Today, I got some really good progress on my practice carving, using the spoon blank that came with my carving kit.
Also, the basement is nice and cool. 🙂
I was down to cutting the last few divots out of the morel mushroom on the end of the spoon, so that didn’t take long. I also tried to deepen the bowl of the spoon itself.
Working on the inside of the spoon is a challenge. The tip of the sloyd knife kept gouging areas I wasn’t working on. The direction the wood grain is also means that, in two spots opposite each other, the wood did not cut as well or as smoothly, leaving more gouges, no matter how carefully I tried to follow the instructions from the various videos I’d looked up for beginner carvers.
The rough shaping of the outside of the bowl and handle are… well… rough. LOL
Here is how it looked, after I finished with the carving tools. The next step, was to “cheat” and use my Dremel.
I have a Dremel engraver, which I tested out on the divots of the morel. That did not work at all, which is really what I expected. I figured it was worth a try, though.
Also, that thing is incredibly loud, and scare the crap out of the kittens and Beep Beep!!
The other Dremel I have is a basic low end rotating tool. (The engraver doesn’t rotate, so there is nothing interchangeable about them.) I used a drum sander to smooth out and shape the bowl and handle.
This also took off more of the excess wood to add more shaping.
For the details in the morel, I’m going to have to pick up a fine, abrasive tip. None of the tips that came with my kit are remotely close to being usable for this.
I decided on a swoopy handle, just for effect, but it has turned out to be a great thumb rest. It fits remarkably comfortably in the hand.
This is after sanding the spoon with three grades of sandpaper. Unfortunately, even the edges of the sandpaper tends to leave little gouges inside the spoon’s bowl.
I also had an unexpected issue to deal with, though not a surprising one. The humidity is so high in the basement, both the sandpaper and the wood itself was affected. The wood dust had a tendency to clump up. It wasn’t too much of a problem, but I think it affected how well the sandpaper was able to do the job. Some things actually work better with wet sandpaper. This is not one of them! 😀
This is now it looks after I stopped for the day. After I get a new Dremel tip to finish detailing the morel, I’ll continue to sand with finer grades of sandpaper, singe the morel to add colour, then finish with mineral oil. I did some searches on food grade oils for wood, and it basically came down to mineral oil. Other oils recommended are derived from nuts or seeds, and they go rancid over time. Beeswax is something else that can be used, but it can start cracking and flaking and, of course, you couldn’t use it with anything hot (among the things I hope to carve are cups and small bowls).
Once finished, I plan to offer it to my mother, since she requested I carve her a mushroom. Talking to her since then, it turns out she wants a Portebello (she didn’t know the English name for it), but I hope she’ll be happy with a morel for now. I know she likes morels, too. Most likely, she’ll reject it, but you never know. I might get her on one of her good days.
ps: after finishing this, I checked the weather before heading outside. Turns out the temperatures are still going up, and we’re even hotter now, in the early evening, than before!