A few weeks back I invited a few friends over to carve some bowls from the large poplar that I currently have access to, I had forged some tools that needed handling and then testing. We started with this log, it had the potential to give a bowl of 22″ across.
The first cut revealed some very interesting looking figuring.
This was then split and a circle drawn on; we made circular bowls, however on reflection I think one reason to carve rather than turn a bowl is the freedom to make a shape other than round.
We shaped the inside first, the weight of the blanks made clamping unnecessary, Steve had brought an specially ground axe that he used to great effect for both the inside and outside of he bowls, the technique at first seemed odd, as he was trying to break chips away; this looked like he was miss hitting and as I spend a lot of time in my forge trying to ensure accurate square strokes I have to say I found it slightly disturbing despite it being obviously effective. The clincher to my absolute condemnation of this technique is that the workshop is still sullied despite three sessions to clear up the chips he fired far and wide so effectively.
I put a longer handle on my heaviest adze head and this proved pretty effective at both the inside and outside of the bowl.
Obligatory fruit shot.
We also went trophy hunting.
Steve put a larger handle on his GB adze, I tidied up the bevels a bit on my linisher.
I didn’t get much bowl carving done, but did manage to fine tune these adzes.
So a great few days; I learnt a massive amount just watching; found out some very interesting things about adzes- which will be the subject of my next blog post. Didn’t have the time to try out the big axes, but the week after I did set aside the time to carve a large (round!) bowl, it is now drying and I will be forging and trying out new tools to finish the inside. Anja Sunberg sent me some images of Swedish style scorps that look intriguing, or maybe some specially shaped gouges, if I can justify the time, both.