Exercises in Artisanship #27: The spoon makers tote! PART ONE

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Blog entry by jjw5858 posted 09-25-2012 10:06 PM 1230 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 26: Practices in Spoonology: Part Five THE FINALE! Part 27 of Exercises in Artisanship series Part 28: The spoon makers tote! Part Two »

Well friends I thought it might be time to get to a new project and one that could be of great use since I have been at all of this spoon making business recently. I am a few weeks away from venturing into some pretty nice woods in upstate NY filled with Apple, Ash, Cherry, Maple, Oak and a whole lot of other really nice materials to seek out and possibly get to haul back to the shop and use for spoon works!

I thought…hmmmm?, a nice tote would really help for the trip, something that I may pack my hatchet, knives, copesaw, spokeshaves and some small lumber. Wether on my trip or at home base this would be real handy for any work I feel inspired to do at home during some nice fall afternoons/evenings when I would rather move my work outside. Wether this idea will be finished in time for my trip is not much of a worry since I will have plenty to do other than woodwork and carving spoons can surely be saved for back at the shop.

But I really liked this idea..a spoon makers tote! Why not? My ideas quickly imagined up a tote that had more of a graceful and almost garden like theme to the overall pieces shape, something forest friendly. I figured a little originality would make for something interesting to look at rather than just a simple tote. I was going for what I thought a spoon makers tote would look like especially with the more ornamental spoons of the swedish styles I have been learning and enjoying to make.

I had some box store pine left over from the trestle table affair and left my fears at the doorstep while I even planed for some side dovetails. I was ready to just dive in and try some more of this dovetailing work, and with cupped old cheap pine you just have to have some Roy Underhill spirit here and enjoy the journey without getting too obsessed over some nooks and crannies when joining this deal together.

After the four seasons on DVD of the Woodrights shop…trust me this makes for great practice to lose any over compulsive worries of how tick tock tight every single joint must look to meet our ultimate satisfaction….lol. Roy frees that silly notion up quickly on here with a message that I find tried and true. In my own words I would express this as…we learn by doing it…not over analyzing it!…lol. Trees keep growing and more pine boards to practice on and improve…so I lost the nails, screws and hammer and will use my Paul Sellers dovetail jig, saw and set sail for the seas of the ever challenging through dovetails, 100% tight fits….SOLD SEPARATELY…lol!

Well that’s for a later date so on with the current state of tasks.

This is where I am at right now in the build. Here are some pics to invite you to my ideas…...

Pic 1: For me, a few simple pencil sketches begin the process and I add or subtract from there.

Pic 2: Next I get into handrawing out the curves as I see them in my brain….once the first side catches my vision I simply set up some tracing paper and go old school art class and trace my blues away….lol.

Pic 3: Gave my Poplar bo saw some reps and begin to cut out our first side to this future home of spoonery.

Pic 4: Now onto evening out the top parts with this trusty old spokeshave. I picked this one up for 5 bucks at an auction…no kidding, this deal works out mighty fine once you give that good iron some sharpening on some diamond stones! Shavings Ahoy!

Pic 5: I have been getting more confident of encouraged chisel work instead of always giving in to the world of rasps and files for taming roughed saw work. Nothing against those tools….but this is a wonderful part of the build schedule to work out some chisel moves and this session of chisel work friends was an nice improvement all because of those past weeks of carving and whittleing!...See?.....It all helps us by working various tasks to add to our overall table of skills!

Pic 6: I glanced over to my plane till..and had to pick that nice little #3 Stanley and smooth down my side walls of the tote…..I love this plane and the shavings it provides!

Pic 7: Same moves with pencils and trace paper provides me with this idea after copesaw/bow saw work and a short mockup takes place so I may trace and make doubles for each.

The memorable events of our times are far from the days we sit and count upon,
they seem to unfold before us like a spring blossom and sometimes wilt as fast as old hickory leaves

The importance of our footsteps are forever to move forward although the climbs are what make us learn more of what is within us and humble us when are falls are as solid as wind and hail

There is a smyphony within the forest that speaks to the quiet dark and rises the warmth of rays to shine our gifts in our eyes and test us to see it’s treasures

We are sometimes such forgotten children that our paths lead far from home and our homes have lost there roads reaching towards us,
listen to the clouds and wonder of the skyward arts as merely an opener to entice our thoughts of the stars and sacred blue of a mysterious midnight calling

Hold strong to your instincts and breathe with the trees, feel their wisdom, and seek your path once more,
the hurried anger of disatifaction needs to be swept away with the joy of the simple, and so may your path be once more green with fields that call you home

Touch the earth with your hands and make yourself at home again and forever may you grow in wonder…......

Take a moment and have a good time friends!
Thank you for all of your projects and inspirations.

All the best,


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

5 comments so far

View Brit's profile


7369 posts in 2811 days

#1 posted 09-25-2012 10:33 PM

Yiippee! Another tote in the making. It is a good job I know you won’t mark out and cut your dovetails like you drew them in your sketch though Joe, because that will just fall apart. :o) You’ve got the sides of your tails slanting the wrong way brother. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. LOL.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 2570 days

#2 posted 09-26-2012 12:17 AM

Hey Andy…no worries… sketches are really fast and ugly..haaaa….but I totally see what you are seeing….hahaha…sorry it sure does like reversed and funky….but no worries just sloppy Thanks for really taking a look my friend it’s great to have good backup! Have a great evening and thanks!

-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2951 days

#3 posted 09-26-2012 05:51 AM

great post going,with pictures and all.then a good poem. and then it stops;you’ve left me hanging.
i was so ingrossed in your blog,i didn’t see the short intermission comming.
like a good book,untill next week!
thanks, Joe

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2772 days

#4 posted 09-26-2012 01:42 PM

Ahhh the fresh aroma from a long needled Pine tree is sooooo gr8. But, in the shop cuttin Pine really suks for me. It tears me up. I am quickly reminded to put a dust mask on anytime I cut Pine. OH, almost forgot…....... Nice tool-tote.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3120 days

#5 posted 09-26-2012 03:25 PM

I love the sketch, that will be a really sweet looking tote! But yeah the DT’s would need to be reversed. :-)

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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