Barn Spoon

It is all about spoons for me now. And I think the man next to me in this video (trying my hook knife with a neck loop), is more than anyone the one to blame. His name is Barn Spoon and he has a shop in London where he carve and sell his spoons.


katsakJag är testpilot åt Magnus Sundelin, slöjdare och smed från Stöde. Han ville att jag skulle testa ett järn han gjort, ett så kallat lappjärn. Jag gjorde en liten film för att visa hur det fungerar. Känns bra… Utförligare recension kanske kommer.

Täljfest. The day that I demonstrated spooncarving to Wille and Jögge Sundqvist.

Here comes a few recaps from my participation at the international woodcarving convention, Täljfest, at Sätergläntan (Dalarna, Sweden) this summer. It was three absolutely brilliant days. I held two demonstrations in ”carving big spoons”. The second demonstration I held was quite memorable, because Jögge and Wille Sundqvist were watching the demonstration. Wille especially is a legend when it comes to carving with knife and axe, and Jögge is also a well known and recognized person in the woodcarvingsociety.
Wille filled in with his knowledge and experience during the demonstration and discussed different aspects of spooncarving, axes etc. with the group of audience. And I got to tell the story about when I was a student at Vindelns folkhögskola and just before we graduated after two years we visited Wille Sundqvist in Bjurholm. We had a kind of workshop at Willes and at the end of the day he held a short speach and told us ”Vindeln is a good school and a good education, but you can not carve spoons”. He also had an opinion about our skills at sharpening tools.
Anyway, the demonstration with Wille in combination with the opportunity to meet with so many other great carvers from around the world got the result that I left Sätergläntan overwhelmed with inspiration and – hope.
Ever since Täljfest I have had Barn Spoons words ringing in my head: ”I´m a massive cynic, but I believe in spoons”. Barn Spoon is a spooncarver from England that set up a shop in London where he sells spoons. The idea strikes me as bold, but on the other hand it is ingeniously simple and obvious. And I can´t let go of the idea to set up a shop in Stockholm.

uladzimir slöjdkungar
Uladzimir, a great reunion. Me, demonstrating spooncarving to Wille and Jögge.

Robin Wood teaching, his daughter JoJo supervising.

magnus anders
Magnus Sundelin (left), blacksmith and carver let me try some of his great carvingtools.
Anders Lindberg (right) a long time green woodworker with lots of ideas.

Jarrod Stone Dahl in action.

fritiof börje
Fritiof Runhall (left) and a girl that has made interior for Konstfack workshops. She carved her first spoon(s) at Täljfest. Börje Ax (right) who took bentwood to Slovakia.

Barn Spoon masterclass.

A new blade for my carving knife.

A few days ago I broke the blade on my carvingknife during a trip to the forest. When I got home I decided to put in a new blade, like it was common to do on old knives. As I started to drill out the riveted blade I tried to remember if I had used any epoxy when I put it together. But the parts came off nicely.
I have never had to change the blade on a knife before. The work gave many interesting thoughts about the old school craft. When I started to make my knives more and more in a traditional way I have discovered that all the parts have their function in the design. It is not just decoration like some people seem to think.
Obviously it is very practical, once you break the blade, to have a full tange. And the fittings are a part of that design.
But another example is the sheath. It is very hard to make a good, tight sheath if you have a leather that is tanned all the way through. Like the kind of leather that you use in shoes. I think that they often made their leather at home a few hundred years ago. And I don´t think they used the special leather with the raw hide still left in the middle in the same degree that knifemakers do today. So you need at least one fitting at the top of the sheath. If you also have the fittings at the bottom and the sides, the sheath is much more stable.

The disassembled knife with the new blade att the bottom.
I can see why the blade broke. There was a crack in the metal.
The knife with the new blade. I could not use the blade shown in the first picture after all, but had to go for this instead. A laminated blade by Mattias Styrefors.

Wooden threads/trägängor.

Today I had to adjust the tool with which I make the wooden threads for my candlesticks.
It is important that the arm with the candleholders is easy to turn, but it tends to be too tight.
I thought if I made the (outer) threads deeper it would be allright.
But instead of starting to adjust the old tool (the tool is quite rare and it is hard to find both pieces of this tool) I made a new piece for making the outer threads. I adjusted the iron, and changed the angle too, so it was more aggressive and cut deeper.

This is also how you make an entirely new piece for cutting the outer threads if you happen to find an old tool for making the internal threads. It is harder to go the other way around. If I find an old tool for making the outer threads, at an auction or in an antique shop, I leave it. Because it is useless without the other piece.

Idag justerade jag verktyget (”snedtyg”) som jag gör trägängorna till mina ljusstakar med. Det är viktigt att armen med ljushållarna går lätt att snurra. De har emellertid haft tendens att sitta för hårt. Så jag tänkte att om jag gör de yttre gängorna djupare borde det fixa till sig. Men då det är lite svårt och ovanligt att man hittar ett komplett sådant här verktyg (båda delarna) så ville jag inte ge mig på att ändra och karva i det. Jag gjorde istället en ny del för att skära de yttre gängorna.

Jag justerade sedan stålet så att det tar för sig mer, sedan var jag tvungen att ändra vinkeln lite som framgår av bilderna så det blev lite aggressivare.

På samma sätt går det till att göra en helt ny del att skära de yttre gängorna med, om man skulle hitta delen som skär de inre gängorna på loppis eller auktion. Det är svårare att göra på motsatt sätt; delen som skär de yttre gängorna är tämligen värdelös utan den andra delen.

Skrivet av: niklas
Publicerat i tools

Planes for making windows

Showing my planes for making windows. Interesting tools. Old planes for windows have three different blades. When I made my own I made it with just one blade. The difficulty with that is that it is very problematic to shape the blade, the sharp corners that you get in the blade. But there are old planes for windows with just one blade. I happen to have one. There is no difference when you work with a tool if it is made with one or three blades.

A new window for my workshop.

Using inshaves to cut troughs.

I have been cutting some troughs that I shaped roughly this fall and put to dry. I am making a trough that will be used to wash butter in, so I wanted to make a real big trough. My favorite tool for cutting the inside of troughs is different types of inshaves. I also use gouges, for example Pfeill, but to a small degree. The disadvantage of using inshaves instead of gouges is that you can not use your bodyweight when you cut, because you don´t use the tool to cut away from you. But when you get over that discouragement, they are a joy to work with thanks to the long edge you get. It quickly cuts a surface with fine broad facets without getting any scratches, like you easily get by using a flat gouge. The inshaves I use are both new blades from Svante Djärv and Hans Karlsson and older tools that I bought at flea markets and eBay.

To the left is a blade made by Svante Djärv and next to that two old tools that I had to make new handles for.


I finally took the time to take care of some pictures. This is from a job I did this summer. It is a piece for a porch at an old house in Sillerbo, Ljusdal. I got the chance to use a very special mouldingplane for this job. These kind of mouldings are very common as ornaments on old woodwork, doors, furniture etc. around here.


Jag jobbar just nu med projektet Konst/Hemslöjd. Ett projekt för att skapa offentlig utsmyckning i vårdmiljö. Landstinget i Stockholm driver projektet där hemslöjd och konst möts. Jag arbetar tillsammans med Folkform. För vår del kommer projektet att handla en del om ursprungliga ytor.
Jag har börjat undersöka huggna, bilade ytor i slöjdföremål.
I hälsingland har man bilat sparrar ända fram till en långt in på 1900-talet. Sparrarna bilades med yxa och exporterades till bland annat Egypten. De bilade sparrarna tullades inte som sågat virke, vilket tydligen var grejjen. Jag har varit intresserad av detta länge och i sommras fick jag tag på en fin sparrbila på auktion. I detta projekt kunde den komma till användning.

Sparrbilan är en Urafors, eggen är 33 centimeter lång och saxslipad, yxhuvudet är helt plant på ena sidan, likaså eggen. Sparrbilan visade sig vara suverän att jobba med. Girig som en bankdirektör. Saxslipningen gör att yxan trycks in i träet, istället för att vilja gå ur, som en normal bila. Bilan visar inte en tillstymmelse till att vilja stöta. När man hugger längs en snörslagen linje så vill den hela tiden ta för sig mer och gå innanför linjen, tvärt emot vad jag är van vid.

I am currently working with the project Konst/Hemslöjd (Art/Craft). A project to create public decoration in the healthcare environment. County Council of Stockholm runs the project in which crafts and art meet. I work together with Folkform. For our part, the project will involve original surfaces. I have begun to examine hewn surfaces in craft objects. In Hälsingland they have made hewn beams as late as well into the 1900s. The beams where hewn and exported to for example Egypt. The customs on hewn beams were not the same as sawn timber, which was apparently the thing. I’ve been interested in this for a long time and this summer I got hold of a nice axe for beams at an auction. It can be of use in this project. The axe is a Urafors, the edge is 33 centimetres long and the edge is shaped like on a scissors, flat on one side. The axe proved to be excellent to work with. Greedy as a bank director.

Update: here are two pictures showing the log after I have shaped three sides. I didn´t bother to take off the bark, so the chalkline was very vague when I cut the beam.


It is summer, and time to mow all the high grass around the house. A couple of years ago I made my own scythe. It is really inspiring to be able to make something so useful and custom-make it to suit yourself. It is satisfying to feel how good it works.

I have used the scythe for 3-4 years now but the details are still not finished!

Blade by Mattias Helje.

It takes a while to learn to mow with a scythe. I had the opportunity to get some good advice on how to adjust the blade etc., and also how to mow, by Janne Eliasson from Fågelsjö. Janne got his first scythe when he was 7 years old and has made several scythes for himself. He has great skills and knowledge about traditional woodworking. Always generous in everything he does. So a big thanks to him!

Sometimes when you are mowing grass with a scythe you find a mouse nest hidden under all the tall grass. They are cute while they are small, sleeping so peacefully together.