Category Archives: wood-working

Ladles

I’ve finished three new ladles from cherry wood as a request. The curve of the wood occurred near the flared base of the tree, and I was able to split several blanks for spoons, each with a slightly different angle to the curve. As the tree had already been cut into short lengths by a city work crew, they seemed a bit short as ladles. I solved this by adding a decorative end of teak that makes a nice contrast in colour. The joint was both pegged and glued, and the finished pieces given a coat of beeswax, carnauba and mineral oil.dsc09939dsc09934

More Spoons

In preparation for Vancouver’s 2016 EASTSIDE CULTURE CRAWL, I have been carving on a daily basis, mostly concentrated on larger serving spoons made of locally sourced Cherrywood. All have been finished with a coating of Beeswax, Carnuba, and Mineral oil.

Spoons of 2015

This year my spoon carving improved, as did my level of production. I have  switched over to using a knife finish entirely, which has been great in lowering the amount of sawdust in my house and given the finished product a much more interesting look.

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I was lucky in obtaining a large supply of cherry wood from two trees that were cut down in a local park. I’ve got to the point now that I can complete a spoon in a single sitting, although it’s often necessary to do a few refinements after the wood is completely dry in a couple of weeks. They are finished with a mixture of beeswax, mineral oil, and a smaller amount of carnauba wax for hardness.

Mr Fire-man Builds a Horn Orchestra out of Wood

Mr Fire-manVote for my film-pitch at http://www.storyhive.com/project/show/id/907

Between October 26 and November 8, 2015, you can vote once everyday to give me a chance to win 10,000 dollars to make this film.

Two Wood Bowls

Wood Bowls

I finished two more bowls a while back and thought it was time to document them.

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The smaller one was made from the large piece of plum found by Amy from a tree cut down in the neighbourhood. Initially, it had a flat top but warped during the drying process. The result is quite pleasing even if it wasn’t intentional.

The second was from a very large Red Alder tree, one of many removed by the city from the steep bank above Spanish Banks Beach. The logs were placed in the firewood area on the beach where they are free for the taking. Mark and I borrowed Karen’s Volkswagen and retrieved the rather cumbersome chunk of wood, and after some effort, split it in two on the road in front of his house.

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The adze I made with Lorne during our blacksmithing stint proved invaluable in shaping this bowl. It was knife finished using my set of hook knives over a few weeks. It is coated with a mixture of beeswax, carnauba wax, and mineral oil.

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Carving Tools

As my interest in carving has grown, so has my understanding of the tools required. Different tools are needed for the various stages in carving, starting with saws for obtaining wood from fallen trees, wedges and froe for splitting it into workable sections, and finally, axes, gouges and knives for shaping the individual piece.

I’ve been borrowing some of the more specialized tools from David on our carving nights, and have also been assembling a set of my own. I had a stroke of luck recently in finding a carving hand axe at a local flea market for 15 dollars. With some concerted effort, I was able to resharpen the damaged edge and give it a new handle. It is on the heavy side, but having a single beveled, right handed blade has made a great difference in the initial shaping of wood before switching to the knife.

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I’ve also bought some Haida designed hook-knife blades from the local Lee Valley store. They are sold without handles, so I now have them mounted on pieces of maple I had left over from another project. These have proved indispensable in all of the recent carving I’ve been doing. Having the three different profiles has made hollowing out both spoons and bowls much easier. They require some serious sharpening at the beginning, so patience is necessary.

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I also made my own adze with Lorne Grey when we were doing some blacksmithing earlier this year, but have only recently given it a handle made from dogwood. My first attempt failed as I had chosen a branch configuration with too acute an angle, making it almost impossible to swing. That (boxwood) handle was replaced and recycled into a handle for the hook knife I also made with Lorne. The adze in particular has been brilliant in working on a larger sized bowl I’m making from alder.

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Plum-wood bowl

I just finished my first bowl today carved from a chunk of plum-wood. I based it on the shape and style of a rice bowl.

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A lot more work is involved in carving a bowl as compared with a spoon. I’m learning to do a knife finish instead of sanding, which for me has been a bit of a struggle so far. I do prefer the results, especially as it cuts down the dust levels in my shop, and really shows the beauty of the wood.

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I’m finishing a larger oval-shaped bowl from the same piece of wood and have started another with some freshly cut alder. Both are smallish, but I have plans for a large, group project with a huge section of alder I now have in my front yard.

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