After seeing Laura Jenkins' blog entry showing her work space for love spoon carving I thought that I would show my very similar setup for anyone interested. I do most of my lovespoon carving seated in an armchair with a lap bench/tool holder on which I do the work.
The lap bench sits across my lap as I sit in the chair.
Old towels placed over the work board are used to protect the work and to collect chips.
The lap board itself has a part circle cut-out in the front and a purpose-shaped section added to the back acting as a shelf to hold some folding tool racks.
Some small cup hooks allow restraining rubber bands to secure the tool racks to the work board. The rubber bands attach over the back to a hinged section which holds the tool racks in place.
A towel with a clipped on neck-strap lays over the work board surface and is pinned in place with drawing pins when in use.
Carving work is carried out on the towel surface and the neck strap and towel can be folded forward after work is finished thus protecting the work and capturing all the chips an other carving debris.
Some of my tools are kept in small tool rolls sewn together from some scraps of leather that I'd collected from a throw-out years ago. Some of the tools shown here include a number of home made tools from music wire which can be bent into any needed shape and held in small chucked tool holder.
These home-made tools are very easy to make, very cheap and mostly, extremely useful, because they were made for a specific purpose.
I have been working on this love spoon for a little while now. It is intended for my daughter's wedding coming up soon. The spoon is being carved in English Cherry and features a swivel at the top and a loose heart captured by a cherry blossom cage leading to the stem and bowl. Towards the top of the spoon are the couples initials ( Brad and Jessica ). Under the initials is a single strand celtic knot.
The initials are set above a heart shape and are entirely under-cut except where they attach to the outer rim of the hollowed heart shape. It was this under cutting which necessitated the making of some heavily cranked mini chisels to reach into the more restricted areas.
There were some even more restricted areas to carve with the cherry blossom cage with the loose heart.
I worked on the initials first to solve some of the problems to be encountered reaching those difficult to get at areas that i knew would be even more critical when I attempted the cage area.
The initials had some sections where they would pierce one another and I will be spending some time on these later to achieve nice transitions and fair curves in an area likely to attract more close scrutiny and so finicky attention to detail will pay off.
One of the difficulties in the cage section would be the lack of depth in the blank. I could have used a bit more thickness here to get some more depth and robustness to the leaves and flowers not to mention space to free the heart shape within.
As it turned out it these elements are about as thin and delicate as I dare make them and the upper flowers will be a little flatter than I'd like.
It is this sort of situation where the cranked chisel bits are at their most useful in paring the waste from under overlapping elements that need complete separation.