Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How to make a DIY spoon carving gouge

This spoon shaped chisel is designed to reach deep and difficult areas in a wood carving situation.

I made it from an old file ( because files are made of really hard tool steel ) and a piece of maple.

First of all, I used my angle grinder to cut the file to the basic shape I needed.

I then used the belt sanders and the bench top grinder to shape my file even more and clean up the file lines.

This gouge has two curves. To make them, I heated the steel and bended it against a metal cylinder and a sledge hammer that were both mounted on my bench. I heated it using my propane torch.

The tip of the carving gouge must a have a curve. I heated the tip to red hot, and then hammered it against the ball of a ball headed hammer. With my basic curve forged, I moved to the belt sander to grind my basic bevel.

I then heated my tool to red hot and dipped it in oil to harden it.

To give the blade a bit more flexibility ( to avoid snapping ), I heat treated it in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 2 hours.

I then cleaned the steel with 100 grit sand paper and WD40. To remove any burrs, I rounded a piece of wood with my block plane and sand paper. I mounted a piece of sandpaper and the wood on a vise and used it as a curved sanding block.

I cut a piece of maple on my bandsaw, to make the handle.

Using my chisels I opened up a groove to receive the tool. I then glued the two pieces together. 

I clued a piece of plywood on the end of my handle ( the one with the open hole ).

I mounted the handle on my lathe and used the scraper tool to round it over. I used the skew chisel to make the handle’s back. 

Using my rotary tool I cut a piece of metal tube. I measured the diameter with a caliper. I turned the edge of my handle to match that diameter. I used a parting tool, the skew chisel and a spindle gouge to do that.

I then finished the shape with the spindle gouge, sanded the piece and applied a couple of coats of beeswax and olive oil finish.

I cut the excess pieces on the bandsaw. I also shaded the metal ring flush with the handle, using my homemade disc sander for the lathe.

I glued al the pieces together with two part epoxy glue.

At this point, I decided to change the grind of the tool before sharpening it, so I moved to the belt sander again. Only this time I had to dip the tool in water from time to time, to prevent the tip from burning and losing it’s hardness.

I sharpened the tool on my two grit oil stone. When I reached to a burr I removed it with a cylindrical stone.

I then stropped the tool on a piece of leather, on which I had applied polishing compound. I removed the burr again by rubbing the tip against the sanding block I made earlier. Only this time, it had leather instead of sand paper.

At this point, my tool was ready and razor sharp. I hope you liked it!


  1. Μπράβο & πάλι.
    Για τον δικό μου ξυλότορνο πήρα τελικά από το TOOLSTORE τα παρακάτω:
    1 x σκαρπελο τορνου KIRSCHEN 1619012 κοιλο 12mm 25.50€
    1 x σκαρπελο τορνου KIRSCHEN 1629008 γωνια 8mm 19.50€
    1 x σκαρπελο τορνου KIRSCHEN 1649020 στρογγυλη ακρη 20mm 23.00€
    1 x σκαρπελο τορνου KIRSCHEN 1609012 λοξο 12mm 17.50€

    1. Είναι καλά εργαλεία αυτά. Έχω μερικά KIRSCHEN για ξυλογλυπτική. Καλύτερα που πήρες μεμονομένα και όχι κιτ. Τα ατσάλια τους είναι πολύ καλύτερα!

  2. Τα δούλεψα λίγο χθες & πραγματικά τα πήγανε πολύ καλά.