Wood carving: completing the set

Having made an olive server, using my new gouge, I thought it would be good to use some of the remaining wood to make a spreader and olive fork.

After cutting a length off, the first thing I did was split the wood down the middle.

Here, you can clearly see the rotted out core that I had to work around with the olive server.

The utensils I wanted to make would be well away from that core, though, so this was okay. I split off some excess wood from the opposite sides, then debarked the remains.

In sketching out the spreader and fork, I decided not to include the knot at one end. It may have added visual interest, but I just didn’t want to fight with it.

Once rough sketches were made, I rough cut away excess wood. A band saw would make the job easier, but I don’t have one that works, so I made do with a little Japanese pull saw that I got last summer, and a coping saw. The coping saw has been a problem, as it won’t lock at the handle end anymore, so it tries to rotate while I’m using it!

For the spreader, I added another rough sketch on what would become the top. I wanted a slightly wider bit at the start of the spreader blade as a sort of stopper, more for visual interest than anything else. I wasn’t too worried about matching the sketch closely, since it would depend more on how much I had to cut away from the core of the wood.

Next up was using carving blades to do more shaping and trim away excess wood at the core, to take out that rotten strip.

Then I broke out the Dremel.

After trying out different tips, I ended up just using the sanding tips. They are a course grit and did a good job of taking off the excess wood, grinding away the remaining saw cuts, and shaping it more.

Then it was back to the carving knives for more delicate clean up and shaping, then sanding.

Ready for oiling!

That knot in the blade was why I switched to the Dremel. I like how it looks in there, but my goodness, it was brutal to work around!

Next, the olive fork.

For this, I just went straight to the Dremel and used the sanding tips to rough shape it.

I then used carving knives to clean it up and work on the tines end to narrow it down even more. Once it reached the point where I would otherwise have started sanding, I made the tines.

My Dremel set includes tips for carving and engraving, and I used one of them to drill a hole where I wanted the tines to join. Then I used a cutting wheel down the length of it.

There was a knot right in the middle. The Dremel cutter did NOT like going through that knot!! 😀

After that, it was back to doing more detailed shaping until it was ready to sand.

Doing those tines was a real pain in the butt!

It actually worked out much better than I thought it would, though.

For both the spreader and the olive fork, I worked my way through increasingly fine grits of sandpaper, finishing with 220 grit. Because that’s the finest grit sandpaper I have.

There they are, ready for oiling!

You can see the edges of the knot that was cut through to make the tines much more clearly, after oiling!

The slightly wider bit on the spreader turned out to be a perfect thumb rest!

When sanding the blade of the spreader, I actually had to be a careful not to make it too sharp. It’s meant for spreading, not cutting! It’s remarkable how sharp a wooden blade can get.

A closer look at the tines of the olive fork.

Then I wiped off all the sanding dust that got onto the oiled surface! 😀

They fit! I had not actually planned this, but it makes sense, since they’re from the same piece of wood, but I’m really happy to discover they fit so perfectly inside the olive server.

I am quite pleased with these. Not only with how they turned out, but how quickly they worked up, too.

Now to think about what to make next! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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