Much more information is available at my full website davidffisher.com.
Follansbee wrote about you site.
I found you email or letter of long ago that I misplaced
Thanks for the spoon
It all came together in a matter of hours.
I like the space in your Blog
The picture of the half shadowed bowl was mellow.
Thanks, Jennie. As I mentioned in my letter, you have been an inspiration to me and many more. I’m sitting on my first Alexander chair from many years ago right now. The most comfortable seat in the house!
David: Glad you have a blog. Will be reading it frequently. Regarding mellowing…. Some years ago i cut down a limb from a crab apple tree in the yard. i ended up with a limb about 18″ long. i cut it in half and made 2 bowls from it. it was mostly pith with very little heart wood. However, over the years it has turned a beautiful color. The bowls are just big enough for a whole package of Ritz Crackers. Makes for a great conversation starter. Take care. Happy New Year to you and family. Cynthia
Good to hear from you, Cynthia. Crab apple is nice, especially for smaller bowls and spoons. The “Ritz Cracker bowl” is a good idea for making use of branch wood.
Good job! ^^
Thank you. Your work is amazing.
David, your work is extraordinary. I very much enjoy your blog and your website. Thank you for sharing your craft with the world!
I just stumbled upon your website and have been mesmerized for the past hour. Your lettering and bowls are just remarkable in shape and texture.
I’ve been reading your site for about a year now (PF mentioned you), last spring I built a bowl shaving horse like the one on your site and a bench to go with it. About a month ago I used a small birch log to make two bowls. The first one I gouged a hole in it so I set it aside to air dry to see what would happen. The second one I didn’t ruin so I have it in a box buried in wood shavings. The one that is in the open air now has a small crack in the bottom and the other one is still whole the last time I checked. Thanks for your inspiration.
Thanks Duane. I’m glad the site has been helpful to you. You’ll learn from each bowl, as I still do. Keep making chips!
Now I’m in the process of making another bowl out of cherry, I have it in a plastic bag at present after I’ve chopped out the middle and I think I should use a number 8 curved gouge as the number 5 corners get caught as I try to go around the inside curves (corners). I just checked out your recent post, I’ll try that on shaping the handles. Hopefully the cherry in process won’t crack in between times working on it.
That’s the right idea with the gouge choice, Duane. The bowl certainly won’t crack if it is sealed in the plastic bag, as it won’t lose any moisture. Of course, it might get moldy if it is in there long enough.
I started to work on the by now dried bowl, I used a rasp to round out the handles and then a scraper to smooth out the inside and outside. When I had it in a leg vice to use the rasp on it the bowl sort of cracked a bit, I don’t know if it cracked all the way through or not. I put flax oil on it after I was through smoothing it. It looks nice except for the crack. I think I will try carving some sort of design in it to take out the crack. Anyway I have one more in the drying box (covered with wood shavings) which I left a bit thicker than the one I’m finishing up. It’s cherry wood while the cracked one is birch.
Next time I start on a bowl I think I’ll try to plane it down on the top and bottom like I saw in one of your videos. These first ones I just flattened out the bottom and chopped out the bowl and then chopped and gouged where needed.
Maybe I’ll try a more detailed layout too.
Thanks for your site, I sort of enjoy making bowls and with time and practice maybe I’ll get better.
It may have been the vise pressure that caused the crack, Duane. You’ll learn something from every bowl; I still do. You can do some pretty cool things to repair the crack and turn it into a design feature. Historic examples using wire, metal plates and the like abound. You can see another option at the bottom of this post https://davidffisherblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/oh-its-drying-time-again/
Thanks, and I think it was the vice pressure, anyway I’ll see what I can do to salvage it. I’m not an experienced carver to try something like what you have in your post I was thinking of doing some sort of linear type design with scoops from a gouge but it is pretty thin now about 3/8 inch and some parts of the bottom are translucent (if you hold it up to the light at the right angle).
hello my names shawn Mancera…first of all I admire your work, I aspire to be a great woodworker like you someday.. I’m a disabled Marine Corps combat Veteran. ..Woodworking saved my life , its the only way for me to cope with my PTSD and helps me forget unwanted memories. Do you have any used hand tools ( anything at all) that you’d be willing to donate to me? id truly appreciate it .
I’ll email you, Shawn.
Dave I am really new to this arena and woodworking in general – Your generosity in your blog posts re. ideas, tools, and techniques are more than inspirational. Thank you for extending your obvious teaching skill into this arena. I know your History students appreciate you!
Thanks so very much,
Dave, this may sound very basic, but I have trouble splitting the log to get the blank. It’s not that I can’t get it split, but can’t seem to get a straight split. Seems that when I get what I think is good it seems to rip a small section out of the log, So now I have to work that out and lose an inch or so of depth. It’s probably the operator, but wondered if you had any thoughts or suggestions.
Steven, the main thing to get an even split is to try to have equal mass on both sides of the split. That said, the character of the log has much more of an impact than anything you do — so you may be doing nothing wrong at all. In fact, it is really rare that I have a log that splits evenly, clean, and straight. For example, the vast majority of logs have at least some twisting grain, meaning there will be a bit of a spiral to the split. And some species are notorious for interlocked grain that makes it tough to split at all, let alone cleanly — American Sycamore and elm are two good examples. Even within a species this can vary. Cherry often splits beautifully, but I’ve had many cherry logs that I’ve fought with and the split surface looks like a war zone when I’ve finally won the fight. Sounds to me like what you’re experiencing is completely normal — just the realities of wood in the real world. A rough or twisted split means more hewing work with the axe, but that’s ok. Still, sometimes a log just doesn’t work out; I end up with plenty of wood to feed the wood stove.
Thanks Dave, guess I will keep at it and not worry about doing it wrong, but work wifh what I get. Thanks again.
David where was that article that you wrote about and discribed your slab bench that you sit on for carving using holdfasts and then you’ll use it as a chopping block support that you put a 12 inch slab of a log on top of it..It was a nice article I like to read again but I can’t find it
Hi, Mike. I think this is the one you’re referring to: https://davidffisherblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/22/lowrider/
Thanks David found your answer in my trash folder…
Fixed that problem… Mike…..
I really like the lettering you do on your bowls. Have you ever considered making a video about how you do your letter carving. I’m amazed with your letter carving and would like to see how you go about it.
Thanks for the suggestion, Steve. I’ll see if I can do that someday.
I am curious , Is something inside of you that says this hunk of wood will be a bowl or spoon or does the wood speak to you . I really like your present course combining bowls and birds .
Well, I do approach a piece of wood with an open mind and ask myself what its characteristics would be best suited for, or at least what it will allow for. Usually, with a little creative thinking, a few possibilities come to mind, and one of those ideas ultimately wins out. So, the wood is definitely not a blank slate upon which I impose my will, but I’m definitely involved! I try to be in tune with the wood, but I’d be kidding myself to think I have some special ability to hear the tree and help it to fulfill it’s destiny, though that is a tempting notion. Maybe there’s a bit of a silent discussion, a compromise, between the two of us. And usually the discussion continues as I begin to work the piece and get to know it better.
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