Why have we seen such a run on ice cream scoops over the past few months? Could it be that our fine summer weather has inspired more consumption of ice cream? Whatever the reason, Ted has been putting in extra shop hours to keep up with demand at Ptarmigan Arts Gallery and Diamond Ridge Art Studio, both located in Homer, Alaska.
The process starts with selecting the contrasting woods and veneers that will make up the handles.
The pieces are run through the drum sander to dimension the pieces to the proper thickness.
After cutting each to size, Ted then lays the wood pieces in the correct order for assembling them into a turning block.
Polyurethane glue, like Gorilla Glue, produces a nice tight bond. After clamping the glued layers together, Ted lets the block dry for about 4 hours.
The next step is to run the handle block against the belt sander to remove any excess glue and surface inconsistencies.
Ted marks the exact center of the block, then drills a 3/8” hole to accommodate the shaft of the metal scoop.
Before Ted shapes the handle, he turns a tenon the proper size to fit the scoop’s metal ferrule, which is like a collar securing the scoop to the handle.
After the handle is turned to the desired shape, Ted sands it smooth starting with 150 and finishing with 600 grit sandpaper.
Next comes the finishing. To produce a glossy and durable finish that will stand up to a lifetime of use, Ted applies multiple coats of a wipe-on clear gloss polyurethane. He usually applies 8 to 10 coats, over approximately the same number of days. Each coat has to dry before it can be wet-sanded, and then it has to dry again before the next coat of finish can be applied.
Now that you’ve seen the process, step by step, take a look at the completed handle.
The number of wood combinations that can be used to create the handles is almost limitless, which explains why Ted rarely if ever makes any two scoops that are alike. This collection of finished scoops showcases the use of figured maple, SpectraPly and Stratabond (hardwood products made of multiple layers of pigmented birch veneer), dyed veneer, maple veneer, hard maple, soft maple, and birdseye maple.