Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 5, Issue 2
   November 2010
   Customer Letters

Dear Lee Valley,

Spurtle with ballet slipper
  A spurtle (a traditional Scottish stir stick that dates from the 16th century) with a carved ballet slipper
I made these spurtles from scratch using Lee Valley maple baseball bat blanks, of course. For the tops, I turned them to the revolved outlines of both the ballet shoe and the spoon. I sketched the outline of each item and trimmed that to the rough dimensions using the bandsaw. Next, I used chisels, a carving knife and a sanding drum on the Dremel® to do more detailed shaping. I did some sanding by hand at the end and applied a few coats of Circa
1850 Terra Nova NaturOil.

There's really no point in me turning spurtles when I can buy them from Lee Valley, but by adding a custom-carved top (one for a ballerina and one for a cook), they become much nicer presents. Maybe you should consider modifying the spurtles you sell so that they come with an extended top. That way, people can carve whatever is appropriate for the occasion.

Handmade presents are always much better than anything bought.

Maarten Meerman
Surrey, British Columbia

Spurtle with spoon   Close-up of spoon
A spurtle with a carved spoon   A close-up of the carved spoon
   Other Articles from this Issue
  • Mission Style Bookcase
  • Shop-Built Saw Vise
  • Protecting Our Architectural Heritage
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