I made these hand carved Love Spoons at www.techshop.ws. Every spoon is different and each spoon has it's flaw. I prefer having flaws so the spoons do not appear as though they were mass produced in a factory. The flaws also give each spoon it's own unique character.
Step 1: Transfer Your Pattern to a Block of Wood
You can use any type of wood you like. To name just a few examples, Basswood, Poplar, or Cherry. I prefer to use Poplar however these spoons were carved out of Cherry. You will need a piece of wood that is at least 1x1.5x6. Many times I will use a 1.5x1.5x12 block of wood. I will then rip it to size on the Saw Stop table saw at www.techshop.ws This is usually a cheaper way to purchase the wood and I can get approximately six spoons out of each block.
Step 2: Cut Out Your Patterns
I then use the Jet Bandsaw at www.techshop.ws to cut out the patterns. If you do not have access to a band saw, you can use a scroll saw or even a coping saw. You will want to cut just outside the pattern lines with your choice of saws. If you do not have access to any of these saws, you could even begin carving at this point. This would be much more time consuming, however it works just as well.
Step 3: Remove the Excess From the Inside Openings
After you have the basic shape of your spoon cut out, it is time to remove the excess from the inside if your spoon. Begin by once again transferring your pattern to the blank. This will allow you to know what areas to remove at this point.
Once you have your pattern transferred, drill several holes in the areas to be removed. You will want to ensure your holes are large enough for a scroll saw blade, an 1/8" Dremel Rotary Tool cutting bit, or a coping saw blade. Personally, I use the Dremel. I find I have more control over where my cuts will be. This may take some practice however, so do not become discouraged. If necessary, you can remove the excess in several sections.
Step 4: Begin Shaping Your Spoon
You can now begin shaping your spoon with your carving knife, needle files, and gouge. Personally, I like to use a Pfeil Swiss made Palm Handled 9 Sweep gouge in 7mm to cut out the bowl. Use your carving knife to shape the outside of the spoon and your needle files for the inside areas.
Step 5: Prepare Your Spoon for Finishing
You can now begin preparing your spoon for finishing. I like to use 1/4" sanding sticks for this process. I begin with 120 grit sandpaper and end with 220 grit. You can use finer grits if you wish, however I have found no need to use anything finer than 220. This will give you a nice smooth surface for finishing.
Step 6: Finish Your Spoon
At this point you are ready to finish the spoon however you wish. You have several options. In the examples above, I have used a dark stain with a clear polyurethane on some of the spoons while on the others, I have sprayed them with the clear polyurethane only. Use your imagination. There are hundreds of options available to you.
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