It’s Sloyd Time!

I do a bit of traveling every summer, and when I’m away from home, I always miss my workbench and my tools.  Sometimes I have space to bring a few tools with me, but when I go camping or to a conference, I often find myself at a loose end, wishing I had a few tools with me.

So this spring, I put together a traveling sloyd kit, which consists of a few simple carving tools and some workpieces in an old Land’s End bag.

The two spoons pictured are my first attempts at lap-carving spoons.  The thing in the middle is a blank that has been roughed out with a hatchet.

My tool kit includes the following:

  • A sloyd knife for general whittling work.
  • A hook knife for concave work like spoon bowls.
  • A chip carving knife for detail work.
  • A few card scrapers (not pictured).

With these tools, I can lap-carve wooden spoons to my heart’s content.  I also have space in the bag for a hewing hatchet, though I won’t always take that with me.

I learned a lot about spoon carving with a sloyd knife from this episode of the Woodwright’s Shop with Peter Follansbee.

I’ve been carving spoons at my workbench for years, and my main tools there are a drawknife, a spokeshave, and a couple gouges, and I can make a spoon pretty quickly. Much as I enjoy making spoons that way, it requires a bench vise.  Lap-carving spoons is a little slower, but what the sloyd knife and hook knife lack in speed, they make up for in portability.

On a recent camping trip, one of my daughters wanted to give it a try.  She didn’t stick at it long, but she especially enjoyed making big shavings.

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