hewing a spoon crook

Getting some spoon work in, prepping for Greenwood Fest coming up in early June. Cherry crooks are the greatest…so photos with captions.

This is the crook I chose this afternoon – split off 2 chunks above the pith. So the bottom third of this is trash, but the other two will be fine spoons.

Here’s the top one, near the bark. It just about makes itself into a spoon.

After hewing off the bark so I can see the shape better, I hewed a bunch off what will be the top or rim of the spoon bowl.

Slicing across the grain to bring it down to the shape I want.

Starting to define the neck between the bowl and the handle.

This is the one I always call the first chance to completely ruin the spoon. Thankfully it’s only a few minutes into the work. So if it fails now, not much is lost.

Then hewing away some excess off the back of the handle.

With a hard wood like cherry (Prunus serotina) I often mount the hewn shape in the vise, and work with a bent gouge & mallet to rough out the bowl. Working directly across the grain.

here’s the gouge – might be about 1″-1 1/4″ wide, the “sweep” or curve is the #8 in the Swiss marking system.

It’s still very blocky, so the next step will be to hew off the back corners.

I start this cut up in the bowl, and it carries all the way down to the top end of the handle.

It’s hard to read in this photo, but I’ve begun to form a rounded under the bowl.

Then it was time for dinner.

10 thoughts on “hewing a spoon crook

      • there’s lots of resources out there for spoon carving; my DVD w Lie-Nielsen, Jarrod Dahl’s with Popular Woodworking, Jogge Sundqvist’s old one from Fine Woodworking – Barn the Spoon has a brand-new book out – and of course the numerous classes held all over the world. Wille Sundqvist’s book Swedish Carving Techniques is a must-have. On & on…

    • graemeu – splitting two blanks (or more) from one side of the pith works when there’s lots of wood there. I would have a lot of hewing & waste to have made one spoon out of that blank. There’s a gamble – it might split all wrong. But you know within minutes if it’s a bummer….

  1. I’m not sure which I enjoy most, the knowledge you share or your sense of humour. I have a weeping cherry tree that is coming down. It is loaded with crooks. It will be sad to take the tree down, but hopefully a small part of it will “live” on in some spoons and bowls. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Hey Peter,
    Would you refresh my memory? Is dogwood toxic and not to be used for eating utensils?
    Would be great to catch up sometime.

  3. The thing that I find the most difficult is the optimum relationship of the grain lines to the tip of the spoon and to the crank between the bowl and stem of the spoon. I’ve been looking around for a clear explanation of that and haven’t yet found it. I have a nice madrone crook that I just split yesterday and so would love see more discussion of this. I’ve got the Wille Sundqvist book, but even he is a little vague about crank and tip placement relative to the grain of the crook.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s