Smoothing curly grain or decoratively knotted wood can always be an issue in carving. Cabinet makers have tricks with scrapers and planes, but they generally are not working in the tight spaces that a carver has. This spoon was a particular issue. When I first made it, I didn’t notice the tiny stable knots in the wood. When I did see the knots, I thought to myself, ” when I smooth it down, it’ll look lovely.” Then it proved challenging to smooth, and I put the spoon to one side – too pretty to discard, but a finishing problem for another day.

Sometime in January, I saw these little flexible disc sanders demonstrated on the Treeline Woodworking* site and decided to try them. They are perfect for getting into tight spots that need smoothing. They are designed for use in Dremels, mini-carving motors, and flex shafts. Unlike some similar products, they seem to have just the right balance of stiffness and flexibility for working into the curves of a hollow like a spoon, small bowl, or an eagle’s feathers.

The completed spoon is now a Valentine’s Day present for my wife.

* I am not associated with Treeline or Mooreplastic.

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