A while back my mother-in-law mentioned needing a few wooden spoons. She prefers wood utensils when making goodies like chicken & dumplings. The reason being, wooden spoons won’t tear the dumpling as much as metal or hard plastic. I made a couple spoons in early summer and didn’t care much for it but I decided to give it another try.. just for her cause she’s awesome. We had a family reunion coming up and she always makes a huge batch of dumplings so I knew she would want something with a long handle.
Here’s my novice adventure in spoon making and a few tips I learned along the way..
My in-laws needed a small tree removed from their yard so my husband got busy with the chainsaw and felled a 12 inch diameter Box Elder. There was a bit of red flaming near the truck so he took a section around 22 inches long and split it up using a hydraulic log splitter.
Step 1: Grab a piece of wood! I ran one chunk through the band-saw at, roughly, ¾ inch thick.
Steps 2-4: Draw the shape of a spoon on the wood. For this piece, I tried to include as much of the color as possible. Rough it out using the band-saw then clean it up a bit on the disc sander.
Step 5: I work on carving the bowl first in case I blow out the side and ruin the piece. Mark the inside bowl along the top about 1/8 to 3/32 from the edge.
Step 6: Using the drill press and a ¼ bit, I hollowed out a little bit of the mid-section of the bowl. This helps to set the depth of the bowl.
Step 7-7.5: Now the real fun begins. After a lot of cursing and frustration from previous spoon making attempts, I discovered a little gem of a tool perfect for the job: The sphere head carbide bits by Saburr. These burrs are AWESOME!
I found a small rubber tip in a junk drawer, inserted a 3/8 X 2 1/4 dowel, taped a piece of 120 grit sandpaper to it and chucked it in the drill. This is the poor man’s version of a curved sanding disc and it works great for the insides of spoons!
Step 8: After shaping the interior bowl, it’s time to shape the handle and outer bowl. The skinny handles on store bought spoons are hard to grip firmly, even with my small hands, so I left plenty of meat on the handle. First, I worked the four edges of the handle across a 1” belt sander, basically, knocking them down to create an octagon stick. The small machine is a surprisingly aggressive sander. Then, I moved to the 6” belt sander using course grit. You can see a big chunk of wood missing from the bottom of the spoon’s bowl. Rounding the outer bowl area would eliminate that so it wasn’t an issue.
Step 9: Once I was satisfied the spoon was reasonably shaped, the rest of the work was done with good old fashioned hand sanding. Fill the tiny bug holes with epoxy and sand with 100-220-320 grit.
Step 10: I applied mineral oil, lightly sanding with 400 grit and finishing with a second application of oil. The spoon is 20L with a 2w X 2 5/8h X 1/2d bowl. Perfect for a giant batch of chicken and dumplings—which we had yesterday at the annual family reunion!
Check out the spoon at work along with several other spoons in My Projects: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/72380
Now, every time I go to the shop to make a box I end up making spoons instead. LOL. It’s as addictive as box-making.
Thanks for reading my first LJ blog!—Theresa