Lilac teaspoon

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Project by Jeremymcon posted 09-18-2018 03:35 AM 1162 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I trimmed a lilac bush, and heard that the wood is good for spoons. I have found that to be the case – very fine grained, carves a bit like apple wood – sort of creamy/buttery when green but really tightens up after it dries.

This spoon actually had a gentle curve along its entire length, but I prefer straight teaspoons, so I microwaved it for 10 seconds, and was able to bend it straight!

Long handle makes this spoon handy for reaching the very bottom of the jelly jar while making a pb&j, and it’s also good for stirring drinks.

Knife finish only on this one – didn’t do any sanding or scraping so as to avoid that fuzzy raised grain.

6 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9371 posts in 1921 days

#1 posted 09-18-2018 12:35 PM

Good looking spoon, too. I’ll have to remember that next time it’s time to trim the lilac.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View socrbent's profile


1048 posts in 3608 days

#2 posted 09-18-2018 01:13 PM

The spoon does look good and very useful. Well done.

-- socrbent Ohio

View Andre's profile


5010 posts in 3145 days

#3 posted 09-18-2018 03:04 PM

Nice, I am attempting to carve some spoons. First time and they want them to be exactly 1 teaspoon for cooking purposes! Have been practising on some white birch with these hook knives I just picked up from Lee Valley.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Jeremymcon's profile


420 posts in 2019 days

#4 posted 09-18-2018 03:15 PM

I’ve never seen the Lee valley book knives. I have gone through several hooks until I finally found one I liked. The mora hook knives don’t work for me (I’ve heard that they maybe need reground? Too much work), I have a couple pacific northwest style hooks, which work great for roughing but I have trouble with finishing cuts with those knives. Its probably just my. Lack of skill though, as I’ve seen some very competent work being done with them.

My favorite by far is my Robin Wood open curve hook, which is what is pictured here. You have to order it from their website, and they ship from the UK, but the price is reasonable even with international shipping, and it works great!

Good luck with your teaspoon! I tried to make a coffee scoop once that had the same volume as a plastic scoop I own. I snuck up on the bowl size and tested it by filling the original scoop with water, then dumping it into my scoop.

View PCDub's profile


349 posts in 1583 days

#5 posted 09-19-2018 03:08 AM

Have you tried carving dried lilac? I have a bunch I’ve saved from trimming, but it’s definitely dry!

View Jeremymcon's profile


420 posts in 2019 days

#6 posted 09-19-2018 06:30 PM

Well, I do the final cuts when it’s dry. It’s very hard. Really tightens up. I’m sure you could do it, it you’d probably want to rough it out with a bandsaw, and if it’s a larger spoon you might want to carve the bowl with a gouge and a mallet instead of just a hook knife. Just use the hook for the finishing cuts if you’re doing a knife finish.

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