Today I am going to show you the process of carving one of these fun, legendary spoons. This one will feature intertwining ropes and a flower.
I start out by drawing out my basic pattern on some graph paper.
I then transfer the pattern to a piece of wood using ordinary carbon paper. For a spoon, 1/2" thick stock works best. Here I used walnut. Walnut tends to be more difficult to carve than a lot of other woods. Basswood is probably the easiest. Mahogany is somewhere in the middle.
Next, I cut out the the spoon blank with a scroll saw. It could be done by hand with a coping saw, but a scroll saw makes things go very quickly. I start the cutting process by doing the outlines. I try to stay just outside the lines.
The inside cuts have to be done a little differently. I first drill some holes with a 1/8" bit.
This is where a scroll saw really comes in handy. I just string the blade through the hole I drilled, and make the cut.
Here is the spoon blank, all cut out. It is now ready for the actual carving.
It does not take a lot of carving tools to carve a spoon. For this project I only used these three. From top to bottom they are a chisel, a detail knife, and a small bowl gouge. I used the detail knife to round off the rope portion of the spoon.
I use the small gouge to carve the flower petals.
Then I start "roughing out" the bowl of the spoon with a very sharp chisel. It is best to work across the grain to avoid chip out.
Now it is time to sand and sand and sand, all by hand. I want the bowl of the spoon to be flawless if possible (it never is). I go around and smooth out the entire spoon. I usually start out with 8o grit and work may way down to 1000 grit or even 1500. You want it silky smooth.
This spoon could easily be used everyday in the kitchen,were if I were to use mineral oil as a finish. But I decided to use it just for decoration in my kitchen, so I used a wipe-on poly blend that I make myself.
The finished product! Gotta love it.
Here are a few more that I have done.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Spoons are pretty fun, and not really that hard to do. All of the tools used to make these are available in my online store. Be sure ask questions in the comment section, if you need help. That is what I am here for.