Tag Archives: making wooden spoons

Spoon Making Class on June 1, 2012

Wooden Spoons

Projects made in the class

After our recent article about making a wooden spoon from a log, several people expressed an interest in taking our class on spoon making, so we’ve scheduled an additional class on Friday, June 1, 2012.  If you would like to take it, you can register here:

Spoon Making Class

More About the Class

Carving a wooden spoon by hand is relaxing and enjoyable, and the spoons and spatulas you can learn to make work very well in the kitchen and make great gifts. My family uses wooden spoons and spatulas in the kitchen on almost a daily basis, and we have a few that are over 20 years old and still in use.

In our one day hands-on workshop, you’ll make the four projects pictured above:

  • a stirrer made of pine (top in the photo)
  • a spatula (third in the photo)
  • a spoon (second in the photo)
  • and a ladle (fourth in the photo)

For the spatula, spoon and ladle, we’ll be using kiln-dried hardwoods. The hardwoods will vary from class to class.

In making the projects, you’ll be learning the basics of how to use a spoon gouge, a drawknife, and a spokeshave to shape wood. These are skills that will help you in other woodworking projects down the road.

You can register through our website using the link below:

Wooden Spoon Making Class

 

 

A Wooden Spoon from a Log

Wooden Spoon Made from a Log

A wooden spoon and the remaining half of the log from which it was made

This past Saturday, The Ploughshare’s Woodworking School had a one-day spoon making class, attended by seven students. They each made a stirrer, a spoon, a spatula, and a ladle from kiln-dried woods (cherry, pine, walnut and mesquite) using simple hand tools.  Everyone completed or nearly completed their projects in the class. The main thing left to do was sanding and adding a mineral oil finish.

As part of the class, Frank Strazza, the instructor, demonstrated how to make a spoon from a log.  He started with a pear tree log about 5 inches in diameter that had just been cut a few days prior. Using a froe, a hatchet, a drawknife and several other simple hand tools, he made a large Swiss-style wooden spoon. Below are some photos, showing how he did it.

First he split the log in half with a froe and mallet.

Splitting the Log with a Froe

Splitting the pear log with a froe

Next he shaped the face with a hatchet, then carved the bowl.

Carving the bowl of the spoon using a gouge and mallet

Carving the bowl of the spoon using a gouge and mallet

Once the bowl had been shaped, Frank made several stop cuts (visible several inches from the bottom end of the log) using a hand saw, then removed the bulk of the waste material using a hatchet.  He used a sweeping circular motion to make somewhat of a slicing cut.

Quickly removing wood with a hatchet

Quickly removing wood with a hatchet

Frank brought the work-in-progress back into the shop and continued shaping it with a drawknife.  He used a shavehorse to hold the spoon. It’s basically a foot operated vice that grips the spoon firmly but lets you reposition it quickly and leaves your hands free for working.

Shaping the spoon with a drawknife

Shaping the spoon with a drawknife

For finer shaping, Frank used a spokeshave.

Shaping the spoon with a spokeshave

Shaping the spoon with a spokeshave

Below is the nearly completed pear spoon, along with a few other spoons made from  firewood-sized logs. From top to bottom, the woods are black walnut, hackberry, peach, and pear. All that’s left to do on the pear spoon is wait a few days until it dries, scrape it with a card scraper, sand it, and apply some mineral oil to protect the wood and bring out its natural beauty.

It’s amazing to see what you can make from a rough log.

Spoons made from logs

Spoons made from logs

My son also attended the spoon-making class. Below is a photo of the spoons he made during the class, after he’s sanded and oiled them. He was pretty excited about the class. Although he’s been making spoons for a few years, he felt like what he learned in the class is really going to revolutionize the way he makes spoons.

Pine stirrer, mesquite spoon, walnut spatula, and cherry ladle

Pine stirrer, mesquite spoon, walnut spatula, and cherry ladle

Spoon making is relaxing and enjoyable, but it’s also a great way to strengthen your skills as a woodworker — particularly your ability to shape wood and learn to work with, rather than against, the grain.