Utensil Carving Help

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Forum topic by MicahG posted 08-14-2015 02:07 AM 794 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1043 days

08-14-2015 02:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: maple question arts and crafts carving

Hi All!
I just started trying to make utensils from fallen maple logs. So far, I’ve just been doing spatulas. I’ve found that there are some tasks which I don’t have the right tool for. I have an old hatchet, a carving knife, a couple cheap hand saws, a file, and some sandpaper. Right now, I’m working on a spatula blank, but it’s way too thick (about three quarters of an inch). The file is too slow, and the knife isn’t up to the task, but the blank is too thick to use a saw on. What tools can I add to my collection to help with tasks like this? Would a fine rasp be the right tool for the job? I’m patient and don’t mind using hand tools, and I’m a student, so I’d prefer not to buy really expensive stuff. I know I’ll have to get some sort of spoon knife eventually to move on from spatulas.
Thanks for any advice!

4 replies so far

View BurlyBob's profile


5555 posts in 2292 days

#1 posted 08-14-2015 02:46 AM

Try a sharp spoke shave. Possibly a Stanley 51 or 151.

View MicahG's profile


2 posts in 1043 days

#2 posted 08-14-2015 03:01 AM

Thanks for the recommendation. Will that work well on hardwood? Also, what will I need for sharpening? I already have some whetstones I use for knives.

View pmayer's profile


1028 posts in 3092 days

#3 posted 08-14-2015 03:34 AM

If you are locked into hand tools, then disregard this. But I make spatulas and several other utensils by roughing out on a band saw and finishing on a belt sander. You could find a used 9” band saw on CL for pretty cheap. If you have a friend with a band saw you could use it for an hour and rough out a bunch of spatulas, and finish them at home with sandpaper, carving tools, or whatever you’d like.

Here’s an article that shows this process if you are interested:

-- PaulMayer,

View ClaudeF's profile


674 posts in 1734 days

#4 posted 08-14-2015 07:31 PM

My approach is similar to Paul’s, but I use a drum sander in my drill press. It could also be put into a hand held drill.

The one I have is

I didn’t have a belt sander at the time, and this was a less expensive alternative, since I did have the small drill press. The nice thing about this one is that it uses 1/3 of a sheet of sandpaper (cut lengthwise). Easy to change from 100grit to 150 to 220 to 300 to 400 etc.

The down side of using this is that it makes a lot of dust. I usually position my shop vac hose near the spinning drum so it will suck up most of the dust. I also wear safety glasses and a twin canister dust mask…



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