It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about which tools I use for spoon carving. I’ve received some questions lately about axes/hatchets, so I’ll start there. First off, this ain’t joinery, these are double-bevel hatchets. The single-bevel hatchets I use for making flat stuff. these can do that, but they excel at hewing shapes, which the single-bevel can’t do – in my hands anyway.
First off – new to me – a Svante Djarv “Little Viking” hatchet I got through Country Workshops – http://countryworkshops.org/Axes.html (2 of these axes are from there, so you could just go read Drew Langsner’s descriptions…)
I like this hatchet a lot, so far. I especially like using a hatchet with curved cutting edge, and this one has a nice pronounced curve. I think it helps emphasize the slicing action of hewing. Might all be in my head, but it’s what I’m used to, and therefore what I look for. Drew’s table says 28 oz., and 5 3/8″ cutting edge. I wish the handle was a little thicker at its back edge, and at some point, I plan on re-handling this and some others. But I’m getting used to the handle that comes on it –
Here’s the next one when it was new – Hans Karlsson’s Sloyd Axe. I’ve used this one a lot, and recommend it to students & others who are looking for a great all-around hewing hatchet for spoon & bowl work. I’ve had it for 2 1/2 years, and it’s held up great. Lighter than the SD hatchet above, thinner “bit” results in shorter bevels. Many are drawn to the light weight, a heavier hatchet is sometimes tiring for people not used to them…
My thoughts about the handle are the same; I tend to like to make my own. And have intended to for this one, but here I am now 2 1/2 years later, still using this one with its original handle. I think it’s too thick right below the head – I took it to Alaska & the handle shrunk with the low humidity. Now’s my chance…
If I were on a budget (which I should be at the rate I buy hatchets) this next one is the one – made for & somewhat by – Robin Wood. Robin designed this hatchet with the idea of getting something for spoon carvers who aren’t necessarily going to spend the $200+ for a hatchet. It fills the bill nicely. Right now, it translates, with shipping, to about $80. http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/shop/the-robin-wood-axe/ (notice I didn’t talk about the prices of the other ones, but both of the above are over $200) – small, light, curved cutting edge. You could carve spoons with this hatchet all your life and never need another. But most woodworkers I know have more tools than they need…
The one I have used the most over the past many years is an old one by Hans Karlsson, no longer offered at Drew’s place…I like its long head – just a bit longer between the poll and the cutting edge than the modern HK one. But it might just be that I’m used to it, having used it so long. Right now, I am using the SD Viking one for bowl=hewing.
I don’t own a Gransfors Bruks carving hatchet. I have used them some, they’re nice. I like the weight of them. Drew’s page on hatchets has a good description (“hewing axe refinements”) of the bevel shapes and how he suggests correcting the GB hatchet. In all, I have 5 spoon hatchets right now, so am not hurting for another…but someday I’ll add a GB just for good measure.
10 thoughts on “some spoon carving hatchets”
Very helpful comparison, Peter. They all look great. As you suggested, a lot of it is what you get used to — like Mom’s cooking. I like the look of that SD axe — similar in shape to the GB carving axe. With the cold temperatures and low humidity of this past winter, I noticed for the first time ever a very slight loosening of my adze handle. No worries, because it is tight now… one extreme to the other.
This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me
Thank you for the information you shared. I am still looking for that perfect axe. And you helped me in the right direction. Again thank you.
Just FYI. Country Workshops has no inventory and
finding it difficult to source axes.
Robin Wood Hatchet out of stock as well!!
Can you recommend others sources for the
upcoming spoon class?
Do you have any Robin a Wood axes in stock? If not when are you expecting a shipment?
Bob – I don’t sell Robin’s hatchets – nor any other tools for that matter. Order directly from Robin for those…
It’s really very difficult in this busy life
to listen news on Television, therefore I simply use the web for that purpose, and get the hottest information.
Hi I was wondering if you could contact me about a custom made spoon/ spatula being made? if anyone has any idea where I can have this made (near CT) please let me know ASAP I can send photos if you would like – I think the technical name for it is a Amish pancake turner thank you
Robins are available now. I just ordered one. Costs 100$ (after shipping to USA). Good luck.