A few weeks ago, Paul Sellers posted this video on making a beautiful wooden spoon with a gouge and spokeshave, which is a quick and easy project for all types of woodworkers. It’s even a project that your kids would enjoy! It is also a project that reflects many other aspects of woodworking and the skills learned from spoon making can be translated to even bigger projects.
In this 45 minute demonstration, Paul starts out with a blank of Ash and chops it down with a small axe to remove the bulk of the waste in order to get it to the width that he wants. He then uses the axe as if it were a paring chisel to get a smooth surface before starting to carve out the bowl of the spoon.
Once he has his wood ready to begin, he marks out his spoon template on a piece of scrap cardboard. This can later be transferred to plastic sign material for a more permanent template for future spoons.
For this project, Paul used a Hirsch 35mm #7 Gouge that he bought from Highland Woodworking back in April of this year. He begins the carving process by creating the “eye of the spoon” with the gouge and a hammer. He continues removing the bulk of the bowl with his gouge, making sure not to go too far down and offering many techniques along the way.
He then uses a scraper to scrape off the high and uneven spots within the eye/bowl in order to give it a nice even surface and to remove the gouge marks.
Once the bowl is mostly finished, it is time to create the handle and remove the waste around it. He does this by first making saw marks along the length of the handle and then removing the bulk with a 1-1/4 inch chisel as well as his handmade bow saw. You could use either tool to remove the bulk for the creation of the handle, or you could also use a small axe.
At the end he uses a spokeshave (actually the one he uses here was handmade by his son) to help refine the back of the spoon. With the spokeshave he has much more control in removing waste and taking out the high spots of the spoon in order to create a nice even dome. He compares this process to peeling potatoes. The final process is all about refining, smoothing, and scraping, in order to give your wooden spoon its character.
Time to go make my own spoons!