In the last week I've carved thirty-two spoons. I haven't worked at this volume before, but doing so has been an invaluable experience in learning how to become more efficient in the work that I do.
In the past when I've produced batches of spoons I usually follow this rough format:
- Split a log into pieces
- Take one piece and do all the axe work
- Repeat on all other pieces
- Take one spoons blank and do all the rough knife work
- Repeat on all the other spoon blanks
- Take one spoon and do all the rough hollowing
- Repeat on all the other spoons
- Let the work dry
- Do finishing cuts on each spoon, usually alternating between straight and crook knife.
I talked about my process on Facebook and got into a conversation with Don Nalezyty who mentioned that he breaks down his process even more. I tried this and found that repeating the same action really helped with the flow of the activity. For example, instead of doing all the axe work on one piece of wood before moving onto the next I would axe out the bottom crank on all the pieces of wood, then the top crank on them all, then the left side of the handle, then the right side of the handle, and so on. This really helped me understand exactly what subtly different techniques work better than others.
Here are some photos of the spoons that came out of the bulk batch.