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Need help picking a good Bowl adze

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Forum topic by blueridge posted 03-02-2018 02:37 PM 680 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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blueridge

21 posts in 114 days


03-02-2018 02:37 PM

Hello, I have been really interested in picking up on adze sculpting as a new medium. I have a mini lathe and I am limited to 8×10 vessels at the moment. I really like the scalloped textures found on adze finishes and have been reading and watching videos about sharpening, cutting technique, and pattern/mounting design.

What I am a bit unclear of however is which adze would be a good choice. I can buy 3 Bulgarian blades for about $90, but in some of the reviews I see people complain that this steel is too soft and it rolls. Others complain that the blade is too thin and its prone to catching in the wood while cutting. Other options I see while scouring ebay are vintage antique adzes, and maybe 3 or 4 blacksmith made adzes. Im not sure whihc way to go, Im leaning towards a blacksmith made adze. With whatever I choose I want something that will perform consistently under moderate to heavy use.


7 replies so far

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RobsonValley

31 posts in 1789 days


#1 posted 03-02-2018 06:53 PM

I have been carving for years with the Pacific Northwest native style of tools such as an elbow adze and a D adze.
I do not own a texturing adze but I do know that it’s a skill you won’t learn in just a year or two. Any successful texturing that I do in western red cedar and yellow cedar is done entirely with crooked knives.

Do you want a dedicated bowl adze or will a carving adze work OK?

At the moment, I have hafted Baby Sitka and D adze blades from Kestrel Tool. I use a Stubai 7/75 as well.
The Kestrel tools can chip chunk and texture or shave like a Stanley #5.
I’ve ordered the big Sitka gutter blade from Kestrel, just a week ago. Need faster rough-outs.

I don’t know if that’s enough direct experience to offer any applied suggestions.

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blueridge

21 posts in 114 days


#2 posted 03-07-2018 05:20 PM



I have been carving for years with the Pacific Northwest native style of tools such as an elbow adze and a D adze.
I do not own a texturing adze but I do know that it s a skill you won t learn in just a year or two. Any successful texturing that I do in western red cedar and yellow cedar is done entirely with crooked knives.

Do you want a dedicated bowl adze or will a carving adze work OK?

At the moment, I have hafted Baby Sitka and D adze blades from Kestrel Tool. I use a Stubai 7/75 as well.
The Kestrel tools can chip chunk and texture or shave like a Stanley #5.
I ve ordered the big Sitka gutter blade from Kestrel, just a week ago. Need faster rough-outs.

I don t know if that s enough direct experience to offer any applied suggestions.

- RobsonValley

Hmm I guess im up in the air with the idea based on the info you have provided. I think I am after a bowl adze, though it sounds like it might beenfit me to have more than one type of adze now. In addition to making bowls with the adze, I think it could help me lighten up large vessels and bowls to turn on my mini lathe, that might otherwise be to big to turn. Im readin up on pacific northwest tools now.

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RobsonValley

31 posts in 1789 days


#3 posted 03-07-2018 06:38 PM

Hi Wondered if you had decided to hibernate a little longer. We should at 53N in the mountains.
Bowl adzes cost a bundle. North Bay Forge is over in Washington state, like Kestrel. Another is Hans Karlsson from Sweden(?) if you can ever find any of his tools really for sale. Lots of talk and no stock.

Like I said, I’d rather haft another Kestrel elbow adze blade and get on with it.
You could hog out a lot of waste wood in a hurry to make them light enough for your lathe.
The joke is that you weigh the block. The dish will be no more than 15% of the wood.

PacNW carvers make all sorts of dishes and feast bowls and never need a bowl adze. Neither do I.
If you expect flat inside walls that meet a flat bottom in a dish, you need one or more crooked knives.
You can buy blades and haft them, you can buy finished crooked knives. You can buy a farrier’s hoof-trimming knife (new or used) and change the bevel to 12 degrees. I have done about 2 dozen of those. Got 6 Hall knives on the bench now, nearly ready for carving.

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blueridge

21 posts in 114 days


#4 posted 03-09-2018 05:13 AM



Hi Wondered if you had decided to hibernate a little longer. We should at 53N in the mountains.
Bowl adzes cost a bundle. North Bay Forge is over in Washington state, like Kestrel. Another is Hans Karlsson from Sweden(?) if you can ever find any of his tools really for sale. Lots of talk and no stock.

Like I said, I d rather haft another Kestrel elbow adze blade and get on with it.
You could hog out a lot of waste wood in a hurry to make them light enough for your lathe.
The joke is that you weigh the block. The dish will be no more than 15% of the wood.

PacNW carvers make all sorts of dishes and feast bowls and never need a bowl adze. Neither do I.
If you expect flat inside walls that meet a flat bottom in a dish, you need one or more crooked knives.
You can buy blades and haft them, you can buy finished crooked knives. You can buy a farrier s hoof-trimming knife (new or used) and change the bevel to 12 degrees. I have done about 2 dozen of those. Got 6 Hall knives on the bench now, nearly ready for carving.

- RobsonValley

I know right? It just snowed again today. The flowers are very confused as am I. LOL.

Yea most of the adzes I have looked at are about 120-150 for a good one, I can see why though, assuming it is made from good steel that is not to hard to sharpen but not so soft that it needs to see a stone every couple of minutes while working on a hardwood. I have located a few blacksmiths on ebay from all over the world and I have also seen these hungarian blades which come as a set https://www.ebay.com/itm/SET-3-ADZ-WOODWORKING-WOODCARVING-TOOLS-STRAIGHT-BIG-SMALL-CURVED-BOWL-ADZE/141691789391?_trkparms=aid%3D555019%26algo%3DPL.BANDIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150817211758%26meid%3De234fde12f9248e1a4c3f542df6ef35f%26pid%3D100507%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26%26itm%3D141691789391&_trksid=p2045573.c100507.m3226 I am not sure if those are any good or not, some complain others love them.

Right now I am mostly focused on this sellers adze https://www.ebay.com/itm/401494519047?ul_noapp=true He wants $75 for the blade without the handle. It seems like a good quality tool, and I think I could at least learn on it and slowly pick up a few others. What do you think? What type would you start with for roughing bowls if you had to go back?

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RobsonValley

31 posts in 1789 days


#5 posted 03-13-2018 12:54 AM

We are just getting a week of warm air, all the way up from California. Another day of this and it will look like I own waterfront property. No risk of flooding, my lot was crowned 12-16” when the house was built. But I have a lake between me and the street!

If all I ever wanted to do was bowls, then a dedicated bowl adze will waste junk wood so fast you’ll be grinning.
Not a fancy delicate task so super, “carving sharp” isn’t a goal for edge upkeep. Then you want to spin the rough-out on your lathe for the fine work, anyway.

I’m not so sure that an elbow adze is the way to go. The elbow is going to jam for sure.
I do believe that buying just the blade is important. You pay the bladesmith for their talent, not for farting around with some sticks. Handles come in an infinite series. Make more.

I’ve got birch for 3 handles for the Kestrel Sitka adze blade when it arrives. I’ve made a dozen handles and have no fear about breaking one for the smaller Baby Sitka.

I looked at your links. Nothing wrong with those eastern european blade smiths. Those guys know their steel. I’ve got a couple of pairs of Narex (CZ) skews that are wonderful steel. Even made other carving edges from one pair!

Pull the trigger and buy it.

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RobsonValley

31 posts in 1789 days


#6 posted 03-23-2018 01:39 AM

blueridge: did you buy it?

Got a notice from Charlie at Kestrel Tool that my gutter Sitka adze blade is in the mail!
Have no handle patterns traced, no sure where the birch 6/4 plank is.

Stalled with 2 story poles that need massive rough out that I could do with an electric chainsaw
but the adze will be slower and more precise. The Baby Sitka is a little small and the Stubai
carver’s adze is a real arrogance.

View Roger's profile

Roger

80 posts in 4432 days


#7 posted 05-26-2018 07:00 PM

Listen to RobsonValley and get a Kestrel adze there are a lot of reasons but don’t waste your time or money buy the Kestrel.

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