The global pandemic of Covid-19 virus has affected everyone on the planet, and while we practice isolation and social distancing during this time, we also look for things to help occupy our time and allow us to be productive too. What a great time to think about, and maybe even try wood carving. It's fairly inexpensive to get into, you can purchase much of your tools and wood on-line and there are a variety of internet carving resources to give you ideas and help.
I would venture a guess that wood carving is probably the earliest form of woodworking, and for you and me, it may have been your earliest form as well. If you are like me, and received your first jackknife as a youngster, and were told: "it's very sharpe, be very careful with it" ... but sure enough, didn't many of us cut ourselves ... I still remember that foray into "whittling" and how my mother came to my rescue with a bandaid ....
Move forward a few years and a few people stuck with it and became good woodcarvers, and many like me moved on to other forms of woodworking and now, years later are taking it up again.
Many months ago, for some reason, I got it in head that I wanted to carve a spoon. I ended up with a carving kit that was designed for "spoon carving" and also ordered an additional tool that I thought would be useful (and it is)
You can look at individual carving items on Amazon below, or check out a variety of them on the woodworkweb Amazon page here
You can click here to see the kit I got from Amazon
note, there are left and right versions of the curve tool
My friend Jack Fisher (click here for article) who carved the Kingfisher for me, has been a carver for 30 years. I asked him, how do I get started, and he said the best thing to do is to jump in and start doing some carving, just to get a feel for how it is, and what you want to carve ... then start honing your skills with instruction and watching others and asking questions.
I like to have the anti-skid mat as a surface to work on for some of the carving angles
And so here I am, starting my first spoon, and I know from years of woodworking that when you are working in "small" and much of carving is small, it's best to try and do as much as you can with larger wood, then cut it down after as much work that can be done, is done. I have talked about this in various other videos. So for this carving, I was worried about how I would be able to carve out the bowl of the spoon. That was my big concern, so best to try to do this with a larger piece of wood, then cut it down later on the bandsaw.
These were the only tools I used up to this point ...
As it turns out carving the bowl was pretty easy and was probably the most fun of all the carving on the spoon. I loved how those curved tools would slice off wood in whatever thickness I needed.
After carving out the bowl to where I wanted it, time to cut the outline of the spoon on the bandsaw. After a bit of thought, I determined that cutting off the bottom of the wood, then using double-sided tape to fasten it back on, then cutting the outline of the top of the wood should work ... and it did.
It quite amazing to see the shape of what you are carving emerge from the wood after you remove the cutaway pieces and the double-sided tape.
All that was left now was to carve the outside of the spoon to what I wanted it to look like. I started carving and just lost my sense of time ... carving away. What awakened me that it was time to stop was the aggravating ache from my wrist that has been an ongoing challenge of what to do with the carpel-tunnel ache in my right hand. My left was operated on many years ago and they told me the right was bad as well and it would need to be done eventually, but I have so far, been managing it with a variety of non-invasive techniques, and stopping carving when it begins to ache is one of them.
The spoon is near completion ... eventually, I want a very medieval-looking spoon, thick and chunky looking, and I will probably not sand it down either
I will continue to work on the spoon and in the near future when it is done to how I want it to look, it will magically show up in another video ... in the meantime, I will slowly enjoy what I started as a young lad, but this time ... more carefully
Copyright Colin Knecht