Resourses

On this page you'll find recourses to help you pick up tips and information. Watch my videos with Zed Outdoors on his YouTube channel for a more detailed explanation of the process. 

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Butter knife template

Here's a downloadable template of a butter knife similar to the one I made on the Youtube video with Zed Outdoors. 

The shape is based on a traditional eating knife with a long 'blade' and comfortable handle. You can adapt it so it suits your hand and butter spreading style.

This is a great project to practice your sloyd knife and axing skills - and perfect to use up those small bits of wood. 

Use a hardish wood like fruit woods, maple, ash, sycamore etc, The wood must have a perfectly straight grain.

Lettering for spoon carvers

Here are some tips for carving lettering on spoons. 

Its not as difficult as you might think - but it does need practicing. 

  • I generally add lettering while the wood is still wet as its softer. 

  • Work on the design before you go anywhere near the wood. 

  • Draw around the handle on paper and work out the design that fits the handle you've drawn. I always write out the word/s I'm going to add as its so easy to miss spell as you're working on the design.

  • When you're ready to transfer the design to your handle write it out backwards - starting with the last letter at the end of the spoon - that way the writing is more likely to fit to the end of the of the handle more easily.

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To create letters you will need to be able to carve four shapes. These four shapes will combine to make up each letter. Don't let the process dictate the design though - otherwise your design will be stilted and compromised. A big thanks to Dave Fisher who's amazing instruction informed my process.

Use a raking light so you can see the shadows as you carve - I'm right handed so I have the light low down on my left

  • Shape 1 - The rectangle. The sides don't all have to be parallel - having a wider base or angled tops and bottoms can add more dynamism

  • Shape 2 - The dot. Generally these are either square or triangular and will be used as dots for i's, full stops or decoration.

  • Shape 3 - The triangle. These can be as long and acute as you need, bend or be short and equilateral

  • Shape 4 - The ellipse. These can be the trickiest - especially the inside curve.  Drop the angle of the knife to increase the width of the ellipse.

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A short bladed detail knife is best - with a very sharp edge. These knives are (l-r) Lee Stoffer, Beber detail knife, Beaver Craft detail knife