I happened upon a website called aroundthewoods.com that showed how to make a kitchen spatula on the lathe. I thought it looked interesting and decided to give it a try. For wood, I decided to use some Magnolia that I had sitting in the firewood pile. I brought a wedge of wood in and ran it through the band saw a couple of times to turn it into a block. Next, I made a couple of templates out of card stock and traced them onto the wood. Below you can see the piece I started out with.
Before I can get to the lathe, I need to make a couple passes through the band saw. The first pass cuts out the spatula as viewed from the top. For the next pass, the spatula is flipped on its side to remove material from on top and under the blade (the flat part). Now its off to the lathe.
I put the blade end into the small jaws on my chuck and held the other end with my tail stock. Unfortunately, the only tail stock I have is a cup style so I’m not able to easily put a rounded end on the handle. I might have to pick up a cone style tail stock soon. I roughed the handle out with a roughing gouge and then cleaned the surface up with the skew chisel. I’m really liking the skew. The surface it leaves is great which means less sanding. I then put a few grooves in it to add some detail.
At this point the lathe portion of the project is over and it is time for sanding. I used a combination of belt sander, random orbit sander, and hand sanding to get the spatula smoothed out. Here’s a picture of it after the belt sander.
After some random orbit and hand sanding to 320 grit here’s the final shape.
Now all that is left is to dab on some mineral oil. I also made another, smaller, spatula out of some Soft Maple I had laying around. The larger one has a 3″ wide blade and the smaller one has a 1.5″ blade. While the Magnolia one looks more interesting I prefer the Maple one. But I could be biased because Maple is one of my favorite woods.
Overall, this is a fun project that is finished relatively quickly. Most of it isn’t done on the lathe but I think it still counts as a turned project. Give it a try!