Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Radially split spoon blanks

Joiners, cabinet makers, and other earlier woodworkers have been radially splitting logs for hundreds of years.  It produces wood that is structurally more sound than sawed lumber, has very little movement and checking as it dries and is overall prettier and nicer to look at because of the long grain lines.  Essentially, the process is to split a log into sections that are pie shaped using wedges at first and then a froe or splitting axe.
This picture is about chair making, but the general technique is the same.  Instead of cutting a stile for a chair, you could easily cut out a spoon blank from this small split of wood, possibly even two from each split, based on how wide it is.

So that is the plan.  I figure that I can use a froe to split off the heart wood and my drawknife to trim down the wide section of the split, essentially making a split "plank"  From there, it is as simple as drawing a spoon shape on the wood, and either using an axe or a saw to cut it out.  Obviously it is easier to type this out than to actually implement it.  I'll post pictures of the real process and the issues that it causes when I get to that point. 

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