The Honey Dipper is a very simple piece of spindle work, allowing the beginner to gain some confidence with the tools. A variety of tools may be used for the turning, although it is a good project to tackle with mainly the feared skew!! Since the stem of the honeydipper is quite thin, very light pressure will be required, which helps with technique. Since the piece is quite small, a heavy catch will break it, not you!!
Any suitable hardwood may be used. The wood should preferably be relatively dense, since it makes the turning a bit simpler, and it also allows less penetration of the honey. I normally start out with a piece measuring more or less 180mm x 25mm x 25mm.
The following tools will be required:
|Mount the blank between centres with the minimum possible pressure from the tailstock. This will ensure that the piece does not bend once it becomes thinner. I prefer using a ring-drive in the headstock to a normal drive centre, as it will allow the work to stop when you get a catch. Round the blank with a roughing gouge, trying to get as clean a finish on it as possible. This serves no other purpose than to refine your technique, as all the bits will be turned down further, but good practice anyway!|
|Starting at the tailstock end, mark out the main measurements for the final shape. I would normally make the head of the honeydipper about 40mm wide, with 110mm for the handle, giving an overall length of 150mm. Next block out the head of the honeydipper either with the skew or the spindle gouge.|
|Using the skew, clean up the head of the honeydipper. It should have a gentle curve from the centre to the ends. Be careful to make these cuts cleanly, as this will be the final surface of the head.|
|The next step is to cut the grooves that will trap the honey. This may be done with a parting tool, making straight cuts into the head. I chose to rather create V-grooves with the skew. Starting from the centre, use the long point of the skew to cut a series of evenly spaced grooves. These will be the bottoms of the Vees. Now use the short point of the skew to alternately cut in from the right and left to deepen the grooves. Be sure to keep the sides clean, and attempt to leave a very small section of the head between each of the grooves, and keep the depth of the grooves consistent. Make sure the bottom of each of the Vees is cleanly cut.|
|Start shaping the handle from the head end. A small vee at the head end helps to define cleanly the split between the head and handle. Profile the remainder of the handle. Sand the honeydipper, starting (depending on your finish off the tool) with 220 and 320 grit paper.|
|Apply a food-safe finish. I prefer using liquid paraffin, but any suitable oil finish will do. All that is left is to part off the ends and to clean them up by hand.|
|African Rosewood||Pink Beech||Others|