FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
At my shows and local craft markets, I get a lot of questions. Some have to do with spoons and others not so much. So, here are some of the most common questions. If you have a specific question not covered here please contact me.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO MAKING SPOONS AND KITCHEN UTENSILS?
It all started as a therapeutic hobby and personal challenge to see if I could make a simple wooden spoon. Over the years, and with a little pier pressure to get me to sell my spoons, here I am enjoying making spoons full-time.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY ORDER?
I process each order according to when it's received. I have posted on my Home Page the approximate time when to expect your order. I update this time frequently. If you need your order sooner please let me know, I'm happy to accommodate when possible.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES IT TAKE TO CARVE A WOODEN SPOON?
Some spoons take about an hour, while others can take up to 80-hours. It's all in the details and style requested to make. I average about 1-hour per utensil from start to finish. This time DOES NOT include gathering the wood from suppliers, cutting, sizing, or making the wood into blanks; or the time it takes to package the order or bring to the Post Office.
IS IT SAFE TO USE HOUSEHOLD VEGETABLE OIL OR COOKING OIL ON WOODEN SPOON?
Yes, with an exception, you can used any type of cooking oil to season your spoons and cutting boards. Now the exception: If you are not going use the utensil within a few days, or if you going to store your utensils or cutting board, then I recommend NOT using vegetable oil on your wooden surfaces or spoons. Vegetable oil can go rancid over time. Frequency of use and cleaning the wood is important when using vegetable oil. Always remember to use non-toxic food safe oil on any untreated wood surface or utensil. I make a blend that is out of this world, called "Walnut Based Spoon Paste"…this particular blend has been time tested for centuries and will bring those dried out utensils back to life. You can purchase it directly from me HERE.
DO YOU USE GLUE IN YOUR UTENSILS?
NO, The wood I use to make my utensils is solid hard wood NOT laminated wood. I only use Titebond III glue to hold the inlay accents in the handles. This glue is rated for direct food contact, however, the glue is inside the inlay pocket and most likely will NOT come in contact with any food. Tibebond III is frequently used by woodworkers in the glue up of cutting boards. Feel free to order utensils without any inlay handle accents if this is a concern.
MSDS on Titebond III below:
MSDS on Titebond III below:
IS THE WOOD TREATED WITH CHEMICALS BEFORE OR AFTER IT IS MADE?
No, the wood is not treated with any chemicals, sanding sealers, or wood stabilizers before or after making the utensil. Generally, most wood varnishes are not FDA approved for food contact, with a few exceptions. I like to keep my utensil food-safe and 100% natural as possible. If I added sealers or other "chemicals" on the wood it would make the utensil unsafe to cook with or use in the kitchen. I give my customers the option to have their utensil pre-seasoned with a blend of food-safe salad bowl walnut oil and pure beeswax or not having any pre-seasoning at all.
IS THIS YOUR FULL-TIME JOB OR JUST A HOBBY?
Yes! I’m a full-time woodworker. Making spoons started out as a therapeutic hobby, but soon became a therapeutic living. I’m dedicated to woodworking and strive to achieve perfection in all of my projects weather a fine furniture commission or a custom designed kitchen utensil set for a new home. You can count on my experience to create a lasting work of art to be enjoyed by friends and family for years to come.
DO YOU SELL WHOLESALE OR OFFER YOUR WOODENWARE ON CONSIGNMENT?
I currently sell wholesale through Etsy wholesale and through this site. Registration and approval is required for businesses to participate. Once approved you will have access to my wholesale page to purchase my woodenware items. I have several retail packages that will fit any budget and can tailor a package to fit your needs. Terms and conditions apply.
HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR SPOONS?
The process of making a wooden spoon hasn't changed, but the techniques I use vary. Making a spoon has many processes and steps…so many steps that I’ve stopped counting how many. There’s a lot of time gathering the wood from suppliers, re-sawning rough timber, designing, and perfecting design, and roughing out to a spoon blank to be carved into a functional spoon. I prefer sanding down to 320-grit and pre-seasoning my utensils with food-safe salad bowl walnut oil and pure beeswax. You may get them without pre-season if you'd like. These are just a few small parts of what really goes on in my studio. I used both power equipment and hand tools to make spoons. I'm first and foremost a woodworker, and not a primitivist, I utilize the tools that work and give me superior results. My process is unique and proprietary. I offer classes in spoon making if you would like to learn. The classes go “From Tree To Spoon” in a day and are for the beginner to the experienced woodworker. Contact me if you would like to take a class.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR WOOD?
I get my wood from neighbors, friends, customers, locally operated sawmills, and a few Maine wood suppliers. Because I make several thousand kitchen utensils throughout the year, much of my wood comes from reliable local wood suppliers like Rockler Woodworking and Rare Woods USA. The wood from my local suppliers comes from sustainably managed woodland. I hand pick each piece of rough cut lumber and make sure the wood is ready to be used in your kitchen.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO OIL [“SEASON”] MY SPOON?
You should season your wooden utensil if it looking a little worn out, or dry. Applying food-safe oil every 2-3 months will usually keep your spoon seasoned.
HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF THE SPOON?
Regularly clean with warm soapy water and dry with towel is all that is needed. On occasion apply some food-safe oil to help preserve the wood. Here is a closer look at how to care for a wooden spoon. On occasion you may need to sand smooth before applying food-safe oil.
HAVE YOU MADE ANY CUSTOM SPOONS FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS?
Yes, I do a lot of custom work for weddings, reunions, and business gifts. All of my utensils can be engraved and personalized. (some limitations apply)
HOW MANY SPOONS DO YOU MAKE IN A YEAR?
I average several thousand+ per year!
DO YOU HAVE ANYONE WORKING FOR YOU?
Currently, I don't have anyone working for me. On certain occasions, I will have an apprentice in the shop learning my skills. If I need to complete very large retail order, I employee a few local woodworkers to help me. My business is always growing and changing to accommodate to new demand. My wife helps me with hand tying product tags, packing, and taking occasional trips to the post office for delivery.
DO YOU REALLY MAKE ALL YOUR SPOONS BY HAND?
Yes, I make all of my spoons by hand. Sometimes, I use traditional gouge techniques in carving and handheld tools. Because I produce lots of utensils per year, I also use electrical drills, grinders, belt sanders, and handheld sanders. I have a unique technique that works for me. I use a bandsaw to re-saw timber and a table saw. My work is always evolving to accommodate to high quantity orders and fulfill wholesale orders. I believe that one shouldn't be limited by their tools. I'm not a primitivist but a practical pragmatic woodworker. Why limit creativity? If you ever walk in my studio your first impression will be…"this guy is a professional woodworker"
DO YOU GIVE TOURS OF YOUR SHOP?
Currently, my shop is open by appointment. I would be glad to show you my shop and talk with you about the techniques I use, or woodworking in general. I have a very small shop in the basement of my home that can accommodate about 5 to 6 people at a time comfortably. If your interested in learning my techniques or skills to make a spoon or other kitchen utensil feel free to contact me.
DO YOU GIVE CLASSES ON SPOON MAKING OR WOODWORKING?
I currently offer private lessons on utensil making. I feel that private lessons help you progress faster and my attention is not divided. In the future, and as time permits, I hope to teach larger classes. I teach all levels of woodworking experience.
WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE SUPER HERO?
HOW DO YOU EAT GELATO?
With a red spoon! (Brunswick locals will get this) Be a cool kid and get your limited-edition Gelato Spoon HERE !!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SONG?
"Spoonman" - Soundgarden.. ha ha spoon humor….I have so many fav's that I'd spend most of the day listing them, so I'll save you the torture.
WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO WHILE YOU WORK?
I listen to all different types of music, but most of the time my studio headphones are tuned to Andy Mckee, Jesse Cook, Reggae Radio, and Trance Radio, yeah, I know trance…it helps me work faster… lol!