Fritiof Runhall

It was a real pleasure to meet Fritiof a spoon carver from Sweden at a course organised by Robin Wood his meeting has brought about many ideas which I thought it might be good to blog about. I generally try to blog about things not covered by other spoon bloggers because i know most of you read all of them so the next few posts will be stuff that stood out for me. One of the first things i noticed about his spoons were the beautiful long carved facets, Fritiof usually creates most of these with a drawknife on a dumb head shaving horse. I have often wondered whether the more bushcrafty of you out there have come across these contraptions? they are wonderful machines, if you have had a go on one and didn't find it good then the the one you used wasn't any good (or blunt drawknife). A shave horse makes things much faster, as you can clamp the spoon rock solid but you are also able to change it's position very rapidly and you can hold the drawknife with both hands giving you a greater amount of control. On a shave horse you use most of your bodies muscles from feet to hands which creates a lot of power and removes wood fast. You obviously don't need to use a shave horse and we had no horse on the course, but when at home making large numbers of spoons he does. I tend to use a shave horse when available for the back of the bowl, this is particularly for spoons made from straight wood, this means that to shape the back of the bowl you need to cut across end grain which can be hard work. I tend not to use the shave horse for other parts of the spoon as the type i have is not so good at clamping them (i have one with two arms rather than a dumb head), a horse that is very quick to make and quite a good comprimise between the two is the Mike Abbott lumber horse, though on his design i would prefer to replace the soft wood with hardwood for the arms and use good strong fixings. I was interested to learn Fritiof also uses a curved drawknife as i do, the curve should not have a tight radius, but allows you to round things more easily and also removes wood faster as the shavings on a round will be wider. wide + long shavings = fast. I also find concave drawknives very useful because they can get into a much tighter curve than a straight one. When on the road i cannot take a shaving horse around with me but i will get my one from storage soon enough, particulalry for increasing my ouput for the christmas market.
Barn the Spoon