Saturday, March 21, 2020

Sapele Kitchen Utencils

after carving a few pieces of hard maple from the shop, I wanted something a little less severe, but not as soft as poplar. There were a few off cuts of sapele hanging around. While it might seem hard, it actually carves nicely. not nearly as soft as the poplar I was carving yesterday, but it still works easily with hand tools. The grain can be a bit squirrelly, reversing against your knife. It takes a bit of feel to know when to stop and cut from the other direction.

Over the week, as we all have dealt with our new restrictions, I've noticed more people outside walking, sometimes saying "hi" or just a hand wave. Sometimes we talk. Yesterday, a pair strolled by, a parent/guardian/aunt/grandma and a 10 year old on a skateboard. The kid paused and watched from the curb at me carving on the porch. We said "hi" and they continued on. Today they were passing on the other side of the street, same deal with the skateboarder, and noticed me on the porch. I waved them over.

It's awkward because normally one would want to at least be able to hold the spoon I was carving, just to get a feel. Or even, take a hold of the sloyd knives, or chisels. But it's not OK these days and so they step onto the porch, I welcome them and we keep some distance. The child's name is "Gus" and his guardian's name is "Dia" and we spend some time talking about what I'm doing with all this spoon work, and it's quite clear that Gus is very compelled by the obscure tools and how they could form a useful object from all the shavings on the deck. His favorite class in school right now is dance (Hip Hop). I let them know that they are welcome to stop by for some spoon carving introductions once "all this blows over".

I kinda like the look of my porch these days.

paring the shallow taper of the work's underside goes pretty easily just with a 3/4" chisel
when narrowing down stock, making small cross-grain stop cuts ease the hewing process. The ryoba saw i'm using has the rip teeth going cross grain. This is the vanity of taking photos of my work instead of actually doing the work (-:
And now a progression of refinements. The sapele is actually a really nice wood for spoon carving. I have NO idea if it can impose any flavor on what I'm cooking with. hopefully not.

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