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How to learn spoon carving

If you’ve landed here because you saw me on “Harvest On The Farm” then this bit is for you. Obviously the tools we use for spoon carving could cause injury if used incorrectly. So it’s best to get some instruction when you’re starting out. Ideally find a course but if none are available there’s some good online resources I’ve linked to below. My collegue Rosie regulalrly runs beginners courses as does The Greenwood Guild and there’s quite a other few folks around the UK – take a look on

Spoon carving on Harvest On The Farm
Spoon Carving on Channel 5 - Harvest On The Farm
Learning online –

By far the best online resource is it covers everything you want to know but most importantly there’s lots of video instruction on how to use the tools safely. So get yourself a month subscription and watch those first and if you decide you like carving then grab an annual subscription – there’s so much high quality information on there you won’t regret it.

Free videos – Zed Outdoors on YouTube

Zed has a brilliant channel on YouTube with dozens of videos about green woodworking, including a number on spoon carving. Well worth a watch. There’s some folks who managed to learn to carve just watching these videos, though most need the more detailed help at or in person courses.

Buying Tools –

Please don’t be tempted by the cheap tools available on many mainstream e-commerce sites. The quality is usually very poor and the hook knives are a bad shape and awkward to use. As a beginner you’ll really benefit from decent tools.

The best starter tools at a reasonable price can be found at these will hold their value pretty well and if you don’t take to carving and sell them second hand you’ll get almost as much as they cost, the difference will be less than you’ll spend on cheaper tools that have very little resale value.

If you decide to start with spoon blanks (see below) then you don’t need an axe just a knife and hook knife. The Mora 120 (shorter) or Mora 106 knife and the Mora 164 hook are a good starting point – though the Wood Tools hooks are better IMO.

Sourcing wood or buying spoon blanks –

The videos will cover which wood to use and they sell spoon blanks. If you’re having trouble getting green – freshly cut – wood to carve then try using pre-axed spoon blanks from – you wont even need an axe or chopping block if you take this route, just a flat knife and hook knife from


You will need to come to terms with sharpening your tools, sharp tools are safe tools and easier to use. It can be daunting at first but a little practice and you’ll find it’s not too difficult. covers sharpening, there’s some intro videos on tool care section.

You don’t need to buy expensive sharpening kit. A flat board and some fine abravise papers do the job just fine. Abrasive papers and strops can be obtained from Sean Hellman or Hewn and Hone.

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