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Bram D'Hoest Wood Work

Bram D'Hoest
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Studio

Smith Falls, Ontario, Canada

ABOUT

Hi, I’m Bram D’Hoest!

I was born and raised in Bruges, Belgium. In 2008 I moved to Canada and in 2013 my wife and I settled down on a homestead in beautiful Montague, Ontario where we have chickens, bees and a big organic garden.

I have been working with wood for as long as I can remember. I come from a family of carpenters, cobblers and craftspeople. A few years ago I built a small workshop which has since evolved into a small business and I feel fortunate to now dedicate myself to my woodworking full time.

I am passionate about sustainability and make every attempt to use only local wood, most of which I harvest myself within my community. I focus on only felling trees which need to come down, either due to disease or damage. This allows me to lessen the footprint of my business, help out neighbors and feel good that I literally have a hand in all stages of production.

I hope you enjoy my work and I would love to hear from you if you have any comments, questions or requests.

Cheers,
Bram

WHY WE'RE ONE OF A KIND

My production process begins with sourcing my raw materials. I focus on only using wood from trees that are diseased, damaged or slated for removal.

I try to focus on only using local wood, which keeps my carbon footprint low.

Starting with the raw materials means that once I have brought the logs back home, I have to decide which sections of the log I can use for the different products I make.

Bowl making:

For bowl making, I start by cutting the green, fresh logs into smaller sections depending on the dimensions of the bowls I want to make. Once that is done, I debark each piece with an axe.

Next, each piece gets sawn round on a band saw, creating a cylinder of wood, called a bowl blank.

The bowl blank can then be put on the lathe, and I shape the inside and outside of the bowl using a variety of gouges. This is the initial turning of the bowl. At this stage the bowl has to be left thicker than the final dimensions as the wood warps as it dries. Each rough bowl must be sealed with endgrain sealer to slow down the drying process, which prevents cracking. The rough turned bowls must then be stored for 6 months to a year, to be properly seasoned, before they can be finished.

Once the rough bowl is dry, I finish turn it on the lathe and reshape it, removing any warping.

I then sand each bowl and apply a beeswax/raw linseed oil blend, which I also make and sell, or I use milk paint to paint the bowls and seal them raw linseed oil once the paint is dry.

The last step is applying my maker’s mark with a fire heated brass iron.

Now the bowl is ready for market.

Spoon carving:

For spoon carving , I mainly use the branches of the harvested trees which are not big enough to turn into bowls.

I start by cutting a piece of wood to length and split it down the center with using an axe. I then use a carving axe to make the split face of the piece flat.

Once I have a flat side, I examine the wood carefully for nots, defects and grain orientation to decide which end of the piece is will be the spoon’s bowl and the spoon’s handle.

Next, I draw on the shape of the spoon I want to carve and using a carving axe, I take away the wood as close to the line as possible. This gives me the roughed out plan view profile of the spoon.

Next I work on the side profile of the spoon, using a carving axe I create a flowing shape that is both strong and comfortable to use.

Once I have the rough spoon blank, I use a variety of sloyd carving knives to further enhance the shape of the spoon.

That done, I put the spoon away for a week in a bag of shaving so it can dry slowly without cracking.

Once the spoon is dry, I go over the entire spoon again with a very sharp carving knife for the final detailing and finishing cuts.

The spoon then gets 3 coats of raw linseed oil.

The last step is applying my maker’s mark with a fire heated brass iron.

Now the spoon is ready for market.

PRIMARY MATERIALS

Wood

 
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