Spoon carving is a nice and easy way to learn the art of carving. Even for expert carvers spoon carving finds its place as both a therapeutic and rejuvenating process of combining form, function, and material to craft a tool for quiet peaceful meals.
If you’re just getting started on spoon carving you may have asked yourself what knives do I need to carve a spoon?
The short answer: To carve a spoon you need a hook knife to carve the bowl part of the spoon and a Mora Knife to rough out the handle of the spoon.
But the assumption is you already have spoon blanks. If that’s, not the case and you start from scratch then you will need more than a hook and regular whittling knife.
in this article we take a look a the types of knives you need for spoon carving and the tools for making spoon blanks.
What knives do I need to carve a spoon?
Roughing out Knife
Roughing out the knife is one of the knives you need to whittle a spoon. This knife will help rough out the spoon blank to the spoon’s final surface before finishing begins.
For this knife, you’re looking for a big blade of not more than 5 inches, a thin blade to maneuver easily on tight spots and a serrated blade adds to maintain the edge longer. Something Like the Mora 106 is a good start.
All spoons have the ‘bowl’ this part is carved with tools that have an arc for a cutting edge. Therefore the above knife alone is not enough to complete the spoon.
A hook knife is a knife for carving curvatures. Sometimes also referred to as a spoon knife this tool should allow you to hollow the bowl of the spoon without hurting the grain.
For this knife, you can either choose a double-edged bevel cutting edge which equips you with the ability to carve left or right. The other option is for buying a single bevel hook knife for left-handed and right-handed.
The latter is preferred for it equips you with more carving grips but for a beginner, a double-edged bevel will work just fine.
Roughing out Spoon blanks
When carving spoons we will usually transfer the design to a block of wood and cut it out. This leaves us with spoon blanks that we can further finesse with the above knives.
Going from a log or block of wood with just knives is possible but quite frustrating. One of the easiest ways to make your own spoon blanks is using a band saw. but bandsaw are quite expensive the other alternatives are;
A hand ax is a very useful edge tool for any aspiring wooden spoon artist out there. Ax will lessen the task of roughing out the wood before picking up your knives for finer details.
As you grow in skill ax can bring you closer to the final spoon. when choosing an ax consider the weight to avoid strain when working for extended periods. The head and edge geometry should also be ergonomic.
A good saw really speeds up the work. a saw cuts away blocks of necessary wood and comes very close to the final shape. With good practice and judgment of grain, only a few layers cover the final surface.
Investing in a good saw can heighten the production speed. a saw is only second to a bandsaw which is technically a powered saw anyways.
When buying a saw make sure to go with a crosscut bow saw. It’s light for use and firm enough to cut logs but make sure the size or the ‘bow’ can get through whatever you’re sawing. Crosscut saws have gaps in their teeth the gap helps the sawdust escape. This creates room for the saw’s blade to move and cut more smoothly.
Spoon carving knives and tools: A summary
In Summary what knives do I need to carve a spoon? Only two, a hook knife and a regular whittling knife. However, there are more tools you will need to carve a spoon much more efficiently.
An ax or a saw is quite handy and powerful at quickly removing the negative chunk of wood. knives are more of a finishing assist and ax or saw a beginning assist.
We hope this article has been valuable in your journey to carving wooden spoons. Happy carving!