Questions about carving spoons and bowls

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Forum topic by woodcarverhur posted 04-18-2016 04:30 PM 417 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 229 days

04-18-2016 04:30 PM

I’m about to make my first attempt carving a spoon and a bowl out of some basswood and had a couple questions before I begin.
-Are there any safety precautions I need to take when using a hook knife and my primary carving knife?
-Is there any tips you have to make things go smoother or make my end result look better when carving these items?
-How big or small are the wood blocks you use to carve a spoon and/or bowl?
Any other useful ideas or tips you guys have would help a lot.

1 reply so far

View jdh122's profile


879 posts in 2277 days

#1 posted 04-18-2016 05:25 PM

My main suggestion would be to forget about the basswood (assuming it’s in lumber form) and make them out of a green log (white birch is one of the best for this). Green wood is so much more enjoyable to work for this kind of project. For a bowl you generally start with an ax and adze before moving on to the knives.

For a bowl I use the largest half logs I can get, although I suppose you could reach a point that the bowls were too big. As I live in a city and have no easy access to green wood I take what I can get when I see it.
Others will have better advice than me on safety precautions for carving dried basswood, but for green wood bowl carving the most important thing is not to strike with the ax more than half way up the piece that you’re holding in your other hand. When doing the ax work I use a protective glove in my holding hand, but take it off once I start with the curved knife/gouge/large knife.

Not trying to hijack your thread: you can no doubt make a nice bowl out of dried basswood carving blocks (for a spoon that was going to get regular use I’d be concerned about strength), but this is exactly the type of project that was made for green wood.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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