A Maple Spoon by Carli

My brother Benjamin and his wife Carli came to town and Carli made a spoon!

We started with a nice scrap of maple. After Carli drew the design she wanted we clamped it to the workbench and hollowed out the bowl. We used an old lathe gouge that has been re-ground to do this sort of thing. Once the bowl was roughed out we used a bowl gouge to smooth the inside and get the final shape she wanted.


Once the bowl was ready we moved to the bandsaw on the ShopSmith where Carli cut out the spoon’s profile.

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With most of the the spoon’s profile cut, Carli suited up and moved to the belt sander for shaping and making the curves.

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We did the sanding outside. Even with the shopvac sucking up sawdust it still manages to coat everything in a fine maple powder.

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We used 80 grit sandpaper on the belt sander, so once the spoon was the right shape we moved to hand sanding with 120, 220 and 400 grit sand paper.

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Once it was finally silky smooth, she sketched “~Moore~” a couple different ways, then transferred the one she liked best on to the spoon handle. I carefully carved it out with a pocket knife and didn’t even slip on the rounded corners or lose the middle of the Os.

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Finally we finished it with several coats of danish oil. This piece of maple had some beautiful quilting in it and Carli did a fantastic job!

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A Family Photo Jig-Saw Puzzle

SOMEONE had a 60th birthday recently, so I made a jigsaw puzzle. Caroline printed the picture for me and I glued it to a piece of masonite hardboard using E9000 glue. After it dried I sliced it up on the scroll saw.

Our family jigsaw puzzle all put together
Our family jigsaw puzzle all put together

I make sure that each person was their own piece, and then kept cutting pieces in half until there were 60 of them. The pieces do not all interlock, although some of them do.

Unfortunately I ran out of glue when gluing the picture down originally, so the glue layer was a little thin and some of the pictures started peeling off. Since I was out of E9000 I used ShoeGoo to stick them down all the way.

Our family is so far apart!
Our family is so far apart!

Caroline picked up a cardboard box at the craft store and let the kids write messages on it, and we glued a smaller version of the picture to the cover, just like a real jigsaw puzzle would have.

The puzzle is pretty fun, and is harder than it should be for just being 60 pieces. The birthday boy seemed to like it though, and that’s what counts!

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Walnut Firewood Spoon

This last weekend we went camping in Nauvoo, IL and I made sure that our hatchet was freshly sharpened. I also brought my bowl gouge and spoon knife.

When we bought firewood I was happy to find that it was nice dry walnut, and I found a piece without too many cracks in it.

Hannah tried to pick it up for me, but it was too unwieldy for her.


I worked on it when we were sitting around the camp in between outings. Here we are on day two, working on shaping a spoon out of it. The shavings were useful for starting fires.


I’m getting slightly smarter. I left a big nub on the end of the spoon until the very end. I used it to hold the spoon so I could make cuts from both directions both with the hatchet and with the spoon knife.


I wanted to make a big spoon that would work well almost as a ladle. Since the handle was so fat, I carved a spiral into it to help it look a little bit lighter and to give it a touch of decoration.


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