Laminated Wood Spoons

In Tutorial by jackmanworks@gmail.com

This pair of wooden spoons made in collaboration with Pat Laperrière over at Le PicBois in Quebec (Fabrication de cuillères en bois avec la collaboration de Pat Laperrière). The spoons are the size of a large kitchen spoon and are made from a lamination of walnut and cherry. Pat laminated them and cut them down to rough size and then I carved them down to final sized and dished them out. And then sent one of the spoons back to him and kept the other, we like to use it as proof of us “spooning” together.

 

Build Details

Materials

– Cherry wood

– Walnut wood

– Wood glue http://amzn.to/2kID2jI

– Mineral oil/beeswax finish http://amzn.to/2Bk950Z

Tools

– Table saw http://amzn.to/2j4bvVU

– Radial arm saw (or miter saw) http://amzn.to/2j614UM

– Belt sander http://amzn.to/2oS8zyE

– Pipe clamps http://amzn.to/2jkLLbO

– Jointer http://amzn.to/2sr7SlQ

– Bandsaw http://amzn.to/2j4auNu

– Hot glue gun http://amzn.to/2jfKopP

– Random orbital sander http://amzn.to/2jrwsJC

– Die grinder http://amzn.to/2H6xebC

– Screw clamps http://amzn.to/2k4EvjT

Pat starts by cutting the pieces all down to the right width on the table saw. First some bigger strips for the walnut and then some thinner strips of cherry to contrast the walnut.

He then uses the radial arm saw to cut all of the strips down to the same length which will ultimately be the length of the spoons.

To prepare for the glue-up, he uses the belt sander to flatten the face of all of the pieces. The back plate of the belt sander is perfectly flat so this completely flattens and takes out any saw marks from the pieces.

Wood glue is applied and spread on the surface off all of the pieces and then they are assembled together to make some walnut racing stripes.

Pat clamps them up using some pipe clamps to hold everything together while the glue dries. He made sure to leave out glue between the blanks for the 2 different spoons though so he can just pop them apart later.

With the glue dry, Pat pops them out of the clamps and runs one face across the jointer to flatten it and then runs the blanks through the planer as well to bring them down to thickness.

He ended up free-hand sketching the shape of the spoon on one half of the blank and then cut along that line on the band saw.

The cutoff from the first cut can then be used by flipping it over onto the opposite side as a pattern so each side is a mirror image. He then cuts that on the bandsaw as well to establish the shape in 2 dimensions.

For cutting it to shape in the 3rd dimension, he no longer has a flat surface to reference off of, so Pat uses a few dabs of hot glue to temporarily stick the cutoffs in place.

He then draws out the lines for the bottom and top of the spoon and cuts those lines on the bandsaw. He can now separate all of the pieces from each other and we now have our roughed out spoon shape.

Delivery from Canada to the US is easier said than done…

The first attempt was to just shoot over the boarder real quick…

That didn’t seem to work out too well, so he mailed them to me instead. Nothing wrong with a back up plan.

After approximately 829 years, the package arrived at my shop. I start to refine the shape of the spoons on my bandsaw. It’s just a matter of taking a bunch of little cuts off of the corners of the shape to round everything over. Safety note: only take small bites or it will want to bind up.

After nibbling the corners down, I can further refine the shape by running it backwards along the teach of the blade of the bandsaw to essentially just grind the shape down a little smoother. With this motion you just want to be very aware of what you’re doing and keep your hands away from the teeth of the blade since you’re kind of working backwards from normal.

The last bit of shaping of the spoon is done with my random orbital sander. Sanding down the shape brings the surface down completely smooth and creates some really nice looking curves.

You can see the before on the left and after on the right. Lots of sawdust, but now it’s starting to look like a spoon and the handle feels good in the hand. I just repeat the process to shape down the 2nd one.

To establish the dished out portion of the spoon, I trace out a line along the edge of the scoop to follow along with when I carve it out.

I start by shaping things down with a die grinder attached to my compressor. The bit has a round nose to it so it carves away material fairly quick to concave the spoon.

Once I get it dished out to rough shape, I take an old utility knife blade and round over one side of it. This profile will act light a tiny card scraper to scrape out the rest of the inside of the spoon.

Lots and lots of scraping to get it to a satisfactory finish, but the scraper actually leaves behind a great looking surface finish.

For the last step, the finish can be applied for the spoons. I use a mineral oil & beeswax mix like what I use for cutting boards. Even though we’ll probably never actually use these, this ensures that they are entirely food safe just in case. The oil brings out the color and the beeswax gives it a bit of a shine!