Friday, February 22, 2013

Turned Ice Cream Scoop and Pie Server

When you were a kid if you didn't scream for ice cream it was because you were lactose intolerant.  And even then you were screaming for a whole different reason: for the other dessert option.  As we got older, ice cream became the mustard of the dessert world; an excellent topping that goes with everything and if you ask for it, you got it.  Next to flambe, a la mode is the best French you'll ever see on a menu
Order a la mode flambe immediately
The only downside of ice cream has to be how hard it can be coming directly from the tub.  There are about 50 million tutorials on how to serve ice cream as Pinterest would share with you, and they all come down to if you scoop, you need something industrial strength.  An ice cream scoop is the best way to deliver ice cream to the bowl/plate/your mouth without having to try to simultaneously support the spoon with which you're attempting to scoop the rock solid rocky road.
Chips do not have the structural integrity needed

A nice, good quality scoop will last you years, and look really nice in a kitchen as a display piece or when having a grown up dinner party.  Since most of these finer pieces look good in a set but never actually come in a set, it's really nice to be able to make your own.  At that point, you'll have the bonus condition of matching them to your kitchen.  Which, in some cases, is well worth it on it's own.
Desk Organizer
I'd try to make a joke about how bad it looks, but organized anything looks so right
I decided to turn two of these dessert utensils on my own in an attempt to practice different types of cuts as well as satisfy a sweet tooth.  Also, who can deny the fun of having wooden pieces in their kitchen, or ignore the chance to build up the emergency gift stash?  This will go along great with the Pizza Boss cutter.  Now you've got your work cut out for you.

Only part of the set you can purchase.

When I decided to start turning an ice cream scoop and pie server, I didn't realize it'd be so hard to find a pie server kit.  If you'd like one, head on over to Chefware Kits & you can find a ton of specialty pieces to fit all your wood turning needs.  After digging a bit it was the only place that carried them.  I also got a fish spatula thing because I had never seen one before and figured, what the heck, I cook fish all the time, this thing is awesome!  Otherwise, your local Woodcraft or other wood shop should fit the bill.  So you can now have your dinner and your dessert utensils match.  Good deal.

Ice Cream scoop kit
Pie server kit
2 pieces of stock 1.5"x1.5"x6" (I used Kingswood)
Food Safe Wax
Epoxy or strong glue

When doing any type of turning for pieces that will be or what not, you'll want to drill the hole first.  This is because when you start with the stock already cut, you already have a good idea where the center should be.  Granted cutting the hole is going to make it difficult to mount, but the hole will be centered so you should be good to go.  One of the easiest ways to find center on a piece of stock you know is square is to make an X on each end; the cross is the center.

Sidebar: one thing I find useful before turning all the main piece where you can't exactly put wood back after you've shaved it away, is to create a rough practice piece.  This piece is for you to figure out the shape you generally want and to get the cuts down that you're going to have to make on the real deal.  There are no take backseys in wood turning.  Also, ergonomics of a scoop can be taken into consideration here as you're making it your own!  Fit your own hand!  I found that you're going to want something to grip at the top, have it expand a bit into the main part of your fingers and contour down into the palm of your hand.

A bit like this
After you find what fits you best, you want to turn the actual piece.  Follow the included directions for the size and depth of hole to drill.  Mount the piece between centers and start cutting the top part for the ferrule.  You'll not to only measure the proper depth for a good fit,but a good size to account for whatever hardware also nestles down in there.  If this is the case, mark the difference in distance with a bit of tape and use that to compare to your piece on the lathe.

Check your piece often while turning it to make sure that you'll be able to hold it comfortably.  Here you can more clearly see the shape I was describing before.  Note the bottom is unfinished.

Action shot!

After you turn the top, you can spend your time customizing the bottom.  Just make sure you're satisfied before moving on.
Some examples of ends.  Bottoms up!

After you turn in, take sand paper to this sucker.  We're going to go with various grits up to 400 grit, no more than 100 at a time.  This will finish off the piece and provide a comfortable, smooth surface that is the hallmark of a finished piece.  Also it will feel better in your hands as you're digging into your pint of Cookies and Cream.  After sanding apply the wax and take off the lathe!

It's shiny!
 One of the really cool properties of Kingswood is not only it's unique smell while turning which transports you to a tropical paradise, is it's gorgeous grain that becomes highlighted when coated in wax.  Highly recommend using it.

And adding beads and coves highlights it to no end
 After finishing the turning, glue on the ferrules.  Let dry over night/as long as the glue says to.  You don't want these coming off as they protect the wood and add support to the head where all the stress takes place.

 After ferrules, assemble the rest of the hardware and also dry.  The ice cream scoop had to be screwed into the wood which took a lot of effort.  If it's too hard, take a bit of a sander and make the hole slightly bigger.  Not too much as you actually want the wood to be offering support for the scoop as well as the glue.

An actual workout
Now, go round up some ice cream and apple pie and enjoy your food in style!  Especially after you got the scoop assembled, you've earned it.


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