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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. 

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.

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.

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

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