Instructables
Picture of How to make a travel fork-spoon out of wood
I like the idea of portable utensils, but often they have long handles, too many features, or folding parts that make them too clunky for carrying day-to-day. I saw this great utensil in a blog about minimizing one's waste called the "No Trash Project." The author of the blog posted a photo of their trash free on-flight meal: a metal box of homemade food, and this wooden fork-spoon*. Each side serving as the handle when not in use, so simple and brilliant! I've been looking for a compact travel utensil like this for a while.  Most of the handle doesn't get used anyway, and this is way better than the disposable plastic utensils I end up stashing in my purse and reusing out of waste-guilt.

I also like that they didn't try to add a knife. If someone's gonna carry their own eating utensil they probably already carry a knife they're happy with. Anyway, I couldn't find one online, nor instructions on how to make one, so I gave it a shot and made a quick version out of wood.

(*I say "fork-spoon" cause this isn't a "spork," which is a spoon with very small tines cut into it. I don't find that sporks work well as a fork or spoon.)
 
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Step 1: The tools I used

Picture of The tools I used
These are the tools I used. Don't worry if you don't have all of these exact tools. This was easy on the hands and relatively quick, but it's definitely not the only way.

Besides switching out individual tools, other ways to make this could include carving it using knives, or cutting the handles off a regular fork and spoon and welding the tops together.
Robotron Cx35 months ago
It is called a spork
poisonhydra10 months ago

Very nice, but i believe the term is spork.

I really like your idea.
Mind if I make some suggestions?

1. Your wood is end grain 2x4.
I recommend wood that is quarter sawn or rift saw for stability and strength.
Mr. Harrington is completely correct. If you can find a nearby arborist, often you can get green wood that will work much more easily and dry harder. Check out Pete Follansby, the spoon guru.

2. Foodsafe finish
Try Beeswax in walnut/mineral oil. Get some water, and put your beeswax, paraffin, mineral oil mixture in. Heat until the mixture is melted and on top. Wipe this goop onto your spoon for a quick non-toxic finish.
My favorite: shellac. Make fresh shellac with flakes and ever clear. Be sure to decant off the wax. Wipe on the finish as many layers as feels nice. This will be a beautiful, nontoxic finish. But it will take a long time to set (at least a month to cure) and be somewhat alcohol soluble.
Hewer1 year ago
I think this is a great project, and a very well done instructable. I'm definitely going to make a couple of these and try them out camping/backpacking.
One thing that concerns me, though- from the photos, it looks like the wood you used are sections cut from a 2x4 stud. I don't know a lot about it, but I've heard that you shouldn't use chemically treated wood (like wood used for pallets or lumber used for building materials like 2x4s) for projects that will come in contact with food: bowls, cutting boards, utensils, etc... I don't know if I'm correct about the type of wood you used, or if it had likely been chemically treated. It's just a concern of mine- maybe somebody could help clarify this.
I don't know if it was....but you are absolutely correct about that. It's one thing to use it for making garden boxes, but putting it directly in your mouth would be a huge no-no.
Really needed more sanding. Get a power sander or just a sanding block.
wood choice should probably be taken into account more than has been done.

firstly you should make sure the wood isn't harmful to your health,
http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-allergies-and-toxicity/
this link gives great reference for that. keep in mind though most of the effects are for fine particles such as sawdust,
also a tight grained diffuse porous wood, such as cherry, will prevent the wood from absorbing stuff into it.

the second problem I have is the grain orientation it would be better to have the fibers running down the length of the tines, the way you have it will make them prone to breaking off,

I usually finish my spoons and bowls with walnut oil and sometimes beeswax. walnut is a hardening oil, which means it wont wash out like olive oil. I've never heard of using coconut oil but it should work

Other than that though it's a fun little eating stick. I often make myself small wooden cutlery out of scraps when I forget mine at home. Good work!
Kiteman1 year ago
Doesn't the coconut oil add a coconut flavour to everything you eat?
uncoolpizza (author)  Kiteman1 year ago
Good question. I don't know about the taste but it definitely smells like coconut. So even though it might not literally transfer onto the food, it will feel like it tastes like coconut since taste comes almost entirely from smell. I love coconut and honestly can't think of a food it doesn't compliment. (I even put coconut milk in coffee, highly recommended!) So for me this is a bonus. Ditto for the person I gave this to. I also expect the smell to fade with use.

For those who don't like the taste or smell of coconut this would be a complete no-go. Even if it fades over time I know those who don't like coconut are really sensitive to the smell, and there are lots of other good options. Some have allergens, animal derivatives, or don't have multiple uses, so it really comes down to personal taste.

You can look up food safe wood finishes and find plenty, along with instructions for application. Walnut oil and beeswax seem popular. There are also commercially available salad bowl finishes that might not have a smell at all.