Sunday, 19 May 2013

Woe is me....

I thought I'd have a go at shaping the seat on an oak stool I've had planned and in my mind for some time. A friend had given me a slab of cut oak and I'd left it in my shed to season a bit, after an initial thining with my side axe.

I don't have a great holding method, so I simply clamped the wood to my work mate and went at it with adze and chisel. It took a couple of hours but eventually I'd roughed it out.

I don't have an inshave or travisher, nor any bowl gouges, so I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to finish it, but that's all academic now.

I took the seat to my chopping block and began trimming it by axe, when the darn thing split in two. Oh well, at least I got a lot of practise in with my adze, which should pay off when I start over.

I don't really mind too much that it didn't work out. I guess I begrudge the time investment more than anything. I don't have a lot of time to dedicate to my hobbies, and I certainly don't have time to waste on failure.

On a completely unrelated note, I thought I'd show you a little carving experiment I did on the handles of my whittling knives. I was lucky enough to see Jogge Sundqvist's knives at Spoonfest last year - they are a work of art in their own right.

So, whilst I knew I wouldn't be able to match his skill at carving, I thought it might be nice to personalize mine.

Not finished yet - a work in progress so to speak. I would like to paint them when they're finished.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

To Sand or Not to Sand?

Just finished a spoon that I made for my Niece Bethany out of a cherry limb from her back garden. I'm not usually a fan of sanding my spoons. To be honest I'm not a fan of sanding at all, but though I love the look of a tooled finish and appreciate the story that it tells, most non carvers think of a tooled finish as being unfinished. So as this was a gift I decided to sand it.

Before I got the sand paper out though, I decided to see what initial work could be done with a cabinet scraper. For anyone that doesn't know what a cabinet scraper is, it's a small thin metal plate with a burr created on one or more of the edges. This essentially becomes a tiny blade, which when scraped across the wood produces very fine shavings. I bought mine for about three pounds, but they can be easily made from saw steel (a good use for modern, unsharpenable saws).  I was really pleased with the finish it produced, smoothing out all of the marks and making sanding a very quick job. This is definitely the way to go in the future when I next decide to sand a spoon.

 I also decided to make a leather wallet for my scrapers. The stamping isn't very neat (I used old letter press), but I like the idea.