Getting ready for tomorrow’s trip to Lie-Nielsen for my very full spoon-carving class, https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/18 I tarted up some of my spoon tools – the excuse is that I will be able to distinguish my tools from others’ tools. I started by cutting rows of gouge-cut patterns on the handles of my knives by Nic Westermann, these handles are ash, so I used a mallet to drive the gouge. Had to be very careful not to bump into the blades, either with my gouge or my hands. One could wrap the blade in duct tape, but I hate trying to get that junk off…I always feel like I’m going to slip & cut myself. I held these in a vise to carve them.
I had been using these knives since the spring, so the handles had some patina to them; once I cut into them, the carved bits came out very bright by comparison. Time will blend it all together.
Next, I decided to make some woven sheaths for the straight knives. I have kept several knives in a canvas roll, but even then they can get banged around. I have one small straight knife by Del Stubbs, and he supplied a nice birch woven sheath with it. His website has a very clear photo essay on making these – to me, more readable than the piece in Wille’s book. http://pinewoodforge.com/sheath.making.html
I made two with some scraps of birch bark, and lashed them with ash splints from my basket work. the dark-handled knife is my first spoon carving knife; late 1980s. Its most recent use is by Daniel, age 8 1/2. (HA! When I went digging for photos I shot the other day, he’s got one of Nic’s knives in his hands – so much for continuity…)
I also made a couple completely from ash, and tried some in hickory bark. The bark had been harvested quickly, and was too thick really. Good hickory bark is great for these things. The material I have in the best supply is ash splints, so I will bring some along in case some students want to take the time to make a sheath for their knives.
While we’re looking at spoon knives, now is a good time to show the hooks I’ve been using most often lately. Here’s three, Robin Wood’s “open” hook, the Nic Westerman one I mentioned, and in the back, a lefty by Hans Karlsson.
Next up after this trip is Columbus Day weekend at Bob Van Dyke’s Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, make a frame & panel in oak – carved. Bob says room for one more. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/bob-van-dyke-doesnt-know-which-end-is-up/