View Full Version : Spoon carving - Australian options

7th December 2013, 06:36 PM
Hi All,

I have been looking into some small projects to can tackle over my summer holidays and, since I love spending time in the kitchen, I decided to have a go at spoon carving.
I am aware that spoons can be made in seasoned timber just as well as greenwood wood but being incredibly strapped for workshop equipment I do not have a vice or a gouge suitable for carving the bowl of the spoon. I've seen several videos of spoons being carved from greenwood and it feels like an activity I need to try at least once.
My problem is the choice of timber. My family is cursed with Jacaranda's (Jacaranda mimosifolia (with the purpose flowers)) lining our drive-way and I have considered using a branch from that to make a spoon. I believe this is used for the turning of wooden bowls by some, but I don't know how serviceable it is for cooking implements. - Am I wasting my time? Are there any suggestions from those who have tread this path before me?

7th December 2013, 07:21 PM
I haven't tried jacaranda, but I have tried wood from large pruned branches off exotic bushes from our garden. My thought is if the wood is straight grained and does not have a strong smell or resin then it will be fine. Mine have been so far. For tools I have used a gouge, which was OK but mine was too small and I had to use a curved scraper alot to get a good finish. I just purchased a curved knife for carving the bowl yet to try it yet though.

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8th December 2013, 09:50 AM
Jacaranda should be fine. Avoid the centre of the branch (pith).

Robson Valley
8th December 2013, 10:46 AM
I don't know how to insert links, sorry.

Go down into the Wood Carving and Sculpture Forum.
Search for my "Kitchen Tool Project."

My plan was to make 100 for sale and then quit.
In my own kitchen, I am very pleased with the durability of the
oven-baked olive oil finish (8 months of steady use).

I'm up to about 80 spoons and forks finished and out for sale.
Maybe another dozen of each. My question was whether I could
carve something, anything, and make a buck or two to cover my time.
$0.20 wood and 90 minutes into each for $12.00 retail.

The sales may pick up with Christmas fast approaching.
So far, sales cover my space rent in 2 stores.
Otherwise, I'm bored to tears and have other carvings that I'd rather
work on.

17th December 2013, 09:28 AM
I was curious so looked up the link.


Just in case anyone else wants it too :)

Robson Valley
17th December 2013, 11:21 AM
Thank you, MrPete for pasting in the link. Have to bake a dozen forks and that will be the sunset for that project.
They sell slow and steady. I can't get home for 7-10 days to see how the December sales have been.

Carving tools. I use mostly a mallet and a 9/15 Pfeil. Crooked knives are the best for smoothing the inner, curved surface. Four general approaches:
a) Mora #162, #163 & #164 are crooked knives designed for spoons, bowls and kuksa. I don't have any of them. They do come ready to go, out of the box.
b) Mora #171 and #188 Equus hook knives are common farrier's hoof-knife tools. Rebevelled from 30 degrees to 12 degrees they are tough steel. Plus, there's a little scorp-like 'hook' at the end. Booger to bevel. Any place that sells serious horse tack & supplies will stock them.
c) Lee Valley sells some Haida-style crooked knife blades (from Crescent Knife Works/Vancouver, BC) The are not sharp and the handles are your business, too. I have several of these plus a #188 and 2 pair of #171.
d) North Bay Forge and Kestrel Tools are top of the line PacNW style crooked knives. Period. I use a Kestrel adze.
I might buy a J-curve crooked knife from either one of thm if I can buy just the blade. Haft it myself, as usual.

I have found that the J-shape is far and away the most useful for what I carve. Next would be a medium C-shape.
I suggest that you bungle around and try a few. It's just wood.