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Monday, January 26, 2015

Toolmaking again

Spent some time lately trying to get a better gouge than the one I have, the one I used making the spoons in the last entry here.  Mine is a little gouge from an inexpensive set like you might find at the local big box craft store.  The edge was ground wrong when I got it, too low and angle and the edge wore badly on one spoon.  Before I finished the last spoon I managed to get the edge in good shape. However, its a little soft and I'd like something better.  Has to be high carbon steel, hardened RC 60 or so, 1/2" wide.

Of course I want to use my own material for a handle, in this case I've picked a Tagua nut my Mom gave me years ago.  Its pretty big, 2+ inches long, and I've looked at it dozens of times over the last few years trying to come up with the perfect project.

I can find unhandled gouges, or I can find gouges made the way I want, but I can't find both.

Dammit.  I may have to learn to make a gouge.

Here's the nut I want to use- has a great organic shape, symmetrical left to right but not in any other direction.  Turns out if you remove the bark carefully you can leave some of the it in the vein pattern on the nut.  Cool, huh?  I scraped it clean, sanded through the grits to 600 then buffed with the same green compound I use for stropping.  There's a flat on the bottom, I'm thinking I'll add an ebony ferrule when I glue the blade in.  Planning on a beeswax finish.

Stay tuned.

Buffalo Bif

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Waxing Moon Spoon

So here's a little spoon I did for a 'love spoon' exchange with 4 others on the WCI forum.  I ended up whittling 7 to supply looky-loos who wanted one (wife & daughters).  I'll include a couple pics of the thought process involved in designing my spoon.  It's by no means a tutorial, just an example of how my mind worked.

Here's the finished spoons, set to go.  You may recognize my fridge magnet moon.  Spoons are bass, finished with water based poly, so not food safe by any means.  Since they weren't going to be food safe, I left the gouge marks in the bowl.  First real use of the gouge for me, by the way.  Lotta fun.  I glued a rare-earth magnet to the back of each to let them hang on the fridge.   They're about 2" x 6" or so, not too big for a decoration.

Started the process with a concept sketch, easy to grab the moon from the pattern I kept, quickie sketch in the forever notebook to give me an overall size.  Notes below the spoon are dimension measured from the sketch, notes to the right are about the attributes of the waxing and waning moon taken from a pagan website (see my previous post)

Never having done a spoon before I grabbed my favorite soup spoon from the kitchen drawer to help establish the curves in the handle and the bowl.

First roughouts cut, I was able to stack more than one up and make consecutive cuts in one block of wood 2" thick x 6 or so wide and long.  Had to adjust a bit for each  additional spoon to keep the grain running the length of the handle.

There you go.  Not the last spoon I'll do, that's for sure.

Buffalo Bif

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Waxing Moon

The Waxing Moon
Waxing Moon means the moon is getting larger in the sky, moving from the New Moon towards the Full Moon. This is a time for spells that attract, that bring positive change, spells for love, good luck, growth. This is a time for new beginnings, to conceptualize ideas, to invoke. At this time the moon represents the Goddess in her Maiden aspect, give praise to Epona, Artemis or one of the other Maiden Goddesses. The period of the waxing moon lasts about 14 days.
' the moon waxes and wanes,
and walks three nights in darkness,
so the Goddess once spent three nights
in the kingdom of Death.

I found the above on The White Goddess Pagan Portal

Why I'm posting it here will become apparent later this week.  There is a good deal more there, take a look if you like.

Buffalo Bif

Friday, January 2, 2015

Meet me in a dream

The holiday crush is over, all that's left is to pay the bills.  The stemware I whittled ended up being a bit of a full court press; I thought I had started early enough, but two or three restarts on the cat set me back.  Getting them done meant whittling every day, and I can't tell you how good that felt.  I haven't put that much effort into whittling in far too long.

Sittin' here now on the edge of the New Year, looking over the year to come with a head cold, lucky me.  I got involved in a spoon exchange on the WCI forum, roughed one out over the holiday and started whittling- I can't help it , it's making me giddy.  (could be the cold meds... )  I feel like Allister Sims as Ebeneezer Scrooge on Christmas morning in that old black & white movie I love to watch every year.  Been thinking of a spoon for a while, the exchange is small so a perfect time to stretch my limits a little.

Makin chips, trying something new, and dreaming abut having my bare feet in some hot sand, head in the sun, making chips on a tropical beach.  Sounds of surf and seabirds, and no watch or clock to be seen.

See you there-

Buffalo Bif