How to Make a Wooden Spoon, the Viking Way

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Introduction: How to Make a Wooden Spoon, the Viking Way

I will show you how to make a wooden spoon out of green applewood. Using only my handmade viking tools.

Step 1: All My Tools

This is an overview of all my tools.

Step 2: The Tools I Use.

This is the tools you need to make a spoon. My tools are hand forged reconstructions of viking tools.

You need:
Axe: any small hand axe will do fine. It just needs to be sharp. A good hand axe weighs around 500-600g
hammer: you need a heavy hammer. If it is to small it will not have enough force to split the wood.
wedge: A heavy iron wedge made for splitting firewood will work fine. Alternatively use a old axe and hammer it through the log. Don't use you good axe for that. You ruin the axe that way.
Knife: a small sharp knife will do.
Spoon knife: You need a spoonknife, in my book there are no alternatives. You will probably not find it in you local hardwarestore, but you can buy it online. The best are handforged made by S. Djärv but you can also go after the cheap ones made by Frost Sweden.

Step 3: The Wood

You need a log of wood. It needs to be 10-15 cm longer than the spoon you want to make. It needs to be newly cut. The wood you don't use right away you can leave it some high grass. Then it will be wet and workable for 2-4 weeks.

All wood can be used, but fruit tree are best. For this spoon I'm using applewood. That's a very good wood for spoonmaking. It's hard and very durable in use. And it looks nice with the all white grains.

Step 4: Splitting the Log

Now you need the hammer and wedge. Split the log into 4 triangular pieces.

Step 5: Cut the Rougt Shape of the Spoon With the Axe.

I use a piece of charcoal to draw the shape of the spoon. I cut the rough shape of the spoon as close to the drawing as possible. That way I have less work to do with the knife. When I work in greenwood I have to work fast so the wood don't dry and crack. If I need to leave the wood or I want to finish it later, I can place it in a bucket of water or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Step 6: Using Knifes to Finish the Shaping.

With a knife I finish shaping the outside of the spoon. When it is smooth I make the bowl with a spoon knife. The last thing I make is the carving at the end of the handle.

Step 7: Sanding

The spoon needs to be all dry before I start sanding it. It takes 3-5 days depending on the weather.
I start with sandpaper grain 100, then 180, 240 and 400. If I'm doing it the real viking way I'm only using the special kind of horsetail called "Skavgraes"
Sand outside or wear dust mask, or both.

Step 8: Oil and Wax

I use linseed oil. Put on a thick layer, let it sit for a few hours then remove the remaining with towel paper. Let it dry to the next day, and then you can ad wax. I only use wax when I'm making spoons for sale on vikings markets. The wax protects the spoon from dirty fingers but will be washed of when you wash it the first time.

Step 9: The Spoon Is Complete

Now the spoon is completed. And ready for the kitchen. When the spoon have been washed a few times the wood fibers can rise and you need to sand it lightly with fine sandpaper (400)

Step 10: Other Sizes and Designs of Spoons

Here you can see some other spoons I have made lately.

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230 Comments

I have had good luck in using lilac wood. It is prone to splitting so proper care must be taken in sealing the end grains before carving.

Incredible workmanship and I try a lot from this sight and my own ideas for diy but, in this case the closest I will venture is IKEA kinda vikingesque... Once again awesome job!!

Just be aware that what I'm about to say is not to take away from your workmanship. But, round spoons are less than ideal as cooking spoons. The best spoons have a flat edge that lets you scrape the bottom of a pot/pan/bowl with a large edge rather than the "point" contact of a round spoon. Round spoons are obviously fine if you're using them to ladle out liquid, but a flat edge is best otherwise.
Great work!

Your right in that. But the flat edge spoons is a rather new invention so here where I make a viking spoon I stay with the round design.

I make many flat edge spoons for use in normal cooking.

/Thomas

how do you hollow out the bowl, do you need s special knife?

You can either use a gouge chisel or a crook knife/hook knife. The gouge chisel is a little easier in my opinion

Great project but you might want to make a clear distinction between linseed oil (which oil pressed from flax seed) and boiled linseed oil which is more common.  Boiled linseed oil contains toxic drying solvents whereas raw linseed oil is not toxic.  Mineral oil is another good food compatible finish that could be used on wood items that come in contact with food.  It is not clear if you meant the spoons to be used with food but it is good to be safe just in case.

Another good finish after everything is beeswax. Nice smell. Food safe. Protects the wood.

When I get unfinished wooden kitchen tools I stain them with tea and treat them with olive oil.
But that's not very Viking.