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Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

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  • Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

    I wondered if there might not be a little money in my carving.
    Old hands are not usually strong hands, grip strength goes away.
    Old hands are sometimes arthritic and sometimes painfully so.
    I have made my weekly bread for years. From time to time, pizza dough, pasta dough, cookies and pie crust dough. I can do it all with a big bowl and a stick. That's worked well for thousands of years.

    I measured a whole lot of my own kitchen prep spoons and sticks to gain an idea of what I'd like to have. Decided on 14" length (can't slide down in a soup pot), 3/4" - 7/8" diameter handle for durability and a narrow bowl no more than 1.5" x 4", rounded tip on the handle.

    So, I bought some sawmill rough birch planks. They are (sort of) 1.25" thick by 6" wide and 5' long. Ripped out some blanks and carved a few "kitchen sticks." I handed them out for marketing research. My plan was to ask in a couple of weeks for opinions. Nobody waited that long and here's what they said:
    a) nobody wants a spoon with a big paddle blade (I have 2 dozen blanks I now have to trim down!)
    b) everybody liked the length, diameter and weight.
    c) to my surprise, they all liked the "thumb notch" that I carved in one end!
    d) all thought that $10.00 was not unreasonable for a finished, hand carved utensil made from local birch. Particularly as a gift.
    Pictures:
    1. I cut back into the plank beyond the end splits to get 3 x 14" pieces. I'll get 15 spoon blanks out of that. $10 spoon from $0.20 wood. Some won't survive = overlooked splits, bark pockets, run-out splits in carving. Maybe 12+/15 make it to the finish. $0.25 wood. This wood is beautiful stuff, clear and straight-grained and moderately heavy (14" block weight 2lbs12oz.)
    2. Not many tools needed as the stick they all want is the easiest to make.
    3. The 1/2" Forstner hole is 1.5" from the end, the bowl part will be 4" long.
    That hole sets the bowl depth and is the critical stop cut to carve back into with mallet and gouge (I really need a 10/12.)
    4. I took the bowl finishing alot further for this. Usually do a whole bunch at once.
    Brian T

  • #2
    Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

    Power tools: no precision required whatsoever as I am carving back into every side and the ends. Ryobi table saw & band saw, $100 each. Delta drill press: $100.
    6. Another look at the "thumb notch" cleaned up. Too funny!
    7. Now comes the fun part to shape the handle with a spoke shave. The Samona SS from Home Hardware for $14.49 each is an excellent tool. My $50 Stanley Crapshave hangs on the wall.
    I count about 20 strokes to cut each corner, the shape would be an octagon. But, I do the two top corners and round that all off then do the bottom two corners. All 4 sides of the bowl part gets done last.
    Don't try too hard to smooth off the ridges left by the spoke shave. Feedback say they make the stick easier to hold. So be it.
    8. The Mojito Masher prototype sitting on a stack of 1" x 1" x 14" blanks.
    OOOPS that pic is in the cutting coconut shell thread. Never mind.
    9. The tip end is entirely shaped with a 1S/25e Pfeil skew. Hard on my thumbs so I'll investigate some bandsaw cuts to make that easier to shape.

    Finish: some 120 then 220 sanding. Slop on the olive oil and let that soak for 24 hrs. Do that again and into a preheated 350F oven on a cake rack for no more than 2 minutes to heat the surface. I do what professional chefs and caterers tell me. Cool, wipe down and sell. Water wash only or you need to season again.
    Brian T

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    • #3
      Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

      Nice Brian!
      I bought a birch board from the local hardware store. Nice wood to carve.
      My ETSY shop:
      https://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodforddellDesigns

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      • #4
        Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

        I just got a lower end carbon steel mora about 4 days ago for $15, probably the best 15 buck I've spent in a while. Still have to do a force patina on it.

        __________________________________________________ ________________________

        Wood Kitchen Cabinets

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        • #5
          Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

          Martha stewart magazine has a article about a guy doing spoons and cutting boards and selling them for big bucks so hang in there. of course now my wife wants a cutting board. when I saw the picture of them I didn't see anything special except he does the cutting boards in various shapes, round, oval, square, teardrop. You wouldn't think there would be a market but Iguess im wrong.

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          • #6
            Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

            Martha... now there is idea Robson. Send her a sample of your product along with a good story of how it came to be. Maybe she'll put it/you on her show and make you rich and famous.
            Seriously, these Celebs get stuff like this all the time, might be worth an effort?
            They do have a place in the kitchen, some publicity and you never know where it will go.
            Cliff (Southtexas)

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            • #7
              Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

              That is a nice spoon shape, and your production setup looks to work too.

              Good luck on the sales.

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              • #8
                Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

                Looks like a nice setup hopefully it will work out. I use to do push pull oven racks sticks and they did fair.

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                • #9
                  Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

                  Update.
                  I finished 3 dozen. Got a cardboard box from the likker store and cut down the 6-compartment divider thing. Three shapes of spoons, some spag forks and 2 kinds of paddle spoon blanks. Sheet of origin, care and use words to go with each.
                  That, for $7/month & 10%, sits by the cash register in a business called the "Indoor Market." Been nearly 3 weeks now. They look after sales, inventory and all.

                  Was invited (how about that?) to set up in the "Gallery", an artisans' show and sales room in the restored railway station. They expect a bigger commission but the trains are all sorts of tourists from all over the world. By week's end, I hope to have 2 dozen sanded, branded and baked for those guys. I want to see my $10 each. What they add to that is up to them.
                  Brian T

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                  • #10
                    Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

                    Thanks Cliff. I'll keep that in mind. Maybe send her one just for fun.
                    Thanks schwert, that simple shape was what my testers wanted, not another paddle spoon.
                    Thanks for the oven stick idea, Robert. I just might have to make some of those!
                    Brian T

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                    • #11
                      Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

                      Curious about the olive oil baking.

                      Does that set up a hard type oil finish much like a flaxseed oil or just drive the oil deep?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

                        maybe get a website and cut out the midlle man

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                        • #13
                          Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

                          Process:
                          1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
                          2. Lay out the sticks on a cake rack over a sheet pan. Slather them with olive oil.
                          Perfect use for a silicone basting brush!
                          3. Into the oven for 3 minutes, by the clock. 2 minutes is OK.
                          4. Oven mitts, take the rack of sticks out and let them cool.
                          = = =
                          The heat in the oven makes the air in the wood expand. Of course. some of that air comes out of the wood. When I take the sticks out of the oven, the ends in particular are absolutely foaming as air comes out. As they cool, the air in the wood contracts and sucks the olive oil down into the wood. So, in normal to boiling stove top cooking, the oil stays in the wood, NOT food juices.
                          = = =
                          5. The finish is a soft, smooth, matte appearance. Really makes the wood grain pop.
                          6. A good scrub in hot water only is all the care they need (advice from a professional chef/caterer (Food Safe program). More oil rubbed in from time to time when very dry.
                          7. I tell people that if the stick begins to feel a bit rough/fuzzy, polish with a brown paper bag.
                          Brian T

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                          • #14
                            Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

                            rickm: there's a local village website for things like this, run by the Chamber of Commerce. I intend to look into that.

                            I would not be doing this if it weren't for the top quality cheap wood. Worst case scenario is that I want $10 for a $0.25 stick and a bit more than an hour of my time.

                            I wondered if I could sell "carving" if it was (deliberately) something that people might use or gift.
                            The large diameter handle and 14" length were things that testers liked. Unbreakable and easy to hold.
                            Brian T

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                            • #15
                              Re: Carving Simple Kitchen Spoons For Cash

                              so with hindsight, how did it all turn out for you?
                              Denny
                              Denny

                              photos at........ http://wiscoden.jimdo.com/

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