My inspiration for this pair of wooden utensils is that for many parts of the world, spring and summer are the time of year that is popular for couples to join together in marriage and similar civil ceremonies. These events are joyful time for families and friends to come together to celebrate the event and share conversations and food. In many cultures the cutting and sharing of a desert, like a wedding cake is the representation of the joining together of family and friends.
I have watched many brides and grooms cutting cakes with family heirloom swords and knives, but not every family have items like this ... so why not make something that could become future family heirloom ... a knive and matching cake lifter. But these are far from limited to weddings, they could be used for birthdays, anniversaries or any special event where family and friends might gather together.
I have never made these before but looked forward to the experience. I wanted these items be more that just cutting up some nice wood and to make them appear different, I elected to glue together different colored strips to form something of a pattern.
I did give thought to the fact that one of the items would be knife and therefore the strip of accent wood should be little bit closer to the top of the knife so it could also run through the handle to help give the instrument more strength, but also a better look, and along the way, even a better visual balance. The cake lifter item would be best to have the accent wood running right through the middle of the hand piece this way, both items will look matched as the accent wood will run through the handles..
In making these items I decided that before I start cutting into the wood, it would be best to at least try to work from some sort of a cardboard template. At least that way I would have some control of what the pieces looked like ahead of time. If I didn't like the cardboard template, it would be much easier to replace than making a whole new laminated wood piece.
After a couple of tries, I had a knife design that I like that I thought would work well and I would even be able to use it as a template for cake lifter version too. Initially I was concerned that the knife handle would be too narrow, but once I got into the shaping, I could see that my wood blanks were suitably thick enough to give a good grip and still be able to be worked down to a finer point for cutting and lifting.
The easy part was cutting out the rough forms, the harder part was taking time to sand the rough forms down to nice looking and workable culinary tools. I found that my oscillating belt sander worked very well and by changing grits, I could do the rough and fine sanding by adjusting the sandpaper as needed. I finally finished up with some hand sanding then gave a final top coat with Osmo and after the Osmo was dry, another couple of final finishes with bees wax to help to ensure food would be less likely to stick to the items.
I was very pleased with the way these finished items turned out, I think that anyone who tackles this, and takes their time will have good luck in turning out their version of a celebration wooden knife and matching cake lifter ...
Copyright Colin Knecht