Soapberries are a treat that are whipped into a foam prior to eating, and a soapberry spoon can help. These long cylindrical handles are held in between your hands and spun. The long flat paddle like-end whisks the soapberry and water mixture into foam. Many soapberry spoons are carved and left plain, but others are carved with figures and motifs and used only during special gatherings. This workshop guides learners who want to create a soapberry spoon using hand tools and power tools. Download Project
Tools & Materials
- Yellow cedar 1” x 2” x 10”
- Kraft paper
- Tracing paper
- 100-grit & 200-grit sandpaper
- Scroll saw or bandsaw
- Straight knife
- Skew chisel
- Eye protection
- Ear protection
- Dust mask
- Safety boots
Make a template with the kraft paper. Draw a center line and then draw the shape of your want soapberry spoon on one side and cut it out.
Measure and draw a center line all the around the width and length of your piece of yellow cedar. Match your template’s the center line to the wood’s center line and trace the template.
Cut the shape of the soapberry spoon out with a scroll saw or band saw.
If you have not cut to the line with the band saw, you can carve down to the lines with a straight knife or skew.
Find the center of the thickness of your soapberry spoon. Draw a line all the around the side of the soapberry spoon.
Draw a curve from the top of the handle to the tip of the spoon and then trace it over to the opposite side of the spoon.
The soapberry spoon has a curve to it, length ways, from its handle to its tip. Draw a curve from the handle to the tip of the spoon. Using tracing paper, trace over one side to the other. At the thinnest mark, the spoon will be one-half the overall thickness, or 1”. Remove the material with a band saw, straight knife, or skew down to the pencil line that you have drawn. TIP: Looking at your spoon from the side, determine the location of the curve’s ‘bottom’ and mark it with your pencil. Working from the high point to the low point, use your knife or skew to carve down to the line.
Draw on the handle, which is about 1/2” thick. Use your finger as a guide and draw along the side of the handle part of the spoon. Draw on the thickness of your spoon blade, which is ½” thick. Use your finger as a guide and draw all the way around.
Remove the material with a straight knife or skew to the lines that you have drawn.
Your spoon is now taking shape. Carve the handle in. The handle measures ½” x ½”. Mark the center of the handle on all four sides, which is ¼”. Draw a circle on the handle’s end as a guide to round off the handle. Round each side of the handle by using a straight knife.
Sand the entire spoon with 100-grit paper. Using increasingly fine-grit sandpaper to continue sanding until you reach 200-grit.
You can paint a design onto your finished spoon or oil the completed project.