How to make a wooden spoon, the viking way

Picture of How to make a wooden spoon, the viking way

I will show you how to make a wooden spoon out of green applewood. Using only my handmade viking tools.

Step 1: All my tools

Picture of All my tools
This is an overview of all my tools.

Step 2: the tools I use.

Picture of the tools I use.

This is the tools you need to make a spoon. My tools are hand forged reconstructions of viking tools.

You need:
Axe: any small hand axe will do fine. It just needs to be sharp. A good hand axe weighs around 500-600g
hammer: you need a heavy hammer. If it is to small it will not have enough force to split the wood.
wedge: A heavy iron wedge made for splitting firewood will work fine. Alternatively use a old axe and hammer it through the log. Don’t use you good axe for that. You ruin the axe that way.
Knife: a small sharp knife will do.
Spoon knife: You need a spoonknife, in my book there are no alternatives. You will probably not find it in you local hardwarestore, but you can buy it online. The best are handforged made by S. Djärv but you can also go after the cheap ones made by Frost Sweden.

Step 3: The wood

Picture of The wood

You need a log of wood. It needs to be 10-15 cm longer than the spoon you want to make. It needs to be newly cut. The wood you don’t use right away you can leave it some high grass. Then it will be wet and workable for 2-4 weeks.

All wood can be used, but fruit tree are best. For this spoon I’m using applewood. That’s a very good wood for spoonmaking. It’s hard and very durable in use. And it looks nice with the all white grains.

Step 4: Splitting the log

Now you need the hammer and wedge. Split the log into 4 triangular pieces.

Step 5: cut the rougt shape of the spoon with the axe.

I use a piece of charcoal to draw the shape of the spoon. I cut the rough shape of the spoon as close to the drawing as possible. That way I have less work to do with the knife. When I work in greenwood I have to work fast so the wood don’t dry and crack. If I need to leave the wood or I want to finish it later, I can place it in a bucket of water or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Step 6: Using knifes to finish the shaping.

With a knife I finish shaping the outside of the spoon. When it is smooth I make the bowl with a spoon knife. The last thing I make is the carving at the end of the handle.

Step 7: Sanding

The spoon needs to be all dry before I start sanding it. It takes 3-5 days depending on the weather.
I start with sandpaper grain 100, then 180, 240 and 400. If I’m doing it the real viking way I’m only using the special kind of horsetail called “Skavgraes”
Sand outside or wear dust mask, or both.

Step 8: oil and wax

Picture of oil and wax
This is another spoon. Polished with beeswax.
I use linseed oil. Put on a thick layer, let it sit for a few hours then remove the remaining with towel paper. Let it dry to the next day, and then you can ad wax. I only use wax when I’m making spoons for sale on vikings markets. The wax protects the spoon from dirty fingers but will be washed of when you wash it the first time.