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Carved Spoons

Spoon of the Golden Ratio

golden-ratio-spoon11Carved from figured hard maple, the bowl was composed around two golden ratio (1.618) spirals.  golden-ratio-spoon07golden-ratio-spoon08golden-ratio-spoon12golden-ratio-spoon13golden-ratio-spoon09golden-ratio-spoon10golden-ratio-spoon15golden-ratio-spoon14golden-ratio-spoon17golden-ratio-spoon16golden-ratio-spoon03golden-ratio-spoon04golden-ratio-spoon05golden-ratio-spoon06golden-ratio-spoon02golden-ratio-spoon01

Sister Hog, Brother Tree, and the Voice of Copper: a Celebration of Long Labor and Process

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The Champion Table Build, Part 5: Carving and Inlay

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sanding and refining the shape of the legs

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carving some details into the lower horizontal member of the leg assemblies

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“C” for Champion

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the lower leg joints, reinforced with screws, concealed by pegs

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cut flush and sanded

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the legs are finished, awaiting only final sanding immediately prior to finishing

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refining the shape of the arc, the brace between the leg assemblies

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one of many facet transitions and chamfers across the arc

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another of those transitions, in this case, the arcs contribution to the connecting joint

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adjusting the shoulder of the arc where it meets the walnut of the leg assembly

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a lot of enjoyment watching the play of light and shadow

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lets of test fitting of the base

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my son roughing out a billet of walnut for some stubby spindles. The spindles will connect the arc to the top-central horizontal rail connecting the leg assemblies, preventing any propensity to rack along the length of the table

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here are the spindles in place as well as a bit of carving on the side of the arc

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another view of the arc, upside down, an enjoyable shape- part moon, part smile, part rainbow, part horns, it is one of my favorite parts of this table

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beginning work on the table-top again- softening the edges with a block plane

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after making paper versions, laying out some walnut shapes that will be inlayed into the table-top

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re-sawing bits of highly figured walnut for all of the special details

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along with the decorative inlays, being positioned here are some butterfly-keys, which help to stabilize the splits and inclusions in the walnut making up the table-top

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after determining the composition and placement, all the parts get some double-sided carpet tape…

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…and are then stuck in place so that they don’t shift when their outlines are being scribed into the top with a knife

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after everything has been scribed, the majority of the cavity is established with a small spiral carbide bit in the electric router

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the rest of the inlay cavity is cut out with sharp chisels. The scribe-line is particularly nice at this stage, giving a positive registration for the tip of the chisel

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there was a place on one of the walnut planks that had a corner that couldn’t get reconciled in the flattening stages without making it too thin- the remedy was a patch of really pretty walnut

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clamps were used on the top, where they could reach whatever was being inlayed

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cleaning the floor and corners of one of the recesses for those butterfly keys

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glue and clamp…

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a little congregation of butterflies ready to be made flush with the top, the crack itself, will get filled with epoxy, after the bark has been removed

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cutting out some of the inlay cavities for the central design

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lots of chopping up to the line

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there are a lot of pictures of me hunched over the top of this table, because I was hunched over the top of this table a lot

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piece by piece, being tapped into place with my indispensable two-sided rubber mallet

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planing the first round of inlays fush to the surface

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glueing up some ebony for the next round of inlay work

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the elements of the central design positioned and ready

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a few more ebony details being cut out at the scroll saw

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the slow process of accurately scribing every edge with an “Exacto” knife

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clearing out as much as possible with the router, carefully to stay just shy of my lines

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my life for a good portion of October

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ofter hours of knife, chisel, and dental tool work, the inlay cavity for the crown of thorns is about ready for the ebony

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a modified dental tool in action clearing out the acute corners of the cavities, somewhat appropriate

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…still hunched over…

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some of the inlay uses molten sulphur… being melted here in a spoon

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molten sulphur is an eerie and beautiful thing, if not pungent to the point of being toxic

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poured into carved voids it marks a lovely luminous contrast to black walnut

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also very porous- not so good for a table top- an improved sulfur inlay was devised. First grinding some sulphur crystals with mortar and pestle…

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the sulphur pigment is then introduced to some two-part epoxy

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the resultant paste is pressed into the top layer of the earlier sulphur inlay, filling the pores and yielding a slightly tougher surface

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the inlay work done and all the other voids being filled with epoxy, final sanding has begun

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as the process goes, there are many flaws in my inlay work that need to be addressed. Out come the pigments and filler

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it is an enjoyable process that takes me into the realms of another of my lines of work

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then more sanding

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this marks the end of this second to last post in the building of the Champion Table, I won’t reveal the finished piece until it’s new owners have had a chance to see it in person. Thank you all for offering your support and comments, or just following along silently. I remain immensely grateful for the kind encouragement which each represents, and I look forward to sharing the finished piece with you all as well.

Johnny

“Johnny” is a spoon carved in figured hard maple.
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Root Soup Supper Server

carved ladle in black walnut
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White Oak and Cherry

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A bowl for Clive, a mantle for Tanner, and a spoon and a saddle (I am only responsible for the plaque, which is in hedge and walnut) for Harold.  This weeks bonus image is a little tree frog freshly emerged from my son’s tadpole nursery.  I trust you’ll forgive so many images of one bowl when you consider how stunning the character of the grain is from every angle.