A pair of salad servers

Following on from last post, I was reminded by my lovely wife that I’d promised my mother a set of salad servers for Mother’s day. It was still a couple of weeks away but I wanted to make sure I could get them finished in time so picked out two in-progress spoons that I’d been working on to complete.

Both the ones I picked were meranti, but after a little work on them I realised the colour difference between them was too great. I tried staining both to see if that would solve the problem but it didn’t.

Back to the wood pile I went. I was lucky and found another semi completed blank from the same piece of timber as the spoon I’d been working on during the spiral handle experiment and quickly carved it to the same shape. It was a little longer but that was easy to fix. You can see the attempt to stain the handle on the lower spoon.

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I finished carving the bowls and using the first spoon as a guide I cut the same spiral pattern on the second. I sanded both spoons and used an existing salad server to mark out where the tines on the fork should go.

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I drilled the end point of each tine with a small bit in my nice old miller’s fall hand drill, then cut the rest out with a coping saw. I then finished the insides with some small files. I mentioned last post that I like to use files on wood, and in this case they were the only tool I had that would fit into the slot and they left a really nice finish inside the slots.

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Here’s a close up of the tines after they are cut and cleaned up

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I gave them both another good sand and used scrapers to clean up a few gouge marks that were in the bowls. I couldn’t get them perfect because the wood was so soft it kept marking more but hoped that after finishing they would turn out fine anyway.

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My first thought was to just oil them, but even a couple of coats of orange oil left them looking pale and quite grey.

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I moved onto a shellac with an oak stain mixed into it and gave them a few coats, rubbing them with fine steel wool in between and after the final coat to remove the shellac completely, as I’d only wanted it to carry the stain. Then I finished with a couple of coats of a food safe oil making sure the wood was sealed and buffed them until they looked right.  My wife tied them with a nice bit of ribbon and the recipient was very excited to receive them!

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