Ambacht (Craft)

an axe, a carving knife and a hooked knife

One does not need many or any sophisticated tools when working with green wood. A large part of the work can be done with a basic set of only a few tools. For example, if you want to get started with making spoons yourself, you’ll only need a hatchet or small axe,  a straight knife and a curved spoon knife.

With a hatchet, a piece of fresh of wood can already be cut into a clearly recognizable spoon. With the curved knife the cavity is cut and one finishes the rest of the spoon with the straight knife. When using sharp tools, the use of sandpaper is not necessary.


In addition to the basic set, there are other tools that can simplify the work, or simply accelerate it. If you want to make a spoon from a large piece of trunk, you can of course tackle that piece of wood with your axe or hatchet. However, green wood is reasonably easy to split. A froe and mallet make this work even more easy and more precise. Cross cutting the wood can of course be done with a saw. A fine saw (with fine and tiny toothing) is quickly blocked by the sticky sawdust of the wet wood. A saw that is especially suitable for green wood is very useful.

For hollowing out larger workpieces, such as trays, trays and cups, larger and firmer cutting tools are way more efficient than a spoon knife. A small adze and a (curved) gouge with a long handle are very nice tools.


Besides these basic hand tools, I also use a number of very basic supporting tools. For example, when working with an axe, a chopping block is a requirement. A chopping block on three legs is a somewhat more ergonomic version of the standard block. A more extensive variant is the bowl carving horse, on which you can secure your workpiece with wedges for more easy processing.

A more advanced tool is the shaving horse. Seated on this tool, you operate a clamping mechanism with your feet, so that you can easily clamp, release and turn your workpiece, and clamp it down again. I use the shaving horse mainly in combination with a draw knife: a knife with a handle on both sides of the blade, with which you can quickly shave large pieces of wood.

draw knife

Since a little while I am the proud owner of a pole lathe. This lathe, for turning bowls, is based on a medieval design and is foot powered. On a pole lathe the workpiece does turn in only one direction, but is moving forwards and backwards succeedingly. But more on this subject will follow ……

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