Sunday, August 14, 2011

Spoon Drilling Jig

I don’t have a good camera or camera crew for filming “How-To” videos and besides this idea hardly requires that level of sophistication.  So, I’m just going to show you a couple of photos and explain why you might want to make one of these Spoon Drilling Jigs.

I threw this one together some time ago in just a few minutes to help get some consistency in the mounting holes that I drill in Lovespoons.  I was using it last night and thought that others might find it useful. So I thought I would post it. 

Here goes…

Drilling a mounting hole in the back of a wooden spoon is hardly rocket science, but you do want to get it right.  If the hole is drilled at too “flat” an angle, the spoon will hang but can be easily brushed off.  Generally, it is considered bad form to have a nicely carved spoon slide off the wall and hit the floor so you want the hole to be angled upward slightly to ensure that gravity keeps the spoon seated on the nail. 

Prior to building this jig, I would just pull a wood scrap from the bin and prop up the bowl end of the spoon a bit and drill the hole.  But, if you are like me, you probably have already carved, sanded and finished your spoon before you even think about drilling the mounting hole.  Under these circumstances, holding the scrap block, adjusting the position and balancing the spoon and pulling the handle of the drill press and watching to make sure that you don’t “punch thru” can be just a bit nerve-rattling.

The jig is just a couple of pieces of scrap lumber about the typical length of the spoons you like to carve.  Cut a small spacer so that you establish a slope of about 10 degrees.  The “true craftsman” can take the time to miter and slope the spacer, I didn’t bother.

I recommend installing some sort of stop block at the bottom to keep the spoon from shifting while you are drilling.  You could make it straight across but I made my stop “V” shaped to help center the spoon as well. 

To use the jig, just place it on the drill press table and adjust the table so that when the drill is all the way down it stops about an 1/8” or so short of the jig.  This way you can go all the way to the stop and not punch through the front of the handle. Slap the spoon is place and you’ve got a nicely angled hole.

That’s it.  I keep it right next to the drill press.  I’ve used to a couple of dozen times so far and I’m glad I took the few minutes to built it.

By the way, I have been trying to remember to tell my customers that since Lovespoons are so light that a good healthy straight pin in the wall is plenty to hold them up.  You can easily push the pin into drywall and hang the spoon.  If you move or just decide to move the spoon, the tiny hole left behind seldom requires any patching.

One from the Bench:

God gave men two ends - one to sit on and one to think with.  Ever since then a man's success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most. - George R. Kirkpatrick
‘Til next time…Keep makin’ chips!

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