Wooden Spoon/Treen

Unfinished Spoons

Engineering was a terrifying idea.

When I first walked into the doors and saw all of the tools and the wood and the finished projects of the seniors, in the back of my mind I was greatly intimidated. How in the world am I going to pull this off? I know nothing about building anything!

The first project we are working on this year is spoons. Building houses and walls out of wood makes sense! It’s just putting pre-cut wood together with nails, right? (No.) But spoons!? Tiny, delicate, detailed spoons? Ms. Oropallo showed us an example of one of the pervious student’s spoon, and it was gorgeous. I thought she must have had a gift of some sort—a woodworking miracle talent.

I started getting reassured however when we started working with the tools hands-on. There were little stations set up, and Ms. Oropallo carefully explained each tool: how to use them, what not to do, and how to not cut our fingers off. The first tool I used was the coping saw. I drew a curvy line on the piece of scrap wood, secured it, remembered the instructions, and sure enough, I was cutting right along the line. I went to other stations, practiced some more tools, got the hang of each one and thought, “This isn’t so bad.” I even went back to the first saw and cut a heart out of one of the wood pieces.

Now it was time to design our spoons. First, we sketched out two different designs, and chose our favorite. Our final drawing had to be to scale with the size of our future spoon creation. Using strictly rulers and stencils, no free-hand drawing, Ms. Oropallo glued our perfectly measured two-dimensional illustrations to the top and side of our gorgeous block of European Beachwood (which we had cut ourselves, of course).

The anticipation was over–It was time to chisel.

Ms. Oropallo had demonstrated the chiseling technique, and we were now able to put our new learned skills to work. It works by securing the wood to the table, lining the chisel up against the outer rim of the soon-to-be bowl, and pounding the end of the tool with a mallet or hammer.  Chiseling the bowl of the spoon was much easier than I expected; except for the few times that I missed the end of the chisel and hammered my finger.  When the desired depth was achieved, I took a magical electric buffering device and smoothed out the crescent until the wood was ripple-less, fluent, flowing, and polished to perfection.

At school next week, I will explore the tools in more depth as I start shaping the spoon handle. So far, so good.

By Ana Paula and Julietta



I like Irish clog dancing and heavy metal. Hesler DeLeon is bae.

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23 Responses

  1. monicaz says:

    great blog! You guys described the experince perfectly well. it was alittle indimidating at first

  2. mias says:

    I love how you included your personal fears of the class. Very well written. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  3. brendav says:

    We were all intimidated at first, but now were (semi)masters at it

  4. nicm says:

    Very well written! I like your anticipation for the chiseling

  5. emilyi emilyi says:

    Nice photo and wonderful blog post! I was also intimidated when we first started making the spoons, but now I love how everyone’s turned out.

  6. jonathanw says:

    You should post a picture of the spoon when you finish!!

  7. angelicap angelicap says:

    I was intimidated the first time I walked into the class too.

  8. Patrick Shami Patrick Shami says:

    fantasticly written

  9. Miguel F. miguelf says:

    great job describing everything

  10. khanht khanht says:

    You guys did a nice job describing what we’re doing as a class.

  11. taylors taylors says:

    This describes the beginning of the spoon project well. We were all like how are we going to make spoons.

  12. anapaulav anapaulav says:

    wow Julietta and Ana Paula did a wonderful job! the description is on point and totally relatable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. heslerd says:

    Great job describing on what we are doing on a daily.

  14. avaa says:

    Totally relatable and honest!!! Wonderful blog!

  15. selenak says:

    I know, when I saw the spoon example from last year I was like “UH how the heck will I be able to do that?!” but now i’m over half way done with my spoon and all is good!

  16. dahlyah says:

    Chiseling was probably my favorite part, it’s a lot of fun!!

  17. monicaz says:

    Good job guys! The spoon project has definitely taught time a lot

  18. angeliquea says:

    Ah same dude, I though it’d require So many prerequisite skills but nah, even us MSEL noobs are able to make spectacular spoons

  19. angelicap angelicap says:

    I thought it was really funny when you said, “magical electric buffering device.” I’m also enjoying the spoon project and am almost done. It’s been awesome.

  20. amberl says:

    Great job describing the spoon project and all the tools

  21. inesg inesg says:

    really good job describing the average daily class. really well written and i definitely could relate to all those struggles!

  22. audreyb says:

    Great job describing the tools and the class.
    Also I hate to be that person, but it’s beechwood, with two e’s.

  23. meronee says:

    Loved it. Great job Ana Paula and Julietta !!!

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