Making Wooden Spoons

A year or so ago I got knocked to the ground by an oak log  that I was cutting up for firewood. It rolled down a steep hill and sideswiped me, cracked a rib etc. Months later I took a piece of the wood up to my friend Louie’s and we milled out a couple of 1″ thick, maybe 10″ X 14″ pieces on his big band saw. I thought I’d make a little box, since I had a special relation with that tree, but recently decided to make a spoon.

   Posted the spoon (embarrassingly amateurish) on my blog (here) and got some great feedback, including a comment by Richard, whose blog 52 Spoons (here), got me inspired to get more into spoon making (spoon at left by Richard).

    I’m crazy about spoon making. Perfect for me, since I’m not a finely-crafted carpenter type. I like the eyeballing-it process. I keep wandering out from the computer to the shop and chopping on different pieces of wood with my new Roselli hatchet. It’s one of those tools that opens up new horizons — holy shit, is this fun! Also an antidote to spending too much time at a keyboard. Get those hands working at something physical.

  When I get farther along I’ll write something about what I’ve learned, but for now here are some links from early research:

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

12 Responses to Making Wooden Spoons

  1. looks good, Lloyd. mayhaps you might expand your carving? since that darn log clobbered you, how about a bat? read once about someone who handmade bats as a hobby, beautiful too.

  2. Nice spoon Lloyd!!!!! Such a satisfying feeling to handcarve something functional and each one-of-a-kind!
    For a humbling and inspiring experience check out the He started out carving functional spoons, but now carves non-functional art spoons. The best I've seen!


  3. Lloyd-thanks for the post, again and the links. I was curious, and throwing this out to anyone with some experience, what curved blade, fully open, half, etc to get started, it is somewhat confusing on the websites, not knowing which to buy. I know that Mora is the one to look at but some suggestions for the "starter 3" shapes would be appreciated. Thanks for the taking the time to fun the blog, post these types of ideas and getting people sharing ideas. David.

  4. hey Lloyd.. just came back to admire your spoon, had a thought….
    maybe take the first ten thousand names of folks who buy your next book, and draw one from the hat for a Lloyd Spoon…

  5. Dear anonymous,
    There are a lot of knives out there and a lot of people who will tell you you need most of them in order to get you to buy them. I carve on a budget and do all my spoon carving with a frosts 164. Some time in the future I will invest in a nice finishing knife – that's one with a wider and shallower curve on the blade and will probably go for a Nic Westermann or a Pinewood Forge knife. You don't need to shell out to get good results.

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