Sunday 18 April 2021

52 Weeks Of Carving - Week 15 - Spatula

This week has been a fun week for some projects getting done. My eldest daughter and I managed to finish our "spoon mule" - a shave horse type device for holding fine things to be worked on - like spoons. I'll do more on that in another post but it turned out to be a great project to do together, using purchased plans which were great to work off. 

I also made a raised cutting block! This simple project is something I've been meaning to make for years. It gives you good control with an axe at a height that is comfortable to work at. After putting it off for ages in the end it took me about 30 minutes to make it! I used some oak from the branch that fell in the drought last summer and for the legs I used some fresh cut hazel. I know the oak might not prove to be ideal as it is prone to splitting but this piece looked knotty and will do for now. The legs will shrink as they dry but I can always wedge them if they get loose or make some new ones.

Simple tapered 32mm tenons hammered with the back of the axe into the same sized holes. Made a really solid axe block which has been great to chop on! 

For my carving this week I've gone really simple. Just a spatula that I made when a friend came over to pick up some eggs. As we talked I started to shape a bit of hazel on the axe block. The branch had a fork in it and a nice curve, so I split it to give me a cranked piece of wood. I've not carved many spoons or anything like it, other than on a bushcraft course about 12 years ago. 

For this I roughed it out with the axe as small as I could make it, then took to the shave horse with the draw knife. I was pleased with how far I took it with the axe. 

I probably could have taken it further with a bit of knife work but it seemed to have a functional shape to it and comfortable to use and hold. So as well as his eggs, my mate went away with a spatula that got carved as we chatted. 

Carving something like this, with speed, is something I'd like to do more. I think it's great to create useful items from scratch and to do it with skill. I need lots of practice to do it though and think that I'm a long way off. I'm sure I'll create lots of kindling before I get confidant with it! Also it didn't feel rude to carve it while chatting to a mate (although my wife assures me it is). 

Not sure what next week will bring, but my daughter is keen to make more stirrers as someone on twitter has offered to buy some from her - she's thinking pocket money - so that might take up some time after school the next week. Good way for her to clear her head after being in the classroom all day. 

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