Making Wooden Spoons
I made 3 spoons and a sauté paddle for my brother for Christmas. It was my first time doing wood carving like that, but I really like how they turned out.
The first thing I did was figure out the design for the spoons. I looked online, found a shape I liked, and used that as the inspiration for the shape of the spoons. I then spent some time on Solidworks fiddling with the profiles of the spoons until they looked how I wanted them to.
I didn't buy wood specifically for these spoons. Instead, I used a piece of leftover 1x6 maple board that I used for another project. The problem was, there wasn't enough room to easily arrange each pattern on the board so I could cut them out. Instead, I had to use Solidworks to arrange the spoons in order to fit them all. Here is a look at the arrangement I ended up using.
After printing out that drawing to scale, I cut it out and traced it onto the board I was using. It worked perfectly. Then I cut the spoon blanks out on the bandsaw. By the way, this is my favorite looking piece of wood up to this point. See the ripples on it? Those are called flames, and are quite often prized by woodworkers. I only wish I had more of it.
I'm not going to show how I did every single spoon, or how I made the sauté paddle. But I will show how I made my favorite spoon. I call it the "Tasting" spoon. It is a small spoon, but it has a deep bowl with an elegantly arched handle. The first step in making any spoon is to mark and carve out the bowl. So I took my template, marked where the bowl is supposed to be, and then started carving. I carved out the bowl with a gouge like tool (it's actually a lathe tool). Like all good woodworking tools, it needs to be sharp to work at its prime.
As I carved down the bowl, it was surprisingly easy to keep it symmetric. The only thing that had to be careful of was chipping. If I carved with the grain, sometimes I would take off a large chip instead of just a thin shaving. Carving perpendicular to the grain helped to alleviate that problem. Here you can see the final bowl depth.
Although I didn't take any pictures of it, I rasped the outline of the spoon down to the line next. After that, I started to focus my attention on the underside of the handle. I wanted it to be really curved, so I drew a line that would show me where to carve to. Then I took my Shinto rasp and carved away until I got close to that line.
Since I was already on the bottom, I started to work on shaping the underside of the bowl. I did this entirely with the Shinto rasp. The idea is to rasp away a bunch of material really fast in three spots first: the left and right sides of the bowl, and the front. Then you can round it out with the rasp and it will nearly be done.
I then continued to round out the bottom of the bowl. Part of this involves blending the bowl with the handle. You don't want the handle to be really fat near the bowl. It just doesn't look good.
After I deemed the bottom of the bowl to be nearly complete, I finished off the roughing out of the handle. This involved a small amount of rasping on the top of the handle so that it flowed well.
The next step was sanding! Sanding is always the best part. You can watch as the rough piece of wood gets turned into an elegant and beautiful spoon. I started with the handle, which was easy. Then I worked on the bowl until all the imperfections were gone. I used 120 grit, then 220. I then raised the grain, and sanded again with 220.
Here are some more finished pictures of the spoon.
The last thing that needed done was the application of some kind of food safe finish. I chose to use butcher block oil, but there are a ton of different options. Here are all 4 together after the finish was applied.
That's it for my first attempt at making spoons! Thanks for reading. If you would like to see more pictures, look at the album located here- Wooden Spoons Album