My son Adam has decided that he wants to carve. I have an entire shop full of tools and he wants to use the one thing I haven’t yet tried. At christmas time we got him an inexpensive set of gouges. Soon after that, a good friend of mine gave me an old set of chisels and gouges that he inherited. It is a mixed bag, anything from really nice english gouges to a pick for nut meat. A couple of them were nice blades, but without handles.
when Adam came down to work with me in the shop last night, he decided that he wanted to make a handle for one of the gouges. We found a softwood dowel that he started with. I was busy with my cabinet so I just let him fool with it. I checked in on him a little while later and discovered that he was carving something on to the handle.
He started out by carving a snaking line back and forth around the handle, then sat down and sketched some leaves coming off of it at random locations.
He spent an hour or two playing with his knives. He is usually in a hurry to complete his projects, but he spent a good deal of time on this one.
Once he felt that his carving was done, he got out some acrylic paints and painted the grooves of the vine green, and the little maker’s mark on the end, red.
Once it dried, he sanded all of the excess paint off, leaving the green vines and red mark behind.
He asked to use a bit of my Tung oil to coat the handle, and applied the first coat. He will probably apply at least two more coats before he is finished.
I know soft wood is not the best choice for a handle, and it would need a bit more work to be comfortable in the hand, but it was a good beginner’s project, and he came up with it, all by himself. I thought he did a really nice job.