How to Make a Wooden Spoon (The Viking Way)

How to Make a Wooden Spoon (The Viking Way)

Carving is a great hobby for a man who thinks he has no artistic skills. It’s a cheap hobby and it helps you get your mind off a lot of things. It could require a lot of strength but the outcome is worth it. When carving you have to check the type of wood, to ensure that it doesn’t change color and it is a straight grain.

 

Tools

First, to make a wooden spoon the viking way, you would need the following tools:

Axe: The axe needs to be very sharp.

 

Hammer: A very heavy hammer would do because it has enough force to split the wood. A light hammer would ruin the wood.

 

Wedge: The wedge has to be heavy and made from iron. You could use a old or blunt axe and a hammer to split too in case there is no wedge. Be careful, and ensure it is not a sharp axe because it can ruin the wood. You have to be careful with the blunt axe because experience has shown that these blunt tools,cause more severe injuries than the sharp ones.

 

Knife: A very small, sharp knife would be perfect. It would make it easy to remove the excess wood. High quality steel knives last longer and stay sharper. Sharpen your knives even if they are still new, they still need to be sharpened because they have a chiseled end. You can achieve this using an oil stone or a whey stone. Dull knives easily skip the wood and cause serious flesh injuries, so as a safer precaution, leave your knife sharp.

 

Spoon knife: The best ones are the handmade ones, a spoon knife is important, there is no alternative tool for this, especially because we are using viking tools.

 

Wood: It should be freshly cut, wet and easy to work on. It should also be between 10 and 15 cm longer than the spoon you are making. You can use any  type of greenwood because the sap and moisture is still there but applewood is the best for spoon making. You could also use, pinewood, balsa wood and basswood. The wood is easy to cut, and it allows for smooth penetration of the knife. Remember to measure the wood, do not assume it is the right size. It is easy to get wood from your local lumber yard or a scrap bin.

 

Safety Gears.

Carving thumb guard

Kevlar gloves: They provide a great deal of dexterity.

 

1. Split The Wood

First, we would use the hammer and the wedge to split the wood into four triangle pieces. This allows you to see the grain structure of your wood. Also, you have to be very careful while splitting the wood, so you don’t hurt you arms, or break your handle. Ensure tossing the axe or the hammer in a way that the blades end up in the middle of the wood not the sides. You have to make sure that there is nobody around so there is no story of a flying wood or flying axe accidentally hitting anyone.

 

2. Cut Out The Rough Shape Of The Spoon

It would be logical to draw the shape of, probably using a piece of charcoal. After drawing the shape, cut the shape out, make sure it is very close to the drawing so your work with the knife  is easier. You have to work fast too. Do not cut too deeply, just gradually cut the part that you don’t need. If you have to stand up, it is advisable that you put it in a bucket of water or in a plastic bag inside the refrigerator. That way, the wood does not crack. Also, it helps the wood to retain its moisture content making it very easy for the knife to pass through when it is time to shape with a knife. You should remember that the closer it is to the drawing, lesser wood for you and lesser wood means lesser water hence, you can control the level of water in the wood.

 

3. Shape With A Knife.

After cutting, the next thing is to carve the shape with a knife, so it looks like a spoon. You should not forget that we are carving so that we can have control of the level of water in the wood. When the tail end is smooth,use the spoon knife to carve the bowl of the spoon.

 

4. Dry It

After you are done carving and shaping, you let the wood dry. Now, the drying depends on the weather, this could actually take between three to five days to finish drying.

 

5. Sanding

After drying, you sand. It is advisable to start with sandpaper grain 100, then you proceed to 180, and then 240 and finally 400. If we are going by the real viking way, we would use, Skavgraes. It is a special type of horsetail used for sanding.

 

6. Oiling And Waxing.

To oil, use linseed oil. Apply a thick layer on the spoon, then leave for a few hours. Use a toilet paper to remove the excess oil. Waxing is done basically for viking spoons with wax,  to prevent it from dirty hands. The was is washed off after the first washing. It is advisable to wax the day after oiling because the oil should have dried by then. Also, waxing is done to rectify cracks that might have happened during the carving process. Once the crack is filled with wax, it prevents moisture from evaporating from the wood. After the carving, the moisture content would try to balance out by itself, hence, the cracks would close naturally and the wax would squeeze out itself. If you has used a hard substance like glue, it would be never be squeezed out.

 

7. Finished Work.

The spoon is complete now and ready to use. After multiple washing, the wood fiber might rise and it would be advisable to sand with sandpaper grain 400. The spoon is ready to use now. Carving is a great hobby for a man who thinks he has no artistic skills. It’s a cheap hobby and it helps you get your mind off a lot of things. It could require a lot of strength but the outcome is worth it. When carving you have to check the type of wood, to ensure that it doesn’t change color and it is a straight grain.

 

First, to make a wooden spoon the viking way, you would need the following tools:

Axe: The axe needs to be very sharp.

 

Hammer: A very heavy hammer would do because it has enough force to split the wood. A light hammer would ruin the wood.

 

Wedge: The wedge has to be heavy and made from iron. You could use a old or blunt axe and a hammer to split too in case there is no wedge. Be careful, and ensure it is not a sharp axe because it can ruin the wood. You have to be careful with the blunt axe because experience has shown that these blunt tools,cause more severe injuries than the sharp ones.

 

Knife: A very small, sharp knife would be perfect. It would make it easy to remove the excess wood. High quality steel knives last longer and stay sharper. Sharpen your knives even if they are still new, they still need to be sharpened because they have a chiseled end. You can achieve this using an oil stone or a whey stone. Dull knives easily skip the wood and cause serious flesh injuries, so as a safer precaution, leave your knife sharp.

 

Spoon knife: The best ones are the handmade ones, a spoon knife is important, there is no alternative tool for this, especially because we are using viking tools.

 

Wood: It should be freshly cut, wet and easy to work on. It should also be between 10 and 15 cm longer than the spoon you are making. You can use any  type of greenwood because the sap and moisture is still there but applewood is the best for spoon making. You could also use, pinewood, balsa wood and basswood. The wood is easy to cut, and it allows for smooth penetration of the knife. Remember to measure the wood, do not assume it is the right size. It is easy to get wood from your local lumber yard or a scrap bin.

 

Safety Gears.

Carving thumb guard

Kevlar gloves: They provide a great deal of dexterity.

 

1. Split The Wood

First, we would use the hammer and the wedge to split the wood into four triangle pieces. This allows you to see the grain structure of your wood. Also, you have to be very careful while splitting the wood, so you don’t hurt you arms, or break your handle. Ensure tossing the axe or the hammer in a way that the blades end up in the middle of the wood not the sides. You have to make sure that there is nobody around so there is no story of a flying wood or flying axe accidentally hitting anyone.

 

2. Cut Out The Rough Shape Of The Spoon

It would be logical to draw the shape of, probably using a piece of charcoal. After drawing the shape, cut the shape out, make sure it is very close to the drawing so your work with the knife  is easier. You have to work fast too. Do not cut too deeply, just gradually cut the part that you don’t need. If you have to stand up, it is advisable that you put it in a bucket of water or in a plastic bag inside the refrigerator. That way, the wood does not crack. Also, it helps the wood to retain its moisture content making it very easy for the knife to pass through when it is time to shape with a knife. You should remember that the closer it is to the drawing, lesser wood for you and lesser wood means lesser water hence, you can control the level of water in the wood.

 

3. Shape With A Knife.

After cutting, the next thing is to carve the shape with a knife, so it looks like a spoon. You should not forget that we are carving so that we can have control of the level of water in the wood. When the tail end is smooth,use the spoon knife to carve the bowl of the spoon.

 

4. Dry It

After you are done carving and shaping, you let the wood dry. Now, the drying depends on the weather, this could actually take between three to five days to finish drying.

 

5. Sanding

After drying, you sand. It is advisable to start with sandpaper grain 100, then you proceed to 180, and then 240 and finally 400. If we are going by the real viking way, we would use, Skavgraes. It is a special type of horsetail used for sanding.

 

6. Oiling And Waxing.

To oil, use linseed oil. Apply a thick layer on the spoon, then leave for a few hours. Use a toilet paper to remove the excess oil. Waxing is done basically for viking spoons with wax,  to prevent it from dirty hands. The was is washed off after the first washing. It is advisable to wax the day after oiling because the oil should have dried by then. Also, waxing is done to rectify cracks that might have happened during the carving process. Once the crack is filled with wax, it prevents moisture from evaporating from the wood. After the carving, the moisture content would try to balance out by itself, hence, the cracks would close naturally and the wax would squeeze out itself. If you has used a hard substance like glue, it would be never be squeezed out.

 

7. Finished Work.

The spoon is complete now and ready to use. After multiple washing, the wood fiber might rise and it would be advisable to sand with sandpaper grain 400. The spoon is ready to use now.