READ BEFORE CARVING: Safety Instructions

Safety in Spoon Carving

Before starting, remember that you are using sharp tools which can cause harm to ourselves or others if we do not take the necessary precautions. In this article we will see the main safety instructions for practicing Spoon Carving.

The Axe

The axe, just because of its weight, can be very dangerous. Make sure to:

CHECK CONDITION OF THE AXE

Make sure the head is well attached to the handle. It cannot be loose. It’s important for the axe to be sharp. Not extremely sharp but sharp enough to make clean cuts. Check for rust in the head or possible cracks in the handle. The most important thing is to make sure the head will no fly off while we are swinging it.

PROPER AXE BLOCK

We must use a solid and stable surface that transmits the blows to the ground and doesn’t bounce back. The best alternative is a section of a log, at least 20cm diameter and no taller than our hips. The height of the axe block is key, it must allow inertia in our motion, from our shoulder to our wrist.

It is advisable to practice the movements in the air and make sure we are not putting any part of out bodies in the path of the axe. Not only until the axe block because if for some reason it misses the block it can continue its path and hit our leg.

WORKING AREA

It is important to remember the axe is used to remove big chunks of wood using blunt force, this can make pieces fly in all directions. We must protect our eyes with safety glasses. We must also be careful to hit other people around us.

SAFE GRIP

When grasping the axe in your hand, always keep your middle and thumb fingers together, forming a ring around the handle, so if the axe slips between our hands it will not come off as the axe is widest at the end of the handle precisely so that this does not happen, as long as we have our fingers together.

Now you can start practicing the axe cutting techniques. Read: The Carving Axe

The Carving Knives: Restricted movements

Restrict our movements is key to our safety when using carving knives.

We must acknowledge that we are working with very sharp tools so if we use free movements, meaning movements that are only restricted by the full extend of our arms, we cannot trust our reflexes to stop us when its necessary.

During the carving process it is common to make cuts towards our support hand or our own body, for this reason it is important to limit these movements by locking our arms closer to our torso and only making cuts allowed by the rotation of the wrists or the span of our grips. This way we can control the entire trajectory of the knives.

We can also guide the knife with our supporting hand (the hand holding the piece of wood), this way the cut is made by a controlled push motion.

One way of making sure we are restricting our movements is NOT MAKING TOO MUCH FORCE. If we find ourselves using excessive force, we must stop and understand why this is happening. Unnecessary force is a common cause of accidents with sharp tools

Now you can start practicing the cutting techniques with the Straight Knife and the Hook Knife.

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