After a good 5-6 weeks, I finally made it back to the shop for a couple of hours yesterday, the shop being the alleyway behind my friend’s garage. Pretty dang hot and humid.. and the mosquitoes and gnats didn’t seem to mind.
I didn’t take along my sketchpad but I remembered this inch long drawing (circled) that I thought would be easy and fun to make.
Looking through my wood box I found a piece of serviceberry wood that I thought might look alright. I don’t have to worry about the grain direction so much since it is going to be a nonfunctional spoon. I drew a design directly onto the wood blank after squaring it up, but I didn’t really remember exactly what the drawing had looked like. I missed it by quite a bit but I really just wanted to get back to carving so no big deal.
After cutting out the top of the design I used a drop or two of the gel superglue to temporary reattach the off cuts. A tap with a hammer knocks those pieces right off.
After cutting the side profile the blank ended up looking like this…
I started with a coarse round bit to clear out the bowl. The outside of the bowl was shaped with a different coarse bit that has straight sides and a rounded top. If my band saw blade had been sharp, I could have tilted the table and cut off some of the excess on the spoon bottom… saving myself a half hour or so.
Carving the bowl is when I ‘remembered’ that Serviceberry is a hard wood to carve. I should have picked a design with a smaller bowl…. or found a softer wood.
After a spell I got the bowl roughed out and changed bits to another rounded style. It has finer teeth and gives a smoother finish. As I was shaping both the inside and back of the bowl, the design seemed to look like a leaf shape so I am going with that… unless something else presents itself. This is mostly the way I work, letting the piece sort of dictate, or at least suggest, the direction of the spoon design.
After a couple hours, this is what the thing looks like. There is one crack showing up in the bottom of the bowl, so I am watching to see if I have to scrap it.
Just to give you an idea of my carving set-up, I am attaching a couple of pics. First off, I have my band saw on a furniture dolly so I can roll it in and out of the garage. I don’t have a dust collection system so when I am done sawing and carving I just take the leaf blower and blast everything with it.
I keep my rotary tool (Foredom) attached to a folding ladder and just unfold the ladder in the alleyway when I get to carving. The nice thing is that the garage doors are the flip up kind, and as you can see from the photo, I position myself in the shade. Notice the foot pedal for speed control…. works great!!
As there are others that use the garage, I keep my bits in a small box and drag it out with the ladder and chair. You can see I don’t have a lot of bits and burs… but most times it is enough to do the job. I also have an Xacto knife which comes in handy from time to time.
I am really interested in seeing the spoons you guys carve… and if you have the notion (and the time), I would love to see some of the process.
-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)