Spoon Mule

Weather here in Eastern KY has been quite cold, especially for my wife who is accustomed to a more tropical climate. So when she commented a desire to stay warm while carving the odd spoon by fireside I decided it was about time to make her a spoon mule.

A poplar with its top broken out from a bad ice storm had been begging to be made into something  and with a few chops of the axe it came down with a whoosh and a slide downhill. (for all those who noticed, yes it was hinged to fall uphill but went exactly the opposite…something to remember for future felling!)

The log was split with my froe and dogwood wedges then hewed mostly flat with the broad hatchet. Legs were split from opposite wides of the log and rough shaped and knocked into augured holes. Its important to make the leg tenon somewhat oval instead of round and keep the side grain loose so any pressure is against the end grain to avoid splitting the bench apart driving the legs in. I bored one he first, drove in the leg, then used that leg as a guide to bore the opposite leg at a similar angle. Ive found that three legs work best on uneven ground and are plenty stable enough. The upright was held in place with a wedged through tenon on the bottom and just driven into a rough chopped mortice on top to the head piece.

I chopped an hourglass shaped waist to better facilitate getting ones legs in between the “compression bars” that squeeze the cheese out of whatever spoon you happen to be carving. These bars are just let into oversized angled mortises and hanging on a bit of 10gauge wire I had on hand.

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6 Responses to Spoon Mule

  1. sally baumer says:

    such fine work! would you consider making a spoon mule for purchase?
    many thanks for your consideration!


  2. Martin says:

    I noticed that you use a separate mortise for each jaw. I have seen other designs that use a single, wider mortise that holds both jaws. Can you comment on any advantages/disadvantages of the two ways of doing it?



    • mrchickadee says:

      Hmmm, Ive only seen the one I made. I would surmise a single mortise would permit more freedom of movement, at the cost of a weaker “dumbhead” and you’ll need something to keep the jaws separate so they are not just closed all the time.


      • Martin says:

        Thanks for the insight. I was also thinking there might be an advantage of having the bridge of wood between the jaws as this would prevent the spoon from tending to slip down between them. Or maybe that could be used to advantage to present the spoon at a different angle for working.


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