 04-02-2016 11:55 AM

Looks like it was gr8 fun and some nicely forged tools by your own hands.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View stefang's profile


17034 posts in 3935 days

#9 posted 04-05-2016 04:38 PM

Great work Mads. The mesquite handle came out very well. It’s very nice wood.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


12286 posts in 3690 days

#10 posted 04-09-2016 12:37 PM

Mike, yes that is wonderful wood.
Roger, it was wonderful and So rewarding.
Brit, you could do nothing but to focus, once the iron was in the forge you had few minutes to think of your next move, really intense.
Schwieb, ohhhhhh you should do so when you have the time!
albachippie, smiles.
Jerry, skills, skills and skills, then we can play and create.
lew, ;-)
Madts, just smile I hope. I know I did and will do, thanks.
Sodabowski, impossible not to enjoy that.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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