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View Full Version : Is it just me or do the mora "spoon" knifes suck?



Tjurved
05-04-2011, 14:38
Hello I have 3 different mora "spoon" knifes but they all suck imho! One of them works OK after I grind the **** out of it and reprofiled the whole darn edge. Why do they sell knifes that is quite bad for what they are intended to be used for? Moras other knifes I love but their spoon knifes... no.

MSkiba
05-04-2011, 14:39
yup mora spoon knives dont come sharp. However their carvers do!

bmartin1uk
05-04-2011, 14:48
Funnily enough I've just been 'googling' how to sharpen a Mora spoon knife. Any ideas? I think i butchered mine on my first kuksa attempt - having real problems and i've noticed one side is now much sharper than the other, then realised i have no idea how to sharpen the bloody thing?!

John Fenna
05-04-2011, 14:57
Yea - they are pretty rubbish...but they are all I have ....:(

mrcharly
05-04-2011, 15:21
I have the double-sided one.

The real problem with it, imo, is that the blade is bloody thick. It doesn't look it until you hold it side on. This means you have to hold it at such a steep angle to the wood, you can't really take delicate shavings off. Can't really cut a deep hollow.

So what are the better alternatives, guys?

Everything Mac
05-04-2011, 15:23
I'm sure I've seen guides up on here some where.

You basically have to wrap fine wet and dry paper over a broom handle or something similar.

Andy

southey
05-04-2011, 15:31
I use a S. Djarv Hantverk spoon knife from the woodlore shop, very good, I use a neck loop to increase the leverage on the cuts, comfy . I sharpen the out side of the edge with a DC3 then a quick WIP round the inside with some 400 grit wet and dry wrapped round my finger works to remove the wire and away I go. This works for me, it holds it edge brilliantly and I have no probs with when cutting a deep bowl. Hope that helps.

bmartin1uk
05-04-2011, 15:34
Thanks for the sharpening suggestions - i assumed it would be a complicated task as the cutting edge is on the outside

pastymuncher
05-04-2011, 15:51
I must have been lucky then.
Mine was sharp out of the box, works surprisingly well considering it's price. I've barely had to retouch the edge despite doing quite a bit of work with it, several spoons, a fork, a kuksa, an egg cup and lots of messing about practising with it.

Stringmaker
05-04-2011, 15:56
Me too.

My 164 is seriously sharp.

Biker
05-04-2011, 16:07
When I had mine I couldn't get on with it. I suppose it was sharp but it was the whole different technique of holding the tool in relation to the wood that I couldn't get a grip of (pun not intended) I'm more used to holding a wood chisel by the handle withthe sharp end away from me. Holding it like a potato peeler and using it like that felt like I would have an "incident" sooner than later. I eventually traded it on to Whittler Kev' I think. Don't know how he got on with it if at all.

I second that suggestion Southey posted about sharpening the outside edge and taking off the burr inside with wet and dry.

As for alternate tools to use, I much prefer using a chisel gouge to form a hollow rather than a spoon knife.

southey
05-04-2011, 16:11
aaarrgggggg O for a gutter adze!

Biker
05-04-2011, 16:15
aaarrgggggg O for a gutter adze!

Saw one of those last year at a vide grenier (French Bootfair) the seller wanted €25 (21) for it. Big hefty blade and iddy biddy handle. Most odd looking thing it was too. Lots of old traditional tools for sale over here at bootfairs.

southey
05-04-2011, 16:26
I had a play with AndyN's one from S. Djarv Hantverk and FGYT's own made one just before Christmas, they are surprisingly comfy to use as the blade extends over the hand by quit a way but sit close like choking up on an axe while carving, even OK to use hand holding the bowl to. it's the tool i'm currently saving for to speed up some family orderd projects.


Saw one of those last year at a vide grenier (French Bootfair) the seller wanted €25 (21) for it. Big hefty blade and iddy biddy handle. Most odd looking thing it was too. Lots of old traditional tools for sale over here at bootfairs.

Ere, if you were to see a decent one you wouldn't be able to maybe grab it and i could shoot you the money for it and postage? flutters eyelashes and gives sweetest grin?

Biker
05-04-2011, 16:49
Ere, if you were to see a decent one you wouldn't be able to maybe grab it and i could shoot you the money for it and postage? flutters eyelashes and gives sweetest grin?

Shouldn't a problem Southey, but no promises, it's lucky dip city when it comes to finiding those things. The one I saw was rather like this I just found doing a google image search, seems it belongs to a certain Robin Wood blog.

The spoon on it was huge, much bigger than a gardening trowel.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_dMeLSAcoyho/STwjO_9TfwI/AAAAAAAAAg4/DVRExW7huWE/s400/IMG_6828.jpg

At the same vide grenier I saw 3 side axes, but the seller knew what they were and was asking €30 each for them. He also had a couple of scorps or inshaves for sale but I couldn't afford the arm and leg he wanted for those.

I like those smaller adze that have a 40mm wide curved blade, they look like you could chop away for hours and turn out a dug out canoe in no time.

Sorry for the thread hijack.

Everything Mac
05-04-2011, 17:18
I've seen tools very similar to that one Biker - only the blade was about 4" longer and came right up the handle!

Andy

Biker
05-04-2011, 17:26
I've seen tools very similar to that one Biker - only the blade was about 4" longer and came right up the handle!

Andy

Yeah sounds like the same thing Andy, almost like a basket hilt on a sword, but with an open end at the cutting edge. I'm sure it did what it was supposed to but looked so unwieldy

southey
05-04-2011, 17:30
that would be cool Dude, defiantly found that patience is the way to get the right tool.

Everything Mac
05-04-2011, 17:59
Yeah sounds like the same thing Andy, almost like a basket hilt on a sword, but with an open end at the cutting edge. I'm sure it did what it was supposed to but looked so unwieldy

Exactly. I wondered What such a big tool would be used for. Bowl making or some such no doubt.

Andy

Biker
05-04-2011, 18:06
Exactly. I wondered What such a big tool would be used for. Bowl making or some such no doubt.

Andy

The seller told me it was for barrel making. Using it to concave the inside face of the barrel planks. Not sure if it was using cross grain or with the grain direction, whatever. Seemed a bit overkill for such a modest, yet specialised, job. But I suppose coming from a region famed for its Calvados which is stored in barrels I shouldn't be surprised there was a use for the tool.

I thought at first it might be for scooping out the bowl for a chair seat.

Ian S
05-04-2011, 18:45
Back on topic....

Unfortunately the Frosts spoon knives are poor to rubbish. You can re-grind and re-profile a 164 (the single cutting edge job) and make it fairly good, but you need to put a lot of work into it.

I have Svante Djarv and Hans Karlsson spoon knives, and I love them - a mate has Ben Orford spoon knives and he loves them.

I'm not sure if anyone is making a good, cheap spoon knife at the moment.
Cheers

rancid badger
05-04-2011, 19:29
Simple answer to original question is; YES they are utter rubbish, particularly now that retailers are charging > 21 for a knife you could buy for 5-7 in 2006!
http://www.ronniesunshines.com/mora-crook-spoon-knife-p-847.html
http://www.ronniesunshines.com/frosts-crook-spoon-making-knife-p-846.html?cPath=
The above are not unusual prices by the way.

They used to be the economy option but not any more, yet they're still shxxe:confused:

I don't give a toss what you can make from them, by re-grinding etc.

For what retailers are asking, the knife should come ready and fit for use, but they don't.

for what it's worth, their little carvers, such as the 106 are superb by the way;)

It's important to remember; to shop around for anything related to bushcraft and find the best price but in the case of Mora/Frosts "crook" knives-just avoid them and pay the extra tenner or so and get a real quality tool like the Svante Djarve's etc.

FGYT( on here) does some very nice spoon knives too, by the way!

R.B.

pastymuncher
05-04-2011, 19:50
The double edged one is 13.99 from Clas Ohlson
24 is far too much

John Fenna
05-04-2011, 19:52
That is over twice what I paid a couple of years back! - still too much!

beachlover
05-04-2011, 19:53
I bought myself a Flexcut one and it is, like the rest of their carving / whittling knives, razor sharp.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flexcut-KN26-Right-Handed-Knife/dp/B000ZRW9Z2/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3EF3KT7HO5VN5&colid=F82P8ZRRAAM2

Bardster
05-04-2011, 19:56
Back on topic....

Unfortunately the Frosts spoon knives are poor to rubbish. You can re-grind and re-profile a 164 (the single cutting edge job) and make it fairly good, but you need to put a lot of work into it.

I have Svante Djarv and Hans Karlsson spoon knives, and I love them - a mate has Ben Orford spoon knives and he loves them.

I'm not sure if anyone is making a good, cheap spoon knife at the moment.
Cheers

They can be turned into quite a usable knife in about 20 mins. but agree with RB, you shouldn't have to. The best cheap knife around at the moment is FGYT's but he's not making many at the moment.

rancid badger
05-04-2011, 21:02
I bought myself a Flexcut one and it is, like the rest of their carving / whittling knives, razor sharp.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flexcut-KN26-Right-Handed-Knife/dp/B000ZRW9Z2/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I3EF3KT7HO5VN5&colid=F82P8ZRRAAM2

Ahh now THATS a bargain!

Biker
05-04-2011, 21:25
Ahh now THATS a bargain!

Yeah I agree, so much so I just ordered one. Maybe I'll have better luck using it than the Frost one. I bought a Frost whittling knife last year and that's a joy to use.

Scott Of The Llandow
05-04-2011, 21:41
Ben Oreford gets my vote,great knifes but i would like to try a fgyt if i can grt one!!!

johnnythefox
05-04-2011, 21:43
Ahh now THATS a bargain!

shall i get that and what other knife for general whittling?

Badger90
05-04-2011, 21:48
After looking into buying one of these after our escapades over the weekend, i was surprised by what i've read.

We used both Mora and Svante and found the Mora easier to use as starters to the making of spoons ( using Hazel )

The Svante was smaller in size and seemed abit more difficult to manoeuvre, but that could just be down to our in experience regarding using the tool itself.

As we continue to practice, we'll stick with a Mora for now ( just ordered ), but i have been looking at the complete kit from Svante...

MartiniDave
06-04-2011, 08:22
Johnny,

For general whittling and carving you will not do better than the Frost 106 Sloyd knife. For a spoon knife, well, I use the frost single sided one, it was ok straight from the pack, but 20 minutes with a bit of leather and some metal polish made it very good indeed. I've used a Svante Darv and yes, it was better, but at the time (6 years ago) it was 5 times the price.
There are spoon knife sharpening videos on youtube which you might find helpful. If you do get the frost spoon knife, try and cadge a drill storage box from a tame engineer - the telescoping plastic type - to store the knife in, not very traditional but VERY safe.

Dave

mr dazzler
06-04-2011, 08:52
I love my pair of mora hook knives. As I havent used any other make, I probably dont know any better LOL
This is what I carved yesterday with them (and a self made whittling knife with a finnish blade)
http://flic.kr/p/9womWE
Some are dry wood (alder and willow) They need their finish cuts and thats them done. I use a small elbow adze to do most of the hollowing work now. I think I found some western red cedar in my cord wood pile this year. Whatever it is its the lovliest wood I have ever carved. Very untemperamental if you know what I mean

HHazeldean
06-04-2011, 08:59
I have had one for a while and I haven't used it for ages because how ever much I sharpen it, it simply doesn't hold an edge for any length of time.

Stringmaker
06-04-2011, 09:07
Ahh now THATS a bargain!

I wish I hadn't clicked on that link:

So many goodies!

robin wood
06-04-2011, 09:09
The reason retailers are charging twice what they were 5 years ago is because the wholesale price has doubled. This is partly due to weak pound but also I suspect due to Erikson buying out frosts 5 years ago. Now no competition in the town of Mora. Most of their knives are still incredible value. Anyone that thinks 20 is expensive for a knife with a handle should have a go at making one and wholesaling it to retail at that price.

The 164 works reasonably and I used to recommend it as a starter knife if you could afford no more though it leaves a lot to be desired. I have used all the hooks on the market (not got the flexcut, it looks way to small a hook but be interested to hear) there is not a really good cheap hook at the moment.
I have a set of 15 or so different hooks and regularly have carvers on courses experimenting with them all, the best way to judge a knife is to use it for quite a while alongside others. Ben Orford's seem popular with the ladies (little handles for little hands) Svante Djarve is a good knife, the big one is better but needs more skill to use. The one that seems most popular at the moment is Hans Karlsson but at about 40 they are not cheap.

rancid badger
06-04-2011, 09:46
shall i get that and what other knife for general whittling?

Get a 106 John, they really are excellent
http://www.woodsmithstore.co.uk/shop/Products/Tools/Knives/Product/Frosts+Carving+Knife+106/

The buy out news from Robin, explains quite a bit on the pricing issues but you can't get away from the fact that really aren't good value for money anymore.( never were really:()

The alternative that's not been mentioned yet, is to make your own. I started with a Python file handle and a blade made from a flattened roll pin.( like a spring steel tube with a thin slot down the side)
I filed and ground it to "a shape":rolleyes: heated it up and curled it, then made a rough attempt at hardening and tempering it and finally sharpened it up.

It looked as rough as tramps chin but worked really well.

I've made them from o1 tool steel and old files too, none of them look very good but they all worked better (for me) than any of the frosts ones I've tried.

atb

Tjurved
06-04-2011, 17:26
I would love to see or read a debate about spoon/hook knife theory! Like the bevel angle, the length of the bevel, if the inside curved bevel should be flat or slightly rounded, the thickness and deepth of the blade and so on!



As for alternate tools to use, I much prefer using a chisel gouge to form a hollow rather than a spoon knife.
Me too! It just cut amazing compared to my spoon knifes.

Here are pictures of em. The one with the red handle I have modified to workable condition. The left side of it in the photo is the cutting edge.

http://img860.imageshack.us/img860/4608/img0210ti.jpg (http://img860.imageshack.us/i/img0210ti.jpg/)

http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/1686/img0211hm.jpg (http://img851.imageshack.us/i/img0211hm.jpg/)

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/1626/img0212vw.jpg (http://img35.imageshack.us/i/img0212vw.jpg/)

Bardster
06-04-2011, 17:42
Here's a mora that I modified in about ten to fifteen minutes. Could still do with a little more work mind. Needs a little more curve.
http://www.probetech.co.uk/gallery/mora-spoon.jpg

mrcharly
15-04-2011, 11:38
What is it people do to their mora spoon knives to improve them?

Looking at the pics above, it seems to mainly be thinning down the blade by grinding off a lot from the outside of the curve. I have the double-edged knife and do find it a bit frustrating - even when the blade is sharp, it doesn't want to cut in the same way as the small straight moras (or a simple opinel). Is it just a matter of the bevels being too steep?

geordienemisis
15-04-2011, 11:58
Whittler Kev makes some real good spoon blades, I for one stand by that.

Bardster
15-04-2011, 13:09
its more about rounding the back so that its a smooth curve that can ride on the wood, rather than abrupt ridges/shoulders as seen on the factory finish. As can been seen in my pic, its a smooth continuous curve. Also the back edge is smoothed out as well. A narrow blade would be better too.


What is it people do to their mora spoon knives to improve them?

Looking at the pics above, it seems to mainly be thinning down the blade by grinding off a lot from the outside of the curve. I have the double-edged knife and do find it a bit frustrating - even when the blade is sharp, it doesn't want to cut in the same way as the small straight moras (or a simple opinel). Is it just a matter of the bevels being too steep?

mr dazzler
15-04-2011, 20:26
Depending on what wood type you are using and which area of the spoon you are working on, sometimes if you cut square on, the blade will chatter, and leave tiny parallel lines; the mora hooks cut cleaner and sweeter when they are skewed at an angle (as with any blade tool on wood). I rounded the outside of mine. I also strop it every few minutes

Harvestman
17-04-2011, 23:05
My first thought on reading this thread was "Oh good, it isn't just me then". However, the suggestion of modding it led me to put the tip in the vice and snap it off. I then used the DC3, a mini sharpening steel and some wet and dry to get a good edge on it, and hey presto I seem to have a useable knife again. Maybe 15 minutes work.

I've just been carving some very dry and soft wood, but I aslo tested it on some seasoned yew, and it cut beautifully. I think this is a knife that needs to be sharp or it just won't work.

MartiniDave
18-04-2011, 08:23
There's really nothing that unusual about having to prepare a tool to do a job. Many woodworkers will give a new smothing plane a real going over before using it in anger for example. I'm an instrument maker by trade, although I now work as a designer, it's extremely common to take a brand new drill bit, fresh from the box, and regrind the tip shape, rake & clearance angles dependant on what meterial you will be drilling with it. I don't see a knife, any knife, as any different in that respect.
Dave

mrcharly
18-04-2011, 14:29
Well, before heading to the grinder, I compared the knife to a gouge. The angle of the edge of the gouge to the wood was very very shallow compared to the mora (double-edged version), so I concluded that was part of the problem.

20min careful work on the waterwheel, removing steel from the outside of the blade, and I had something with a much better profile. Tried it on some crummy, crumbly pine, and it cuts as well as the gouge.

Ian S
18-04-2011, 19:06
I took about 3/8 of an inch off the end of my 164, then used the primary grind angle to work up the edge (getting rid of the secondary completely), then polished the outside and the inside of the curve. It works well, but takes a long long time to get there. A better knife might just need a quick tickle on a strop - that's all my Svante Djarv and Hans Karlsson knives needed.

Cheers