The Incenspoon

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The Incenspoon

What’s an Incenspoon, you ask? Glad you asked. It is a spoon used to burning incense. Basically, the idea is to replace the traditional piece of coal that is used for incense with a different heat source, in this case a tealight. And since placing incense anywhere near the hot end of a candle is usually not the best of ideas - since you will probably end up dipping it in wax or burning it in the direct sense - we need some surface to place between candle and incense.

To make a long story short (though it never was actually long to begin with), I used a spoon for it, in my case an ice spoon, but any metal spoon will do. Why a spoon, you may ask. Because it is easy to clean, cheap and (usually) readily available.

This is a step-by-step of how it all comes together, and it’s incidentally my first instructable, so I hope that you will, as it is custom in such cases, bear with me.

I made this at home! (Sorry, I could not resist that one... and to clarify, I wish there was a TechShop nearby)

Step 1: Preparing Yourself

Here’s what you need:

spoon, 1 - metal, preferably with a broad handle. It should not melt when held over a flame, either.
threaded rod, at least 8" - I used M4, but anything goes as long as your spoon’s handle is broard enough for the through-hole
nuts, 6 - of the same thread as your threaded rod (replace two for wingnuts for a more user-friendly version)
washers, 4 - they, too, should fit the rod
piece of wood - I went for minimalistic slat, but you can always go overboard

And I made use of these tools:

drill - I used a cordless drill, but a drill press would work nicely, too
drill bits - matching the through-hole necessary for your threaded rod. You need one for metal and one for wood
metal saw - to cut the rod (not pictured)
wood saw - to cut your base (might not be necessary)
file - to work the rod
forstner bit - slightly larger than the washers, and optionally one as large as a tealight
pliers - to hold the nuts
something to deburr the holes

Step 2: Preparing the Spoon

First, use pliers, a vice or your male or female charm to flatten the spoon if the handle is bent. It’s a merely cosmetic step, and you can easily skip it, but it might make things easier.
Next, mark two points on the handle, one near the rear end, the other about 1” further along. I recommend using a nail or something more professional to mark the spot and to provide a grove for your drill bit to dig into.
Next, use the appropriate drill bit (remember, you need a through-hole for your threaded rod) and put two holes into the spoon handle.

Step 3: Preparing the Rods

Cut two pieces off the threaded rod, about 10cm / 4” long. Use the file to remove any burr that will keep the nuts from going onto the rod.
No dedicated picture here, but the two rods can be seen in the material pic.

Step 4: Preparing the Wood

Place the spoon onto the piece of wood and arrange it the way you want it to be - possibly centered, with the business end where you want to place your tealight. Then mark where the two holes in the handle are on the base with something pointy.
Drill holes into the slat where marked.
Use the forstner bit on those two holes on one side, going about 1cm / 3/8” deep - enough space for a washer and a nut.
Sand the piece however you wish, anywhere from removing the most obvious splinters to giving it a satin finish. This is where the thing gets a personal touch, so do not shy away from making it a testament to simplicity (or laziness).

Step 5: Preparing the Wood Some More

If you feel like it (I did not the first time around), you can use another forstner bit, one as large as a tealight, to incorporate an improvised candle-holder  into your base. Put the spoon back in position, and make sure that the holes match up. Then mark where you want the tealight to go - under the food-facing end of the spoon.
Use the forstner bit to make a hole about 1cm / 3/8” deep. Apply the same techniques to add a personal touch as above. And depending on whether you are using a drill press or a hand-held hole-maker, you should consider using the through-hole drill bit for wood to make a guiding hole for the forstner.

No pictures here, since I did not find my large forstner bit in time for the shooting...

Step 6: Bringing It All Together

Take the rods and place a nut near the end. Put a washer on each and stick it through the two holes in your wooden base, on the side where you put the forstner bit to work.
Make sure that the rods do not extend over the edge of your holes, meaning that they will not scratch the surface of whatever the Incenspoon is placed upon.
Then place another washer on the rod, on the other side of the slat. Add a nut, and use pliers (or, once again, more professional tools like a wrench) to tighten one nut while holding the other one in place, thus fastening the rods to the base. Almost there...

Step 7: Really Bringing It All Together

… but it still lacks the certain something. So put a (wing)nut on the rod facing the (intended) tealight, about 2-3cm / 1” from the top. Place the spoon on the two rods so that it rests on the nut. Now place another (wing)nut on the back rod, till it touches the spoon.

Step 8:

Place incense on the spoon, tealight underneath (preferrably in it’s own hole for safety reasons, a mentioned above). Light the tealight. Use the two nuts to adjust the height and even the angle of the spoon to adjust. Enjoy incense.

As mentioned before, wingnuts will make for some ease of handling, although I made my first one with wingless nuts and it worked well enough.



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    Neat idea... Maybe I watch to much tv, but damn that doesn't look like something you would heat up incense with.... :)