Saturday, May 25, 2013

Carving a Wooden Spoon

So my adventure started with a piece of 1" x 2" Maple about 12" long. I do not remember if this was a piece I bought from a big box hardware store (Lowes, Home Depot) or if it was a piece of turning wood bought from Woodcraft. 
Either way it was only a few dollars for a piece the size I used. Since this was my first time really trying to carve something out of wood I went over to Harbor Freight and bought a set of wood carving chisels. 

Normally I wouldn't bother with super cheap cutting/carving tools but I have a philosophy.
Buy the cheap tools and see if I use them, If they break buy better quality tools if they don't then I'm not using them enough to justify the cost of good tools.
If my livelihood depended on a tool I would not be wasting my money on the cheap junk at Harbor Freight (I know there are some diamond in the rough items there) anyway that's my opinion.

As I was saying before I went off on a tangent.
I went to Harbor Freight  and bought a set of carving chisels. 

I bought two sets this one

And this one

The first set cost around $15 with a coupon (always use a 20% off coupon at harbor freight ) and the second was only $5 (that's why I bought it) another thing you should look at getting is a whetstone for sharpening the chisels. The first set I linked (the set of 5) were decent out of the box (needed a light touch up on the stones) but the $5 set where useless out of the box. I'm not even sure if the second set would cut butter before being sharpened. So I took a few hours and sharpened the chisels I would be using. the second set of chisels appear to be good steel with a decent heat treat so they took a serviceable edge once I got the angles set. Once I had a good edge it would be time to get to the fun (or at least I hoped it would be).

Here's a few sites talking about how to sharpen the chisels.

The first step was to cut down the piece of wood since I'm not planning on making a serving spoon. 
I used a cheap hand saw from Harbor freight

Once I had a reasonable sized piece of wood I started carving  away all the wood that wasn't the spoon. I learned quite a bit about carving with my first spoon. In fact it kinda of... leaves some to be desired, but overall I'm happy with my first attempt at wood carving so without further ado I present you my masterpiece (ummm well maybe not masterpiece) spoon. Next time I promise to get some in progress pictures  while I'm working on it. 

Not the best pictures since may camera decided to focus on the rock instead of the spoon. I'll try to get some better pictures soon.

I ended up finishing my piece in completely unhistorical fashion. I did a hand rubbed poly finish. The reason I went with rubbed poly is because thats what I had sitting at home when I was done sanding the spoon. 

Here's  a video of a guy doing an oak tabletop in a hand rubbed poly finish.

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