Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Spoon Knives Report

My first impressions of these knives was good.  They are beautifully made and the chunky handles which are a similar shape to Flexcut carving knives gave a good positive feel for me as I’ve got fairly big hands.  I found that I used a more relaxed grip and didn’t suffer the agonising pins-and-needles and numb fingers that I usually get when using knives with small handles.   Others might not find them so but I read in one of James Krenov’s books about ergonomics that you shouldn’t be afraid to customize your tool handles to fit your hand - carve bits off or even glue bits on to them. 

I loved using these knives especially the two on the right.  The shape of the blades is quite subtle and clever.  At first I thought they were too thin but in use this proved to be unfounded.  There always seems to be part of the curve which matches the part of the bowl of the spoon you’re working on.  I felt as though my technique changed after using them for a while and when I went back to the Djarvs, Orfords and Frosts they felt a bit crude and insensitive in comparison.

The carving knife grew on me as I used it.  Not that different to my Frost 106 but I found myself reaching for this one in preference.  The shallow curve knife 2nd from left I didn’t really make friends with - it has a kind of crook knife quality and I already have one of Ben Orford’s crook knives which I never use.

I tried the knives on quite a variety of woods:- Holly, Hawthorn, Beech, Birch, Cherry and Laburnum.

The Laburnum spoonula was bought the day after I made it by a lady who came on a course.  I hadn’t even finished roughing it out properly, it still had pencil marks on it and she happily paid £30.

Sharpening is an issue that is going to arise in this passaround ie. peoples levels of sharpening skill and expectations and definitions of sharpness.  The shallow curve knife had quite a big dink and a wire edge on the inside of the curve when I got it.  Although I spent a fair while fettling I wasn’t able to completely sort this out and it still wrote its name with every cut.

The 35mm film canisters to protect the blades is a good simple idea but they must be getting quite rare now that nearly everyone uses digital cameras.   Jed took a fancy to one and I found him having a chew on it behind a bush! 

I don’t know if you’re going into production Duncan but as you can probably tell I was impressed with these knives and wouldn’t mind investing in some - please email me with price, availability etc.  Happily I’m not one of those who has to ‘sneak in tools past the wife’ as some unlucky people do.  Vanessa actively encourages me to buy good tools and after all she knows that “He who dies with most tools wins”.

To read other reviews as they come in click here.

1 comment:

Richard Law said...

That's a very helpful review Robin. Thanks for taking the time to write it up. They must be rich Dahn Sahth people up here expect a whole dining set including table and chairs for £30!