This is a timely revival for me. I have just gotten back to carving spoons after a long lapse, and took some pictures to share.
The top spoon is one I made 25ish years ago in a green woodworking class, with hand tools only. It was a freshly-cut sycamore sapling (so I couldn't make a wide bowl). I never quite finished it, though it has been used occasionally.
The middle and bottom ones are from a black walnut that blew down last summer on a friend's property. She let my best friend and me take the wood for carving and sculpture. He split the sapwood off some stove-length logs to expose the heartwood, and I gathered some of the splits that had heartwood showing. The small one was my first essay, roughed out on a table saw because that was what was to hand. The heartwood was very thin, which limited the depth possibilities. The big one (17" long) was also shaped on a table saw, and the bowl and fine surfaces finished with a gouge (Swiss Made 7/25 curve, which is excellent for all but the deepest spoon bowls). This piece was adjacent to a knot, which made nice curvature for the handle and bowl. Files and sandpaper took the surfaces to exact contours, though they are not quite finished yet.
I've been averaging maybe one spoon every two months, typically when I find a piece of wood that looks like it belongs as a spoon.
I really like the way mulberry comes out, and the good thing is I have 4 mulberry trees in my yard, 3 of which needed heavy pruning last winter.
For the salad tong, I split a piece of maple firewood and liked how crazy the grain was. I'm just waiting to find a counterpart for it with equally crazy grain and I'll have a set of salad tongs I made.
The birch spoons were surprisingly easy to work; they came from two pieces of firewood we got while camping in VT. The one with the hole in the bowl was caused when I went too deep carving the bowl. But it was really fun to do those, I roughed them out with just a hatchet, hook knife, and straight mora knife. Once they dried I finished them with the knife and sandpaper.
The bowl was my first and only so far, but was very fun. Roughed with the adze I bought from Bulgaria or some such place on ebay, and finished with a gouge. Finished that one with just Alfie Shine, which is a lovely product.
There are some beautiful utensils in this thread. Very inspiring. I got into spoon making this winter and have really enjoyed the process. Using only my hatchet, circle blade, and wanta forge pukko, along with some sand paper.
Location: CT. Zone 6a
posted 5 months ago
Here are a couple I did for gifts this year, out of a 100+ year old mulberry tree that fell down at my dad's house.
Hey Judith. I just started making ladles! I work in a stairbuilding shop so I have access to any tool I want. All the wood I use is just scrap pieces, so I am pretty lucky! What I do is start with a square piece, cut out the rough shapes on the band saw, then move over to the belt sander to round things out. Then I use a drill press to make the concave part. I start with a 2 inch drill saw, then move to 1.5 inch, 1, .5, etc. Then I smooth things out with my bosses round chisel, and then finish off with a die grinder with a circular sanding attachment. It's a lot of equipment and totally unnecessary, but that's how I figured out how to do it! I'll post a picture of one later.