Sunday, April 21, 2013

Salad Fork Tutorial

Remember a couple of weeks when I showed you our latest creation on the lathe? Well, here's the tutorial I promised! I initially ran across it on Woodworker Journal's You Tube channel. Here's a link. It was pretty simple and I was excited by that since this was my first real project. That is to say that it's great for beginners.
First I started with a piece of maple that we had left over from a previous project.
Essentially, what you are looking for is something at least 12-13 inches long:

It was a little over an inch and a half, which worked out great, because we can split it and make a set!

 We clamped straight edge fence to cut the board into 2 equal parts: 
 Then we ran the board through the jointer to remove the saw marks left from the band saw:

Once the board was smooth again, we drew out the basic outline of the forks (they look more like paddles!):

Then I cut the rough outline out on the band saw:

Here's a shot of the cutout on the lathe:

 Then the turning began! It was really hard at first because the edges were straight and square and it really kicked the blade hard...

To add the gripper lines, I used a piece of copper wire to burn into the wood while it's turning:

 Then I cut a basic tulip-like shape into the paddle end:

Once the shape of the paddle was like I wanted and the handle was done, I sanded the handle with  several grits of sandpaper:

Once the tulip shape was defined, we put it back on the band saw to cut out a scoop like shape:

It turned out very rough and yucky, so I had to sand the heck out if to smooth it back out:

Once the fork was smooth and had a nice shape, it was ready to coat with the mineral oil. Don't ask me why I put on the gloves to oil the wood, but left them off while I sanded. Hindsight is always 20/20...

And there you have it!

My husband is a woodworking genius, so I had a LOT of guidance and direction while I made my salad fork. (He made a matching one.) Still, I have to say that it was really fairly easy and GREAT fun!
I understand that you may not have a wood lathe and I commend you for making it this far down the post if that is the case, but really all I hope to share with you is this: 
Find a creative outlet that brings you joy and takes you further away from your comfort zone. 
Expand your horizons. 
Then blog about it.