Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Coo Coo for Kuksas

A while back I carved a few spoons. I must say it's a satisfying project; personal, usable and quick to complete. While I've only completed 4-5 spoons, I can definitely see why they are a current woodworking trend. But the next, next thing has got to be Kuksas. You may never have heard of them, but they hit the small fun flexible project sweet spot much like spoons. 
With Trees, beauty isn't just external

The name and form come from Scandinavia, where they are a personal drinking vessels usually carved much like a spoon, often with a leather lanyard for clipping to your belt or at least that's what I learned from Wikipedia. 
The way I came across them was from the Japanese craftsperson M_Hasegawa who's work just blew me away
(Go check it out, it's stunning) 
First Try

Instead of carving with knives, Hasegawa turns the bowl, rough saws to shape and finishes by hand. I have no idea if this is traditional in Japanese treenware or not, but it sure seems to work. Since the bowl of spoons is the trickiest bit for me, it seemed like a good method for me with the added benefit of improving my nonexistent bowl turning skills. On my first attempt with a Cyprus scrap, I quickly learned what an offset block of wood does to my little midi lathe #shakeitlikeapolaroidpicture. By the third attempt, I realized that a blank long enough for handles on both sides would be mostly balanced. Then it's a matter of laying out your shape, drilling the finger hole, rough sawing (I'd suggest the profile first then the "plan" view)
Second attempt, in walnut

Then comes the shaping, your preferred methods will all work here. Using knives in the living room with the family is a nice time and let's you "spend time together" yet woodwork too. In the end, I used a stationary belt sander, knives, rasps, chisels, gouges and eventually sandpaper, but really any technique you want to try out is usable here (especially if you aren't on a production schedule)

I initially used Cyprus because I had some thick stock, but it's probably too soft. Then I tried walnut which would have worked wonderfully had I not tried to make a Big Gulp size and got the look all wrong. For the third try, I found some crab apple firewood from a branch I took out last year that was just big enough for a little 6oz one. I don't have any plans to make any more, but I will be when the right chunks of wood turn up. I'm really happy with how this turned out, I think it may be just my cup of tea.

No comments:

Post a Comment