Introduction: Hand Carved Wooden Spatula & Stocking Stuffer
I started carving these for Christmas gifts. I carved them with chisel but I suppose that you could use a knife, drawknife or a spokeshave. They are more straight forward than carving a spoon so I was able to make several as stocking stuffers.
Things that you'll need:
Wood - probably a hardwood soft enough to carve, avoid woods with strong tastes.
Carving tool - I used a chisel
Sharpening supplies - I used a sand paper system
Hand drill and bits
Sand paper - coarse medium and fine grits (I used 80, 150, 800)
Food safe finish - I used a mineral oil based finish
Step 1: Trace & Cut Spatula Blanks From Plank
Begin by tracing the general outline of a spatula onto a piece of cardboard. It should be a little larger than your desired product. Trace this outline onto a piece of wood for each spatula you wish to carve. Follow the pattern with a saw to cut out the blanks or uncarved pieces of wood. Next, get ready to carve by sharpening your chisel. I use this method that I found on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnvwAIVW4uM&feature=related).
Step 2: Carving With Chisel
Carve the blank to the shape and thickness desired. CHISEL AWAY FROM YOUR BODY! It may be helpful to clamp the blank. Alternatively, you can screw another piece of wood to a bench and press the blank against while carving.
Once it is carved you can use a drill to make it a strainer, or to add a lanyard. A strainer is seen in Step 5.
Disclaimer: Chisel are sharp! or at least they should be. Use with caution.
Step 3: Sanding
I loosely followed the advice of this blog about spoon carving (http://www.spoonlady.com/hothow.htm). In retrospect, I probably should have used a harder wood than pine. Her sanding advice worked well. Using the sand paper that I had on hand, I went from a coarse 80 grit, to a 150 to an 800 (automotive) that I use for sharpening. It was a jump from the 150 to the 800 but it was what I had available. I followed the spoonlady's advice and wiped the spatula down with a cloth between grits.
Step 4: Food Safe Finish
I bought a mineral oil based, food safe finish for cutting boards and bowls. However you can make your own with the recipe from this website: http://www.finewoodworking.com/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id=26893.
I applied it generously with a flannel rag and let it dry.
Step 5: Final Touches
Let the finish dry according to instructions. I added spruce cuttings and a bow for Christmas.