Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sycamore and Branding

Every week or two I wander out in the woods to see if any new sycamore branches are on the ground.   After rain storms is the best time to find them.  I feel so excited when I see new ones as it means I have wonderful carving wood for a few weeks.

I barely got down the trail this week before I found this one.
Sycamore carves so easily that it is my favorite wood to carve. The limb I found on the ground was relatively thick and had lots of straight lines with few knots.  Those parts will make for nice big straight spoons.  It also had wonderfully zig zaggy bits which I enjoy carving into oddly shaped spoons. The odd ones have a lot of character and are my favorites.  But my friend asked me for a long handled spoon and didn't request that it look odd, so I went with "normal."

Actually, I carved multiple spoons.

When I am done with carving, sanding and treating the wood with spoon butter, I use a wood burning tool to sign my initials.  It often slooks sloppy to me, so I investigated branding.  This is what I have settled on.

I sawed off the top of a cup hook and squeezed it with pliers until it looked like a "j."  Then I layed the "j" on the back of the spoon and pressed a hot wood burning tool on top of it.  After a few minutes, it branded just fine.

There are some fancy spoons that I have half finished on my work table, but plain old spoons are satisfying to work on.  Plain ones are the ones I go back to work on day after day.

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