The Best Spoonknife I have Ever Used
If you would like to purchase one of these Spoonknives please contact Ben Orford via his website, i'm not sure if he has photos etc on his site but if you contact him he will be able to sort you out.
We have been going through the final designs for my Spoonknife, and I am really happy with how it has turned out, when you try something new you can never be sure how it will turn out, but this has surprised me how much better it is, I think I'll put a video up at some stage explaining all it's features and why it really is so much better than what I was using before. I hope to get some smaller ones made too that will be good for beginners, and certainly will by the time "Spoons from the Wood" comes round.
I have really enjoyed working with Ben on this, it is very helpful that he is a proficient spoon carver because when I explain to him what I want he can understand why, although even he was dubious about some of the ideas I had. Ben is a much better tool maker than I am, give me an Axe and a Knife and i'm happy, I do not use a hammer and grinder day in day out but Ben does.
Essentially the Blade has been forged from some 3/8" round bar EN43, it was quite quick with the power hammer, but I can understand why some other makers use thinner section bar or even just flat section. The thicker round stem is more comfortable on the levering hand and much better than flat section steel. The extra thickness in the blade is also useful for big cuts, any flex is energy lost! One of the massive benefits of using round section bar is that you can drill a hole straight into the handle without messing around trying to create a slot at the correct angle, these blades are already slightly set back so you don't need to drill wonkey! The bend in these first blades have a continuous 60 mm radius, this is a fantastic all rounder, and the size I carry in my pack. This knife is ideal for those looking to add a different design element to their spoons, those looking to get a cleaner smoother finish to the bowl of their spoons, and those looking to speed up the hollowing process.
Here's an endorsement from a fellow spoon carver who bought a spoon from me recently:
"your bowls are so good it makes me sick"
Which is hilarious (they don't actually make you sick I promise). The fact is that although there is a touch of skill involved and certainly a technique to using this knife it is the knife giving the good finish not me.
"After seeing how easily you create a really smooth interior with that big open hook I find myself desiring one quite fiercely. That is one of my biggest battles; achieving a smooth finish on the inside of the bowl without sanding".
Here's one from someone who had tried the type I made for my courses last year and was so impressed he went off and made his own:
"I have to say the symmetrical curve and long handle are brilliant. Almost feels a little like cheating".
The beauty of my new Blades is that they are extra agressive in terms of removal of wood but are even better at giving a good finish. The agressiveness comes from the new design, a combination of the cross section of blade and the special way they are bent. As a result I am hollowing my spoons at an even faster rate. They have really invigorated my carving adding more excited to the already hysterical way I feel about spoons.