Sunday, 26 May 2013

Radially split cranked Birch eating spoon experiment.

After some discussion with a few folk on Facebook about cranked spoons, Jarrod M Stone Dahl was explaining how he splits and carves spoons radially. I mainly split and carve tangentially. this is a small  experiment to see how a cranked spoon holds up when split and carved radially.

First I split the wood so that the growth rings are radially, running through the handle all the way through the bowl.

The overall shape needs thinning down and refining, this I do with the knife once I am happy with the cranked shape

Here you can see the cranked shape, this is done with the axe.

The reverse, here you can see the beginning of the keel from the bowl to the handle, at this stage it still needs more wood removed to thin down the profile shape.

After more axe work I then use the knife to achieve a shape I'm happy with, the spoon is then left for a day or so to dry, then with a sharp knife it is then tool finished. You can clearly see the growth rings in this picture running through the spoon (radially) from the handle all the way through the bowl, this adds strength. I usually prefer to carve so that the growth rings create a series of rings in the bowl of the spoon (tangentially) I have only ever had strength problems with spoons that are too thin either in the neck or bowl.

After I'm happy with the finish I decided to try out a chip carved design that I have been meaning to do.
I'm still not too sure if I like the design yet.
The shape was inspired by the old Swedish eating spoons that have a simple flowing shape to the handle, this is a design and style that I am very interested in, and a style that influences Jarrod.

I normally carve handles with a more angular shape to them, so this shape I am happy with and I intend to make some more smaller eating spoons along similar lines.

 I also decided to add some colour, my daughter Elizabeth liked the orange paint so I went with that.

 A side view of the cranked shape of the handle and bowl, it has a very nice feel in the hand and it will be a joy to use as my breakfast spoon. I also made a similar spoon from Sycamore but carved

This one I oiled with Flax seed oil and left untouched, both are tool finished.
I hope this hasn't been too long winded! and over time this will make me think more over what the wood and its growth rings can offer as to strength and form.


  1. Great looking spoons, thanks for putting them up on the blog.

  2. A very nice simple shape, love the colour and the x shaped chip carving. Regardless of strength issues, the grain lines look nice anyhow.

  3. Love your spoons, Simon, but for me, it has to be cranked so really like these.