Sunday, October 18, 2009

Making spoons from Horn - part 1

So - the next art & craft project I have been meaning to get around to is Horn working. Whilst a drinking horn is nice - I am wanting to make other things out of the horn, and thanks to Sandy of Frojel, I now have a few to play with.

So my first project was to make a spoon - but due to having the 14th Century Mongol persona, I figured it would be good to have a chinese style spoon (deep, almost a mini bowl).

I started with a horn, which I cut in half (with the end piece pictured, which is solid). I used a table drop saw to cut the horn (being very careful not to cut myself).

This is what I ended up with.

You can see the end piece that will probably be cut in thin slices, which can then be used as buttons - with the very end piece split length wise to form several toggles (I will drill required holes using a Dremel).

As you can see - this has a lovely bowl shape in the middle and some of that chinese spoon look in the natural shape.
I'm not really sure if the Chinese & Mongols did make spoons out of cow horn, but I know that the Mongols especially never wasted any parts of the animals - so its seems likely (especially when the Vikings were - and created the country / region of Rusland - which the Mongols successfully invaded and took over.

Here you can see the current progress - the piece that I've been working is on the bottom, with the untouched other half of the horn above.

So - I worked the horn using a bench grinder (initially I started using a sander but was not getting very far in a hurry). The bench grinder worked a treat.

Now its not finished by any part of the imagination, but you can see it is now a visible spoon that just needs some refinement.

You can see from this side on picture the nice bowl shape that has been formed (I heated the front with a heat gun and bent it up to give a front lip.

You can see that when the top is smoothed across the top (flat) you will get a nice, chinese style spoon that will carry a decent mouthful of soup / stew / whatever.

You can see that I have also tapered the handle.

Here you can see the underside of the spoon. After the initial grinding I have worked slower and more carefully - trying to remove the major tool marks.

I will work it a little more with the tools, to get it right - and then use fine sandpaper to finish it off.

It has been suggested to wax it when finished - any thoughts on this or other comments appreciated.

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