Here are a few of the answers to commonly asked questions.
Q. What wood is suitable for carving spoons?
A. Most British hardwoods are suitable, fruit woods such as Apple, Cherry, Pear, Sycamore, Field Maple, Hazel, Silver Birch are also good to use, close grained woods work the best. I prefer a freshly cut branch, because its much easier to work with, however older dryer woods can be used if that’s all you have to hand.
Q. What tools do you use to carve your spoons?
A. I have quite a collection of tools, several Gransfors Bruks Axes but my favourite is their Wildlife hatchet which I use to split the billets and remove most of the waste wood. I have a couple Mora Frosts Sloyd knives 120, 106, then I have several different spoon knives from Svante Djarv, Mora, Wood Tools and Ben Orford, they are all different but do a similar job.
Q. Do you recommend sanding wooden spoons?
A. I personally prefer silky smooth spoons although others disagree. It has been suggested by some that a tooled finish is much harder wearing that a sanded finish so its really a personal preference.
Q. What do you use to finish your spoons?
A. I use a range of different grit (80 to 600) abrasives I prefer ‘Abranet’ as it seems to last longer, Then usually 3 to 4 coats of Chestnut Food safe finish (Liquid Paraffin), although there are a few other products that I want to try such as those from Organoil, cold pressed linseed oil is also good, see my link to The Linseed Farm.
Q. Can I use Sunflower, vegetable or olive oil to finish my spoons.
A. These oils are not recommended as they can go rancid after a while, instead you could use Linseed or Walnut oil, both of these will dry and not remain sticky to touch. I have just found a great new Linseed oil from The Linseed Farm it seams to work very well, I’m currently trying that. I also use a Chestnut Product called Food Safe Finish this gives a clear coating.
More Q and A’s when time permits or if you have a question please email it to me and I will try to answer it.