Spoon carving for beginners
One of the most common and most popular suggestions is to start with learning how to carve a wooden spoon. This is because spoon carving can be both simple and complex, depending on how intricate you choose to make your project. This makes it a suitable project for both beginner woodcarvers and more experienced ones looking for a challenging task.
Which woods are good for spoon carving?
Its probably best to say which aren't. You should avoid oak, sweet chestnut, yew and most of the coniferous soft woods. All are either very hard or far too soft.
Birch, sorbus, alder, willow and lime are good ones to start with. All are in the 'relatively soft' category, and good for beginner hands. Moving up the hardness scale we have ash, sycamore, hazel, walnut, holly and the fruit woods. Sycamore is particularly lovely.
How and where the tree has grown will affect how it carves. If it's grown very fast, in good conditions it will be softer. Slower growth means tighter grain and harder (but stronger) wood. The straighter and less branchy the tree, the cleaner the grain and easier the carving.
Spoon carving tools starter kit
Health and safety when carving
It is very dangerous and should not be done if you are not qualified, or without doing the necessary research. You should also make sure not to keep these knives laying around as they are very sharp and could easily cause harm to others.
The dust from many kinds of wood can be quite toxic and so you should make sure to wear a mask, protective gloves for your hands, and any other necessary safety equipment.
How to carve a spoon?
- Find a straight knot free branch, it should be slightly longer than the desired length of your spoon.
- The branch's diameter should be thick enough to make a spoon.
- Flatten one side of the branch using long strokes, this will be for the top of your spoon
- Using a scooping stroke, flatten the bottom of the handle leaving the end of the branch thick for making the bowl of the spoon.
- Draw your spoon with a pen or pencil on the top of the spoon.
- Cut around your spoon to shape the handle, and remove bark from the underside of the bowl.
- Shape the bowl of the spoon, cutting off any lines that you have drawn.
- Draw the perimeter of the spoon's bowl and with the point of the knife carefully cut inwards around the line, or alternatively use a hook knife to hollow it out.
- Once it has been hollowed, with fine sandpaper you will need to sand the entire spoon.