Beginner advice please!

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Forum topic by Bcemail posted 06-30-2017 04:47 PM 1447 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 1278 days

06-30-2017 04:47 PM

Hey all, been reading through LJ a lot for various projects I’ve had going on. Now, I would like some advice for carving. I’ve decided I want to carve some spoons and bowls. Not sure where that came from, but I’m in the kitchen a lot so that may have something to do with it.

I’ve been watching a lot of tutorials and trying to figure out what I need. As always, trying to keep prices down so that I don’t get in trouble for starting another hobby. I’m thinking to start with a good carving knife, spoon knife, and maybe a gouge for the spoons. I know most people use a hatchet/axe for roughing as well. And for the bowls, an adze seems the popular choice.

Any recommendations on most affordable options? Are there certain tools I might not actually need? I’m fine with at first using some existing tools for roughing out the shapes (I know power tools aren’t traditional, but I’ve got some, so…). I saw one combination hatchet/adze, but I was worried that it wouldn’t do as good a job as either single tool.
If anyone has experience with this, I’d love to hear from you. Thanks in advance for any advice and recommendations!

2 replies so far

View mpounders's profile


965 posts in 3665 days

#1 posted 07-31-2017 04:27 PM

You might start with just spoons, as they would require less work and fewer tools. You can even get spoon blanks already band sawn out. Pinewood Forge is a good source for knives and blanks, but there is a waiting list for their knives usually. I use a band saw to cut out my spoon blanks, but if you are set on doing it the bush craft/hand tool way, then an ax will get you there eventually. All you need for spoons is a knife and a hook knife for the inside of the bowl. Some people use a gouge instead of a hook knife. If you don’t lose interest after several spoons, then you can give a bowl a try. An adze is useful for larger bowls where you can swing and chop with it, but not so much on smaller bowls.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View ClaudeF's profile


1145 posts in 2477 days

#2 posted 08-01-2017 12:48 AM

I’m assuming you mean cooking spoons, as opposed to the Welsh love spoons with celtic knots, hearts, etc. You mention you have some power tools. If you have a bandsaw that’s great; if not, and you have a sabresaw/jigsaw (example: ) that can be used as well to cut out the spoon outline – much faster then an axe/adze. If you also have a Dremel or other rotary tool, that will work great for hollowing out the inside of the spoon bowl. I use a 1/2 inch diameter ball burr in my Dremel. For the handle of the spoon, you can use a spokeshave, if you have one (I don’t), or a knife, or the quickest: a rotary sanding drum with coarse/medium/fine papers.



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