Introduction: Beautiful Eating Spoons From Firewood

Picture of Beautiful Eating Spoons From Firewood

This summer I went on holidays with my family and, since I know that on the beach I'm bored, I arranged to make a few wooden spoons during my vacation.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Wood

Picture of Choosing the Right Wood

Since I would only use a carving knife, I should have built them from green wood. Green wood is much easier to work with a knife. But there was a problem. The wood would have to stay in the car, often in hot conditions, for some time. This would create complications. Precut wood, with high temperatures, would still get dried, with the bigger risk of splitting. I opted for the hardest way, that is, to start with already seasoned wood. In addition, since I wanted to make eating spoons, with the shape of the common metal spoons, I chose to use a very hard wood. I found in my woodcock some small plum chunks and I thought to use them.

Step 2: Resawing Logs

Picture of Resawing Logs

To minimize work with the knife, I decided to use my bandsaw to give it the approximate shape from which to start. First I cut the logs into slices of the right thickness and squared them.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Spoon Form

Picture of Cutting Out the Spoon Form

Using paper templates and a black marker, I then marked the top and side views of the spoons on the wooden blocks. I then cut the blocks with the band saw following these curves. I cut the side view first and then, after reassembling the pieces with some scotch tape I made the front view cut. At this point the forms to work with the knife are ready. When I work with green wood I prefer to do this by using a hatchet and following the natural wood grain but in this case, it would be too difficult.

Step 4: Ready for Vacation

Picture of Ready for Vacation

I took these forms away with me with a small carving kit, consisting of a pair of carving knives, a gouge and a small diamond stone to resharpen the knives' blades.

I also put inside a little Kiridashi made by me (here you can see the Instructable). All this contained in a red felt case, also made by me.

Step 5: Shaping the Spoons

Picture of Shaping the Spoons

Eight hundred miles southwards, I started working the spoons with the knife on the outside. I find that carving wooden spoons is an extremely relaxing and fulfilling activity. It's definitely a hobby for me. In addition, eating with a wooden spoon with the right shape and perfectly honed it's a must-have experience.

Plum wood, as I said, is very hard, and having been seasoned for some time, the shavings were very small. In any case, in about half an hour you can give it the desired shape. For now without cutting the concave part.

Step 6: Shaping the Bows

Picture of Shaping the Bows

To work the bowls I preferred to fix the spoons in a vice when I got home. Performing this work on such a hard wood, with the spoon in the hand, is a difficult and dangerous task. I definitely do it when working with green wood, but in this case, I preferred opting for that solution.

I started marking the edge of the bowl with a pencil. Once I fixed the spoon in the vice, I dug it using two gouges, a straight and a curve one.

Step 7: Refinement

Picture of Refinement

When I was satisfied with the shape of the spoons, I refined everything with a cabinet scraper and then sanding with some 400-600-800 grit sandpaper.

Step 8: Finishing With Oil

Picture of Finishing With Oil

I finished the spoons with natural boiled linseed oil to give them glossiness and waterproofness and to highlight the beautiful grain of this wood.

Step 9: Final Shots

Picture of Final Shots

Here you can see the final result. For wooden spoons to be comfortable to eat, they have to be very thin and shallow and it is important that the transition from the bowl to the tip of the spoon is very smooth. Whether you are eating outdoors, in camping or in the woods, they are perfect for the occasion.

Thanks for checking this Instructable. There is also a video of the realization of these spoons on my YouTube Channel. It doesn't simply have a didactic function, but I tried to give it an "artistic" value so you should look at it just for the pleasure of doing so.

Comments

Moltroub (author)2017-09-04

In the US, use flaxseed oil a 16 ounce bottle runs about $10 on Amazon

Guido, have you thought to use a 50/50 mix of isopropyl alcohol and water to help soften dry wood. It's a trick I learned in a bird carving class. Just put it in a small spray bottle. A few squirts, wait a short bit and the wood sucks it up - easy to carve!

Your spoons are beautifully functional!

Thank you for the suggestion, I will give it a try. In any case, green wood is green wood and it always is prefereable for this kind of works...

jane.keeler.75 (author)2017-09-03

Lovely!

Irishintx (author)2017-09-03

I am glad to see that you and others are using beautiful wood that is otherwise just burned in a pit.
Glad the boiled linseed issue was brought up.
I may check internet for food grade linseed oil.
You do wonderful work

Thank you very much!

ggoen747 (author)2017-09-01

what kind of boiled linseed oil did you use? I read that it can be toxic if it is boiled as the manufacturer typically adds toxic chemicals. I read the difference between regular linseed oil which is safe and boiled linseed oil which is possibly unsafe for food applications... is that the BLO takes a couple of days to dry vs weeks and months for the regular kind. reference: https://www.cuttingboard.com/blog/what-type-of-oils-are-safe-to-use-on-your-cutting-board/

You are right about linseed oil. The one you buy it's usually added with other chemicals and for this reason, it's considered unsafe. The one I use is a product that I buy here in Italy and, even if it cost more, I'm absolutely sure it is made only of comestible linseed oil. When it cures it crystallize and so it doesn't have any taste or smell at all.

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Bio: I am an industrial designer and a maker. I like to make prototypes, unique pieces, equipment and other stuff. In this channel I will show ... More »
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