Carving Spoons n Bowls

Carving Spoons n Bowls
August 12, 2020 Dennis Moor
In Carving Spoons n Bowls
Oak Handle Spoon Knives

Carving Spoons n Bowls

Spoon and Bowl carving are popular projects for wood carvers.  Whether carving Love Spoons, spoons of a Bush-craft nature or Bowls, using the correct tool can make the experience a pleasant one.

Hook Knives

While carving with a hook knife seems to be most popular method it is certainly not your only choice.  If you are using ‘green wood’ while on a camping trip, etc. then a good quality hook knife will do the job nicely.   Small bowl carving using fresh-cut wood (green wood) can also be accomplished with a hook knife.  Hook knives come in both right and left hand models.  There is also a variety of radius’s and blade shapes determined by the size and shape of your project.  Carving wood that has been aged or kiln dried can be a greater challenge.  Using smaller cuts also helps – remember this isn’t a race to get it done quickly.  Generally, carving across the grain will result in smoother cuts though at times you may have to adjust if chipping occurs.  YouTube has many videos on both spoon and bowl carving.

Shown below are 3 new carving tools from Ozark Country Carving Tools  (OCCT) made in USA.  Left to right is the Side-Winder, the larger radius Hook Knife.  The final is a #7 Sweep Spoon Gouge.
You can see and read more on our 3 styles by clicking here.

Oak Handle Spoon KnivesHanded Hook KnifeOCCT Spoon Gouge 7Sweep

Sharpening Hook Knives:  Sharpening hook knives can prove to be a challenge to even the most seasoned woodcarver.  We continue to stress that when using quality tools from Chipping Away sharpening is required ONLY on a very limited basis.  Stropping however is required more frequently and will be sufficient to keep your tools in top working condition.  If you notice that the tool requires considerably more effort or force then that may be the time to refresh the edge …but only after stropping has proven insufficient.   Yes, stropping is boring!  In fact, that is one of the reasons carvers have trouble keeping their tools in good working order.  You have to take the time to strop thoroughly!  Be sure to strop and strop and strop …then strop some more!  Be careful not to ‘roll-over’ the cutting edge.  Here is an excellent 6 minute YouTube video on sh arpening hook knives!

Carving Spoons n Bowls using Spoon Gouges:

The spoon gouge is used to make concave cuts in tight areas. The end of the tool resembles a common spoon because of the short curve at the end of the blade.  The shape of this tool raises the handle angle significantly—to almost 90°. This position allows you to make a nearly right-angle cut.  Spoon gouges are available in Palm, Mid and Full size tools.

Spoon Gouge

Sharpening a Spoon Gouge:  Here is an excellent video for sharpening Spoon Gouges:     YouTube video!
It was done by Mary May and by watching it you will quickly see why Mary is so popular as on on-line carving instructor.  Mary is one of Chipping Away’s favorite people and why we have a wonderful relationship with supplying tools to her students.

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