Intro: Batman Spatula: the Dark Utensil
The kitchen spatula you need for your late night pre-crime fighting sandwich making. Made from a $1 spatula with a custom cut claro walnut handle and finished with boiled linseed oil.
This is truly the utensil fit for a superhero...
I picked up a inexpensive spatula from the local $1 store. The handle was some cheap dyed pine wood secured with equally cheap aluminum pins.
Knocking out the pins with an awl took all of 30 seconds or so. Next I needed to decide what species of wood to re-handle this with. There wasn't much debate as the darkest wood I had in the shop was walnut. So walnut it was...
I re-sawed a cutoff down to 3/8 of an inch thick on the table saw to reveal some truly exquisite grain! Next I printed off a stencil of the Batman logo I preferred and adhered it to the blank with a shot of spray adhesive.
It should be noted at this point I realize that the metal portion of the spatula wasn't going to fit into my Batman handle. I tried cutting it with a file, but just ended up taking the whole thing to the grinder. Much, much faster!
Step 1: Cutting the Shape and Gluing the Handle
Then I could get to the cutting. Take your time with cutting the design, it will save you considerable sanding time later in the process. I was using a 3/16" 4 tpi skip tooth blade. That's a lot of numbers, but the right blade makes cutting details like this on the band saw much easier. You could also do this on the scroll saw or with a CNC if you're luckily enough to have access to one.
The next step was a mystery. I've never made a knife or similar implement, so I wasn't sure when I should epoxy in the metal. I took a guess and figured it should be fine. It was.
The epoxy was a new brand to me, and was just bought off the shelf at Home Depot. I've still not replaced my regular cans of epoxy as I'm hunting for more cost efficient options.
Step 2: Sanding, Sanding & Sanding.
After the glue dried, it was just a matter of sanding. Taking my time on the band saw really reduced the need for sanding.
I started with the belt sander to flatten the faces and remove all the saw marks from the outside radius. I also took the time to add a bevel to the front and the back with sweeping motion at the sander.
Next it was on to the detail work. I tried to use my sanding drum attachments for the drill press, but the smallest one was still too big for most of the curves. There was nothing to it but hand sanding.
I think I was at it for about 20 minutes or so. It's hard to be sure, sometimes I loose track of time in the shop when the camera isn't running.
Step 3: Finishing and Finished Product
The finish is boiled linseed oil. I think lacquer or shellac would be better choices for a kitchen utensil but I didn't have either in the shop at the time.
The handle is much more comfortable than I make out in the video. Truth be told, it actually fits quite nice, but I really, really, really wanted to add that end bit in!
Thanks for looking!