Blog: Hand Tools

Heart Spoon for Mom

In my last blog post I talked about my kids carving this spoon for their mom. Here is the finished project. The wood is pine and was an easy wood for the kids to learn how to carve with. The spoon now has a permenent home on the back of the stove for all of us to look at every time we cook!

I loved how the kids’ imaginations worked while carving the spoon. It was my daughter’s idea to carve the heart into the spoon, and it was my son’s idea to carve the small notch just above the bowl. These are things I wouldn’t have even thought about doing, so I am glad that the kids got creative!

I want to thank Doug Pauls of Rocky Mountain Alphorns – he was the one that gave me the spoon blank and spurred the idea. Here is a youtube video you can watch of his journey into carving!  Watching this makes teaching my kids how to carve that much more special.

Carving a Spoon for Mom

I got inspired last winter to carve some spoons for gifts for the holiday season. My kids loved hanging out in the wood shop with me, and they decided that they wanted to help carve a wooden soup spoon for their mom.

Not only did they both participate in using the chisels to shape and texture the spoon, they also came up with the idea to carve a heart into the end of the handle. I was very proud of my son and daughter for listening to my safety expectations so that they could carefully use the sharp chisels.

I love teaching them how to use hand tools to create their own wood projects, because we get to spend that special time together and they feel so good about what they have made with their hands.

We finished the spoon with food-grade oil & beeswax finish, then wrapped it up to give to mom! Watch for the next blog to see a photo of it finished.

Rescued Axe Head

I’ve been looking around for older hand tools at antique stores and personal sales, hoping I’ll find some gems that I can use for planing or timber framing. I have some of my grandpa’s hand tools that are still in excellent condition; these older tools were made to last.

I found this head for a log hewing axe in the summer. An older gentleman was selling some of his tools, and this was from an axe that he used for timber framing homes 30 years ago. For the price tag of $10, I couldn’t resist (these axes usually run about $350 to $400 new), and I have an idea about how I can bring it back to life. Continue reading Rescued Axe Head

The Wa of Hand Tools

“The Japanese word wa is a single kanji meaning ‘harmony; peace; peaceful.’ In common usage wa means ‘harmony’ as in being in harmony with one’s environment and it means “peaceful” as in being in a peaceful state of mind or feeling at peace.” ~Eri Takase

People keep asking me why would I use hand tools to cut this timber bed? It takes longer, involves more physical endurance, and the amount of precision necessary is astonishing.

My simple answer is the Japanese feeling of wa, or harmony, that I feel while working with hand tools. Continue reading The Wa of Hand Tools