Saturday, 3 August 2013

A new tool....

For a long time Julian and I (along with the spooncarving population of the world, it would seem) have been debating the relative merits of sanding finished spoons, as opposed to leaving tool matks. I have not come to any real conclusions regarding this question, other than to say that I like them both. A well smoothed, polished spoon looks and feels lovely in the hand and others seeing it, especially those who don't really have an interest in carving, per se, are always impressed by such spoons. Equally, I really appreciate a spoon with tool marks and can't help feeling that these tiny facets are an important aesthetic element of some woodwork.

All that aside, this weekend I made a spoon which I wanted smooth. I sanded the finished spoon at first but, because it is quite a big spoon with a large surface area on the bowl, found that this initial smoothing only served to highlight the irregularities that the tooling had left behind, leaving a series of smooth bumps.

So, I thought I'd give a scraper a try. Julian gave me a few of these clever little things some time ago and I've never really got round to giving them a proper try-out. Any way, I used the one pictured below and, once I got the hang of it, trying it at different angles to see which would give me the best cut, I was really pleased and impressed with the results.

If you've never used one of these before, have a look on youtube as there are loads of tutorials for making and using them. I will definately be using mine again and will have a go at making a slightly smaller one for use with smaller spoons.

And on a completely unrelated topic, I've been meaning for a while to post a picture of my trusted portable chopping block. I know it's not exactly rocket science, but this little thing has meant me being able to work in-doors in the sitting room and I have also taken it with me in the car when I've not known if there was going to be a block available where I've been going.
3 removable legs, steel banding to stop it splitting and a padded shoulder strap.

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