Spoon Carving

Some spoons, scoops, and spatulas I’ve carved in the past two years:

My Process

  • Roughing: I tend to cut out most of my blanks on the bandsaw, though sometimes I axe out my blanks. Occasionally I’ll use a drawknife on my shavehorse.
  • Shaping: I shape with both a Foredom rotary tool and a standard Mora 106 sloyd knife. I remove a lot of material quickly with the Foredom, then refine with the sloyd.
  • Bowl carving: I use a Matt White hook.
  • Finishing: I use a Kunz gooseneck scraper, sometimes I sand, other times I knife finish, and I always use a broomcorn polisher and ceramic burnisher. I then coat the spoon in a mixture of jojoba oil and beeswax (2:1).

Unlike the folks who are dogmatic about only carving greenwood, I carve both greenwood and dry wood, depending on what I have around. Some are firewood, some are offcuts from other projects, and some are foraged from downed trees in the woods nearby. I prefer cherry, but have also carved oak, walnut, beech, and mahogany.

Some folks get hung up on only using hand tools for spoon carving, but I don’t. Carving is all about removing as much material as you can as quickly as you can early so that you can spend the rest of the time where it really matters: refining the shape. A bandsaw, rotary tool, and beltsander really help with that. Some folks only carve spoons and do it in a particular way, and that is fulfilling for them. I mostly carve utensils to use at my own table or give out as gifts. Carving spoons is just one kind of woodworking I do amongst many others.

Resources I’ve learned from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *