I wanted to create a small spoon for my 9 month old son that he can use. Obviously the bowl part needs to be quite small, and I wanted the handle to be a little chubby and round-ish.
Making a spoon is so fun and relaxing and I decided to use hand tools exclusively for this project, and make the spoon using only a small axe, hook knife, spokeshave and a carving knife.
I will go over all the steps in this instructable, however make sure to watch the video to see the technique used and the final result!
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Step 1: Preparing the Wood
For this spoon, I used a piece of cherry wood. Cherry is really nice and soft which makes it a great species to carve, however obviously you can use any wood you have on hand.
I began with parting the wood using a small Forest axe. Using a small axe like this is really nice because it gives you a lot of control. Once I had a small piece of wood I drew out the design of the spoon.
Step 2: Carving the Bowl
To carve out the bowl part of the spoon I used a hook knife. This is a curved knife and I'm using a sweeping technique to carve it out (check out the video for a better picture). You could also use a gouge, either way make sure to attach the piece of wood with a clamp, or in a vice for more security.
Step 3: Roughing the Shape
To bring the wood down in size, I used the hatchet to chip away. It's important to do this in stages and not take too much at a time. I like to go up and down making small cuts first, and then shave off all those cuts, that way you don't accidentally take too big a bite. You obviously want to come as close as possible to the spoon, without taking too much off. This takes a little bit of time, and if you want a faster process, you can always use a band saw.
Step 4: Hand Carving
Once I had the spoon down to a more manageable size, I got comfortable with my carving knife and spent some time creating a shape I liked. I try to pay attention to the thickness of the bowl, the arch where the bowl meets the handle, and the general size of the handle. There are so many ways to make a spoon and this part is really where you get to play and make something that's uniquely yours.
Step 5: Cutting Off the Handle
I left as much wood as possible for the handle, so I would have more to hold on to, while carving the bowl and the handle. Once I was pretty satisfied with the general design, I took it in the vice and cut off the extra part with a saw. Then I did some final carving with the carving knife to complete the end of the handle.
Step 6: Finishing
Once I was happy with the design of the spoon, I sanded it with some fine sand paper and then used some of my food safe mineral oil and beeswax polish. And it was ready to use!
Step 7: Conclusion - Watch the Video
To get a much better perspective of the process, make sure to check out the video that goes over the steps in making this spoon, and the final result!