Thursday, March 14, 2013
How to Carve a Wooden Spoon
The title of this post might be misleading as I'm not actualy able to teach anyone how to make a wooden spoon. However, I'm kind of dying to share all the cool knowledge I acquired while taking a wooden spoon workshop at Knowhow Shop in Highland Park this past Sunday. The promise was simple and enticing: spend a day at a woodshop and walk away with two handmade wooden spoons. No experience required.
The first step was picking a piece of wood (walnut or cherry) and selecting what type of utensil you want to make (spoon, fork, spatula). I picked simple, old fashioned spoons in two different sizes. I took my design to the CNC router (above left) and watched this crazy machine carve out the bowls of my spoons. Next, I approached the band saw (above right) to make my first cuts and start outlining the basic shapes. I had never used a machine like this and had to get over some fear before approaching it. "It's just like driving a car," said my teacher Kagan. It turned out to be true and, as per usual, tacking my fear was empowering.
After cutting out the basic shapes, it was sanding time, folks! We hit three different types of sanders and here I am carefully shaping my spoon on the belt sander. The risk is that you get carried away and go to far with the machine sanders, which I totally did. It was my first time!
Once the spoons got to this point, I settled in for an afternoon of good old-fashioned hand sanding with sand paper. Three different grades and several hours later, my spoons were smooth to the touch and rounded. Ready for treatment.
I loved this part of it because it felt like cooking. The recipe included beeswax, coconut oil and rosemary and it smelled divine (everyone got sent home with a jar of this stuff).
Once the mixture was melted and combined, we submerged our spoons in the warm liquid and watched the wood turn into a warm and rich dark walnut. Below you can see my treated spoons on the left and Alex's untreated spoon on the right. How awesome is his shapely design?
If you are interested in honing your spoon making skills, I highly suggest signing up for a class in your area. The experience was empowering, exciting, a bit scary and ultimately satisfying. Do it - make a spoon! xxHBT