I have been thinking about making serving spoons for my big salad bowls for years, but my muse wasn’t interested enough to kick me in the butt to get me started. Well, the kick in pants finally came. With all the walnut chainsaw scraps just lying around, I really had no excuse to put it off any longer.
I know that there are a whole group of spoon makers out there, so I am sure I am going to send at least one of them into a conniption fit by my naiveté. I cut out a block of walnut about 5″x5″x12″ then used a bandsaw to make four pieces about 1.25″x5″x12″ (roughly). Next, I drew the outline of a spoon that looked appealing to me and cut out that shape on the bandsaw. I also used a Sam Maloof bandsaw technique to do some very rough shaping of the bowl part of the spoon.
With the handle of the spoon firmly in the leg vise of my Roubo bench, I used my spoke shave to shape the bowl. I was surprised how easy that was to do.
Now for the hard part; hollowing out the bowl. I only have small carving tools, so my little number 7 gouge would have to do. I’d love to buy a couple of quality carving gouges, but I am flat broke, so the little tool will have to do. Thankfully, the little guy did pretty well. Granted, it took a little bit of time, but with a nice sharp edge it worked well.
I don’t like walking in the heat in my good black and white clothes, but seating on my saw-bench carving way, with the sweat dripping down my arms, just puts me in the zone. The heat, the intense concentration, the smells of my shop; the combination of these things make me happy. I believe that real craft and art comes out of these moments.
Here are some other things that can take me to my happy place. I haven’t had a musical interlude in a while, so here goes. (Sung to “My Favorite Things“)
Chocolate and doughnuts, spaghetti with meatballs Planes and good hand saws, my Roubo and oak mauls Big Robust wood lathes, my children that sing these are a few of my favorite things
Cherry that smells nice and new projects started square tenon shoulders and bowls cleanly parted Halo with my wife, custards and creams these are a few of my favorite things
When the boss calls when the bills come when I’m feeling mad I simply remember my favorite things And then I don’t feel (quite) so sad
Did you picture me dancing outside of my shop in lederhosen? No? Thank goodness!
Now back to business. After the spoon part is shaped, rounding off the handle was pretty easy. I put the spoon part into the leg vise and use the spoke shave to make the square handle round. I did use a pocket knife to help shape the connection between the spoon part and the handle and that too was pretty easy with a good sharp blade.
The walnut is pretty wet, so I am going to give the spoons I have made so far a couple three or four days to dry out a bit before I start sanding them. After they are fully sanded, I will coat them in food safe butcher block oil then they will be ready to use!
I would like to say that I don’t want the spoons to look perfect. I want them to look hand made. I’d hate for someone to think they were factory made. I’ll post photos of the final project then they are done.
till next time….