My craving to be outdoors only seems to be intensifying over the years, as does my love for carving. It’s a good thing, then, that these two desires are sometimes compatible. On Sunday afternoon, I found myself carving a walnut bowl under hemlock trees while cardinals called to each other overhead.
Before digging into the walnut, I finished the oak low bench that I wrote about starting during snowy March in this post.
After cutting the legs to length and flattening the top a bit with a plane, I bored some holes for pegs and holdfasts. I used a 13/16″ bit rather than 3/4″ because the oak is still green and the holes will shrink slightly over time. Also, the holdfasts work just as well in a 13/16″ hole, especially in material this thick. I bought an old set of extra long auger bits at a flea market years ago; I popped one into my oatmeal-powered cordless drill and bored the holes.
There’s no special pattern for the holes that works better than another. I run a center line along the length with holes every six inches, then I mark holes off to the side midway between those holes. No need to measure for those side holes, just strike some compass arcs from each central hole location and bore where the arcs cross.
I marked all of the side holes the same way, but didn’t actually bore the ones I’m marking in the photos since they were right over the legs.
Then I got to work with the axe on a walnut bowl I had worked on a bit at FWW Live.
Wide steeply-arched handles on this one, sculpted with the adze and the axe.
Then I used the new low bench as I did some further shaping with gouges. Here’s a slideshow with a few photos:
I’ll let it dry for awhile, then get back to it.
I’ve been outside in the May weather as much as I can. Carved lettering and spoons don’t require anything other than a place to sit. More on these later. Can you hear the birds calling?