As my kitchen has been invaded by plastic utensils, I decided on a whim to try my hand at making a wooden spatula by hand. So with a timber offcut, some hand tools, powers tools, and far more time than could possibly be justified, I gave this a crack. Making this all up as I went along, I traced out a blank shape based to a spatula and spoon that I quite like, sort of combining the two shapes.
The easy bit was cutting out the basic shape on the bandsaw, making sure the grain of the wood was as closely aligned to the handle direction as possible.
From there I really was winging it as I’ve never attempted this sort of thing before. I tried everything from a burring bit of my dremel, to scraping with chisels, and rough filing. I have no curved chisels unfortunately, nore any specialise hand carving tools. But as you can see from the following photos, it actually went pretty well. A razor sharp chisel is actually really easy to use to shape wood, just with hand pressure; not using a mallet at all.
To deal with the concave areas I used a burring bit and sanding drum of my dremel tool, and even ended up using a small kitchen knife. I could get away with this as I chose a scoop rather than spoon shape, giving me a bit more access. To do an actual spoon I’d really have needed a proper hook knife.
After far too much time spent tweaking the shape, I finish sanded the lot by hand, and gave the whole thing a good coat of olive oil. So for my more time than I’ll admit, I’ve ended up with a pretty nice utensil. Better than your 2 dollar option, and maybe something for which you’d pay 20 buckaroos.
I think if I did this again I could whip it up in about an hour and a half, which isn’t too ridiculous for something hand made. Certainly worth buying a couple a specific carving tools for future projects.