Table Leg Project

To make a coffee table a while ago, I cut some tall table legs in half. I was then left with four of these:

Then one day while cooking I realized that I didn't have a wooden spoon, so I took one of those table legs and started to carve away. Using a spokeshave and my finger plane I made the basic shape of a spoon. I then took a small gouge chisel to carve out the bowl of the spoon.

Roughness left by the carving I sanded out with sand paper then moved on to fine steel wool.

Finishing was done with a mix of mineral oil and parafin wax to ensure that it is foodsafe.

I liked the flat shape this spoon had, it reminded me of a chili spoon. After a while I decided I should make another spoon, but one with a curved handle more like a table spoon. This took a little more work with the spokeshave, and was quite a learning experience.

Again I finished with sandpaper and steel wool. After the first spoon, I was able to get a much cleaner surface with the blades, which resulted in considerably less sanding.

This one I didn't finish with the mineral oil and paraffin. After a few washes on the first spoon the treatment washed off, so I just skipped that process on this one.

After building my own hand plane (see here) I was told that I would need a small mallet to make adjustments. After doing some research I got conflicting advice on what kind of mallet to use; a lot of people said that a brass headed mallet should be used, and the rest of the people said that a wooden mallet should be used. Finally I found someone who said that they were always told "metal on metal, and wood on wood", so I took that advice. Again I went back to the cutoff table legs I had lying around. I made this mallet with one wooden head and one metal head. The handle was made using the same tools and techniques used to make my spoons.

The metal head is made out of the back end of a chisel I had. One day while using my 1/4 inch chisel the back spontaneously fell out, so I had it lying around in a box. It was perfect for fitting into the back of this mallet.

To attach the handle to the head, I made a mortise in the head with a couple drill holes and a lot of chisel work. I then narrowed down the end of my handle to fit into the mortise. I then took some off-cuts of wood to make some wedges to pound in to secure the handle into the head.

That is three legs down, now one more to go.