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I will have the photo of the spoon I did the “test” with on my page tonight. It looks lighter in the photo (because of the camera flash)
It all starts with the choosing the right piece of wood for the wooden utensil you are wanting to make. BUT, the MOST important consideration is, asking your wife what would suit her best, taking into consideration the size of her hand (not yours) I’m sure if you make it to fit “your hand”, that you’ll get to use it more than she does. hint, hint. SO, I would suggest as you are working on the handle to ask her to hold it and say, HONEY, does this fit or does it need to be a bit smaller. Also, ask her what she needs and wants. I DO understand that there will be ladies making wooden ware. I know several that do.
I would suggest if you have never made a wooden utensil that you start with a simple wooden spoon (10 to 12 inches in length will work in the kitchen for most applications) Square it up on the table saw. If it’s not square from the start You will be fighting it from begining to end. Just start with a square piece and you won’t have any problems. (3”x2”x12”) A piece this size sould give you plenty of room for error.
If you position your pattern just right, you might be able to turn the pattern around and get another spoon(not as long though) from the same piece of wood. That’s a good tip for you right here. Try and get as much out of a piece of wood as you can. First, I will decide how many utensils I can get out of a certain piece of wood before I use it. The goal is to utilize and get as much out of it as possible. I might not be able to get another utensil from a piece of wood, but I can make wooden book marks from the scraps. Be creative and save those small pieces. . Just a tip about book marks: Make sure you drill the hole (for the ribbon) before you start on the book mark. It will surely split-out if you don’t.
The strength of your wooden utensil, will be determined by which way the grain runs. On smaller utensils such as small spoons it won’t matter much but when you get into larger pieces such as ladles, the grain needs to run at an angle. Please take this into consideration when choosing the wood to work with. I suggest having the grain of the wood run at an angle. You don’t want it to run horizontal or vertical. Here’s why. Grain that runs straight up and down, (vertical) doesn’t get as smooth as I like when it’s finished. Grain that runs horizontal will not be strong enough through the neck area. Running the wood grain at an angle gives it plenty of strength and gives the grain of the wood a chance to come out in the finished piece. That’s one thing I really like about making wooden ware, you never know what beautiful grain will appear until you’re finished.
There is a lot of wood you can choose from. I have made utensils from at least 50 different types of wood. Some great, some not so great (but they all are usable for cooking with) Whatever you choose have fun with it.
Wish I had the time to set down and write each step of the spoon making proccess out, but Like I said, the book is in the works now. ( wooden ware, from A-Z) The book will include so much more than what I could write here in my blog.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. In the next installmernt we will get started on making a pattern to use. I have patterns for everything I make. A pattern consist of a side pattern and top pattern. Until then, John
P.S. About the utensil give-a-way. I have decided that I am going to picutre a wooden utensil I’ve made and have people guess what kind of wood I used to make it. And the 1st one to correctly identify what wood it is, wins one of my Osage utensils. Let me know, if you think this is a good way to do it…