bowls & spoons for sale; hewing a bowl

Today I posted a page with a couple of hewn bowls, and what spoons I have ready to go. I have several spoons nearly ready; but those I’ll take with me to Roy’s place, & finish them down there. So what I have now is on the blog, then there’ll be more in mid-August. As usual, leave a comment if you’d like to order something. Any questions, send an email to

Meanwhile, here’s some of what I did yesterday. 


A day like this:

summer's day

distractions galore


redtail juvy

But I persevered and roughed out one of the last bowls from the stash of birch I have around here. Most of the ones I’ve been doing are upside-down. I start like this:

hewing the bottom

hew the broad inner face of the split bolt flat. This becomes the bottom of the bowl.

Then mark out the saddle-shaped interior of the bowl. Now the bowl is held down to a low bench with three pegs and a wedge. (well, take my word for it that there’s 3. You can only see 2 in this shot) Simple, but it works pretty well. If I end up doing these bowls regularly, then it might be time to look closely at Dave Fisher’s bowl horse…

3 pegs & wedge



I then make a few saw kerfs to help break stuff up when the next hewing begins.


saw kerfs


I just begin chopping into the midst of these kerfs to remove the excess material. Now it’s a double-bevel hatchet, not the joiner’s hatchet I used to flatten the bottom.

axe work inside

axe work inside 2


Then comes adze work. Just like the hatchet, you want to keep the tool’s edge out of your leg.

adze stance 1

adze stance

I do some standing, then some seated. All in all, about 15-20 minutes of hewing ought to get me there.

braced adze work 1

braced adze work 2

adze detail

Then it’s on to gouge & mallet work, then more hewing.

gouge & mallet

more hewing


then it rained.



8 thoughts on “bowls & spoons for sale; hewing a bowl

  1. Peter, I could not quite tell from the picture – is that a bent gouge you are using or regular/straight? Do you have a preference for sweep for doing that type of work?

    • In almost every case here, you can click the pictures to make them larger. That might help when trying to see some details. Sorry the photo is not more clear, but yes, that is a bent gouge. It’s Swiss made, #7 sweep. I forget the size, but it’s fairly large. It would be helpful to have a #5 same size, also bent. I use a spoon gouge to get at the bottom too. Not a gouge for spoon-carving, but the ones Pfeil call “spoon” gouges.

  2. We just had to have a large oak tree cut down and I’d like to use some of the pieces I salvaged to make things- a 2ft log to make a side table, the triangular wedge they cut out to drop it for a chiseled name sign, etc.
    Do I need to dry out the oak before I can seal it? With winter coming on, even if I put it in our shed it will still be in a pretty moist environment.

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