Step Into My Office

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Today I tried my hand at spoon carving courtesy of a birthday present of a Mora 106 paring knife and 164 hook knife from my special lady. I have a big box store hatchet that I bought maybe 12 years and so I sharpened that the best I could and grabbed a piece of recently split oak (Red, I think) from the wood pile. For fun I checked the moisture content and it was somewhere upwards of 35-40%, plenty green for this go-round.

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Working with green wood is a totally new process for me and for some reason, I’ve been hesitant about going down that road. I have no idea why. Maybe since I’ve spent the past 7 years working with only dry wood and dealing with movement, etc., I was overly worried about what would happen with completely green wood. Who knows?

To split out the blanks, I just looked for a seam and setting the hatchet in line with it, took a whack with the mallet and voila.

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It’s nice to split with the grain and in this case, this is some pretty straight grained stuff.

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There’s a few steps missing here…after some exploratory hatchet work, I took a hand saw to the 1st blank and cut it to rough shape-my hatchet skills are still in the nascent stage.

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With the basic shape down I drew out the general outline of the spoon and started carving from there with my new Morakniv 106 and my M-164 Hook Knife, also from Mora.

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A bit more progress. There’s a point at which the blank all of a sudden becomes a spoon. All these subtle transformations, large amounts of material removal, and then out of seemingly nowhere, a spoon.

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The neck is too delicate-try, live and learn. At this point the handle is essentially done, just the bowl left to refine.

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And here’s a side profile-the Red Oak has an attractive grain from all angles. There’s kind’ve a wavy handle thing going on here. I’m sure I had something creative in mind-whether that was realized, well, hey it’s my first spoon.

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And from the top.

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Here’s the nearly finished piece. From here I cured it in boiling water for about 12 minutes and it’s been drying in a brown paper bag for the last two days. I’ll put a coat or two of linseed oil on it and start my spoon collection.

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At this point I prefer the tool marks from the hook knife in the bowl. Not sure I want to call it “rustic”. I just like the pattern left behind.

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