What tools do I need to carve a spoon? If you are new to spoon carving, buying a spoon carving tool set is a good way to get started on this craft. After all, you can not spoon carve without the tools, right? So what are the essential tools needed to carve a spoon from start to finish?
Gouges/ Hook knife for spoon carving
To carve the bowl part of your spoon, you can use either a gouge or a hook knife. Both of these tools can be good for a beginner. However, the tool you choose first is the tool you prefer most, but there is no harm in picking one over the other.
Spoon carving knives
Any carving knives will work fine. My personal favorite is the Mora 106. The knives have various functions, but the key is to work out the roughed-out spoon to the final surface, ready for finishing.
When choosing your carving knife, size is an important consideration. The smaller blade is usually thinner and great for detailing and working the final surface. The bigger blades should serve you well in the rough-out phase as they can take out large chunks of wood at a go.
axes and adze
Axes and adzes are the muscle of spoon carving. These tools help roughen the spoon and prepare the work for other small spoon carving tools like knives and gouges.
Axes are also great for splitting logs. This is especially important if you will be receiving some surplus logs and need to store them.
Storing them after you have split them releases most of the pressure that causes splits.
A band saw is a good investment for a spoon carver and any wood carver. A band saw helps cut templates and create spoon blanks. This speeds up tye process of carving significantly.
You will almost feel like cheating when you use your bandsaw very close to the line removing most of the wood that would have required roughing out.
Push and draw knives
These remove stock quickly, so you’ll go from the axed-out blank to something ready for finishing cuts. They do not have the ability to hollow out the bowl or do finishing cuts. I prefer drawing knives for bow making, which is a much larger project. They’re a great green woodworking tool.
Abrasives are used for many functions in spoon carving. They can be generalized as tools for surface treatment. They can be used to decorate the surface by making marks that can be stained. They can also be used to burnish or produce a sheen on the wooden spoon.
Abrasives include files, sandpaper, and steel wool.
Many beginners do not buy sharpening tools when buying their spoon carving tools. Somehow it’s not perceived that the tools would ever need sharpening, but they do.
You don’t have to invest in an expensive system like a bench grinder. A simple sharpening stone strop and stropping compound will take you far.
Summary: essential tools for spoon carving
In any craft, getting the right tools for the job is important. Get the right tools to ensure that you learn and improve your skills quickly using a hands-on approach. If you want to start spoon carving, discussed above is the list of the essential tools for spoon carving.
The list is not exhaustive but has focused on the basics that can get you producing spoons in no time. Some other tools like bandsaw are not an absolute must but can be a great addition to your home workshop or spoon-making studio.