The Spoon Page

Most of the wood I use has come from within 25 miles of my shop and is primarily limbs from trees that would otherwise have become firewood or woodchips.  I use mostly hardwoods and prefer maple, cherry and apple wood, my stock will vary depending on what I have access to at the time.  The thicker ends of the limb yields sets of three and four and the thinner ends yield individual spoons.  I split the wood following the grain and from that carve the spoon while the wood is still green.  After the spoon is rough carved I let it dry for several weeks, then I sand the bowl of the spoon to a smooth finish.  I leave the handle with the knife marks to emphasize the hand carved nature of the spoon.  The spoons are then finished with several coats of mineral oil and beeswax to protect them.  I include care instructions with each spoon.

I also carve smaller spoons for sugar and flour scoops, and eating utensils. For example, I fed both of my children with a baby spoons made of apple wood that I carved for them.  The possibilities are endless.

Storm take a limb from a tree you loved?  Contact Falling Leaf Woodworks to discuss using the wood in a special set of spoons.

 

Spoon Care and Maintenance:

DO NOT SOAK Spoon!!  It will only make any staining worse and dramatically increase the chance for cracking and bacterial growth.  Simply wash spoon in warm soapy water and towel dry.  DO NOT put in the dishwasher.

 

FAQ:

What type of oil should I use?

Any finish that is used for butcher blocks or salad bowls is an okay finish to use on the spoon. Mineral oil is hypoallergenic and is a common ingredient in most butcher block or salad bowl finishes.  The down side to mineral oil is it does not last in the wood as long and will require more frequent applications.

Walnut oil or raw tung oil (not tung oil finish found at a hardware store) are both good alternatives that will dry into the wood and actually help to harden the wood.  These finishes will last longer and require less maintenance.  If you are a person who has a nut allergy (or know someone who does) do not use walnut oil.  Avoid vegetable and olive oils as these have the potential to go rancid over time, causing the spoon to impart a foul flavor.

Leaving the spoon raw (without any oil) is also an option, but does leave the spoon more susceptible to staining and cracking.

 

The spoon was smooth when I bought it but once I washed it there was a rough texture.  Why?  What do I do?

This is called grain raise.  The vascular structure of the wood absorbed the water and swelled as a result.  Once the water evaporated these expanded pores did not return to their original size, which leaves the spoon with a rough texture.  All of FLWW's spoons are drenched in hot water prior to finishing in order to raise the grain.  This will greatly minimize the amount of grain raise that happens, but it is still possible to get some. The remedy is to take fine sand paper (320 grit or higher) or a scotch brite pad and rub the rough portions of the spoon till smooth and then re-oil.  The grain of the spoon should not continue to rise after this.

 

Why is the spoon getting darker, even without use?

Chances are you have a cherry spoon.  Cherry gets darker as it is exposed to light, this is normal there is nothing wrong with the spoon.  Other woods may darken with use as well.

 

Why is wood a good material for spoons?

Wood is a renewable resource. And unlike metal spoons, they will not scratch pots and pans.  Everyday we hear of more and more harmful chemicals and by-products of plastics that are used to store and prepare food.  Wood is as natural as it gets and has been used since the dawn of mankind in food preparation.  There is evidence to suggest that wood is an even better alternative to plastic in regards to harboring bacteria.