Thursday, March 9, 2017

Table Saw jig for Wooden Spoons

One of the tools  used most in a woodwork shop is a table saw.  They can do precision work and that is very good for making jigs. Jigs are fun to make and they will help you when you make your projects, so they are necessary for any woodwork shop.  

Wooden spoons are generally preferred for cooking because of their versatility. They are used for stirring during preparation, and they do not transfer as much heat as metal and can be used without scratching non-stick pans.

Wooden spoons are easy to carve by hand but is it possible to make them using only  a table saw.

I will show you how I made the jig to make the spoons, and then show you how to use it.
The spoons will be symmetrical and all the same although parts of the jig can be adjusted to make different shape spoons. The table saw jig will be easy to use and can be stored away and taken out anytime you need to make a new batch of  spoons. 


How to build the spoon jig

I used my large clamp to secure a piece of plywood on the table saw top, this will be for the base of the jig. When it was secure I slowly raised the blade of the saw to make a  slot. 


 I cut two blocks and screwed them onto the base. This part will be for cutting the handle.  I did not use glue in case I wanted to move them or put different size blocks in  later. This will be good if you want to make different size spoons. Even better,  if these blocks are made so they can be adjusted that would be the best idea, but this way will be fine for now.

The top of the jig will be cut at a slight angle, this will be for a fence that will be able to cut coves in the spoon which you will see later.

The easiest way to make this angle cut is with the bandsaw.

The sides, top and back are all screwed together. Again I did not use any glue, this is a good idea when making  jigs in case you want to make any changes later. 

A small notch is cut in this block that will be part of the fence. It will slide on the back block.

A small triangle piece of plywood and  handle were made and screwed into the sliding gauge. It did slide very nice over the table top the first try. I usually clamp the pieces pre drill some holes then add the screws.

I rigged up this hold down clamp for the jig on the table saw. The dowel acts as a pivot and the small f-clamp tightens on the block pushing on the jig's base. This is very easy to set up and has a lot of clamping power. 


       A small piece of 3/8" plywood was  centered on the base and clamped then a hole was drilled all the way through to the main base, this will be for a small dowel. The dowel will be glued to the small plywood and a small piece will stick out to fit in the base. It will be a  swivel try and be able to hold the blank and  make the round part of the spoon.


Dowels are used for the additional tabletop as well. This top will be easy to put on and take off. This table top is put on when carving the spoon.


  The four jig components 

How to use the jig and make the spoons 

1.  I first cut a bunch of  blanks,  (11" x 1.5" x .5" ) they are all the same size then ran them through the saw. The blocks are pushed against the small fence on the right and left. This will make the handle. 


2. Coves are cut on each side of the blank. Make sure it is clamped for safety.

3. The additional top is now put on and the spoon can be carved.



 The blade is raised a small amount and after each pass and the spoon is checked for desired depth. 

4. Now the swivel tray can be put in and cut the round part of the spoon.

The spoon is complete and all it needs is some hand sanding.

This spoon jig will let you cut many nice looking spoons all the same or you can make some adjustments to the jig and change the spoon design.  In the last photo I ran bottom of the spoon handle through the cove cutter and it gave the spoon a new look. 

Wooden spoons are great to make for your own kitchen and for gifts. 

 Have you ever  made a wooden spoon? and how?

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Wall Tool Holder

Time to build a small tool cabinet or tool holder. Woodworkers can acquire  a lot of tools and keeping them organized and close at hand can sometimes be a challenge.  One solution is to build a tool holder, they are easy to build and look great in a shop.  

If you want to build this attractive tool holder then you will like this article.
 There are many kinds of tool holders and many ways to hang tools. I like hooks and an easy way to move them around so I came up with this idea. Lattice works great for the hooks and they can also be attached to wood cases and blocks for tools as you will see later.

I made some rough lattice and tested how the hooks would work. The hooks worked out fine, and now I was ready to figure out the spacing.  I was now ready to build the cabinet. 

The lattice, hooks and spacing

The diameter of the  hooks are 3.51 mm.  and the spacing of the lattice is  5.49 mm. I found this worked the best but I would suggest you buy some hooks and glue a few strips together like I did and do some testing. 

The lattice strips are first cut to the length of the tool holder and the  W:19mm 


Tool holder frame

The cabinet will be 18"x30"

To build the frame I started with some spruce boards, I cut them to size,  cleaned them up, and  made some rabbet cuts on one side. These cuts will be for the back board.

I did not install my dado blade but ran the boards through the saw a few times to get the right cut. At times this can be done faster than changing the blade and setting up. Special attention should be made when moving the fence to make the perfect cut.

The wood looks rough but some light sanding will clean it up nice. I like to build things from scraps I find in my shop so it won't cost anything.

More dado cuts are made using my miter gauge. This is not hard to do it just take a little practice and a good eye. 

The dado cuts are made slowly by moving the fence after each pass, then the last few cuts are tested each time the table saw fence is moved slightly to ensure a perfect fit.

Here you can see how it all fit together with the compartments.  The cabinet it first dry fitted then glued and clamped. Remember to check for squareness when clamping. You can use a large square or a measuring tape.

Some creative clamping. Sometimes blocks are used for clamping so the clamp does not leave any marks on the wood.

Many strips are cut for the lattice. The first batch was cedar and the second set was spruce. I wanted to create a nice contrast in the wood.

I used my new wooden caliber and my dowel stop gauge to make sure the lattice was lining up and keeping square. The dowel gauge was handy because it was able to span the whole length of the  tool holder.

The lattice was spaced so it would fit the hangers exactly, I even made it a little bit closer so the hangers and hooks would fit very snug, this way they would not fall out when you are handling tools. I found this a problem with the peg boards. 

I dry fit the lattice and used spacers and made sure everything was correct. I then took out all the pieces in the exact order and laid then on the workbench. You don't want to start glueing and find a mistake.

A small line of glue is put on each strip.

After each piece is glued and measured some weights are used for clamping. The weights do not have to sit to long, I use Titebond 2 which has a strong initial tack  so a few minutes will be fine. The glue joints must not be stressed for at least 24 hours.

The tool holder on my workbench waiting for the glue to dry. The next step is to fill it with tools.

Small cases are made to fit drill bits, sanders and other tools. 

After each small holder was made a couple of holes were drilled in the back to fit the hooks. They had to be marked exactly to fit in the  vertical part of the lattice.


Making  tool holders is a must for any shop. This is a great tool storage solution and is easy to build, you just need a little patience to make the lattice. The lattice and hooks make it easy to move tools around without drilling new holes.

I think it looks better than a peg board, it has a clean look and is a great system for placing many different tools. Mine did not cost me a cent since I made it from scraps in my shop.


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