Saturday, 14 June 2014

Kuksa and Bowl Carving Practice

Ive been feeling like the spoons have been getting all the attention of late, so I felled a good sized Cherry tree and started turning it into items for the home and camp. Its been a while since I've found the time to concentrate on longer carving projects with being so busy on other things, and its good to practice what you preach, so I knocked out a kuksa and bowl. All in, two days work tree to finished items.

First off, I'll take you through some of the processes of making the bowl. The kuksa is pretty much the same. Top tip with Kuksas, buy a long bent gouge for around £25. Its far easier than a crook knife and you'll have that cup carved out in no time and to a decent depth for a good quantity of tea, coffee, water, or tipple. Spoon/crook knives are finishing tools when it comes to bigger carved projects.

Choose your log, and split it just away from the central pith. Here I'm using a froe, but hatchets or Wooden wedges work just as well if you score the line first with some impact from the axe and mallet.

Tidy up the split surface with an axe making sure its flat, and pop it onto the Bowl Horse or other chosen method of fixing. A good method of holding like this makes a huge difference when using the tools.
Go forth with your Azde. This one is made by Hans Karlsson. It is excellent.

When the worst of the material is removed and some shape has developed to the sides, swap over to a gouge. This one is a Pfeil Long bent gouge. Wider ones with a large radius are a great way to finish. Pfeil gouges are excellent tools, and the radius types and the widths are very well described on the various websites of stockists. They are a fair price and good quality, and the handles very grippy with the faceted shape.

Thats the inside roughed out, now get cracking on the outside. Mostly done with an axe. I prefer old British Kent Pattern hatchets. Heads weighing 1 1/4lb. They cost nothing (literally sometimes) and carve beautifully once you grind and sharpen the bevel. The adze helps with the underneath of the handles.

Back onto the bowl horse, or a shave horse and continue working the outside with a draw knife.

Then finish with a straight carving knife. Frosts 106. The best there is.

Then leave the bowl to dry slowly over several days. Use bags turned inside out each day, dry wood shavings in a box, cool area outside, then warm rooms. Whatever works for you.
Then rework the whole bowl with a crook knife, gouges and straight knife till as you want it.

All finished and oiled with Flaxseed oil

Oh....and that Kuksa :)

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Hand cranked mincer - Venison Burgers

Just acquired a hand cranked mincer, perfect for burgers, pasta dishes, and sausages.
After a spot of success making bunny burgers I thought I would purchase my own hand mincer and forage through the freezer. Its BBQ season so I got busy in the kitchen for a gathering of a few friends and family.

For this batch I used :-

One haunch of venison
A packet of smoky bacon
Several small Onions and cloves of garlic
2 Apples
Salt, Pepper, Paprika, basil, thyme to taste

It made 24 x 1/4lb (100 ish grams) burgers

All chopped up and ready to go through a shiny new mincer

A few calories later, and a good batch of mince.

Layering up the burgers with parchment in a container, ready to put in the fridge and let the flavours infuse overnight, before unleashing over the coals.

A couple of samples fried up for tea, and a big hit with my daughter :)