For carving spoons you need a bent knife to hollow the bowl. Over the years I have been carving and teaching I have struggled to get good knives. For a while I was buying them from Bo Helgesson in Sweden and they were excellent but he does not seem to be making them now. There are various folk making them but none that I liked as much as Bo’s. I have forged all my own bowl turning hooks for 20 years so it seemed I would have to bring that knowledge to making my own spoon knives. I have also been able to draw on the considerable accumulated expertise of the Sheffield knife industry.

Yesterday and this morning were spent in Sheffield putting the bend into my current batch of knives, there is a lot going on with a spoon knife, many different variables that can be tweaked and if you get them all spot on a knife is sublime to use. It has taken a while to get to this stage but I am confident these are going to be great knives.

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I love Sheffield workshops, the smell, the history, the hard grimy work, the efficiency.


I just wish I had some of these great machines in my workshop. This buffer makes short work of gently rounding the back of the knife.IMG_8437

This is Peter who has been helping me with the project, he has vast experience of the cutlery industry and an eye for precision and quality.IMG_8440 IMG_8447

So the knives are now off to another Sheffield specialist for heat treatment. With simple steels you can achieve good results and reasonable consistency heat treating in a home furnace but I am using a complex alloy steel and want to get the very best out of it, Sheffield can do that. Then it’s back home for final sharpening.

Author Robin Wood

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