Polissoirs Custom-Made For Spoon Carvers

Early last week I was contacted by two separate spoon carvers asking about customizing Roubo’s polissoirs for their needs.  I do not know if this is a point of discussion among spoonsters or both of these creative folks arrived a the same point at the same time.  I gave it a try, and both orders have been sent off.

Given their descriptions of their needs I started by looking through all of the turner’s polissoirs I had on-hand, selecting the three with the longest bristles.  Ostensibly these are designed to have 1/4″ bristles that can be gently domed for polishing the concave contours of bowl turnings, but in this case the crown needed to be dramatically more pronounced to fit into the bowl of the spoon.  Since all of the polissoirs are hand-made there were minute variations in them, I wanted the ones that were a smidge longer (its a technical term you might not recognize) to accentuate the curve that could be imposed on them.  Longer bristles allowed for a higher crown, so that is where I started.

With the first test I discovered that a very dramatic crown was possible.  I worked cautiously to impart the contour I though they needed and arrived at a point that made sense to me.

The test subject got pretty dirty and the label beat up so on the subsequent two I first wrapped them with aluminum foil to provide a bit of protection.

I hope these work for the spoon makers, if not I guess I will hear back from them.  Of course the unmodified end can serve to burnish the flat and convex surfaces of their spoons.

My practice polissoir remains on my workbench and I will carve a spoon-sized shape to see how well it works.

Stay tuned.