Five spatulas in five minutes

One of the summer school's traditions among the staff is that each day a  teacher contributes food and soft drinks to the teachers' lounge. If you ask me who are the best I will say, and many will agree with me, that they are two teachers with an Italian last name. When they get a chance to bring over sustenance it is always a culinary feast: Italian Cheeses, home made bread, fruits, pate,sweets and more. Many of the food items they bring are made in Italy while others are carefully selected specimens from Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. When my day of feeding my peers arrived, I decided to bring a simple collection of breads, cheeses, humus, scones, muffins and cherries. I got the bread and pastries from my local bakery in Sommerville, MA called "The Biscuit".  I then stopped by Trader Joe's and bought some various cheeses. TJ's makes a unique and tasty goat cheese these days – give it a shot, it is really nice.

After purchasing these lovely hand-made breads and delicious cheeses, the thought of serving them with plastic plates and plastic utensils seemed unfathomable.  Disposables are great for only one thing – time, of which I had very little before hungry teachers were set to descend upon the teachers' lounge.  So, I decided to quickly dress up three boards which I found in the scrap bin and accompany them with five serving spatulas that I would make in the fastest possible way. The only problem was that I needed at least five spatulas.  What I did was to outline the shape of the spatula plan view (drawing # 1) and cut it on the band-saw from a thick block of maple (drawing #2). Here again I used a piece of scrap wood from the wood bin. Next, I sliced the sculptured spatula block into 5 slices (drawing #3), dressed them up on the belt sander and there came to the world a set of quintuplet spatulas for cutting cheese and spreading humus.


American Woodworker Blog
Yoav Liberman

About Yoav Liberman

Yoav S. Liberman is a woodworker and a teacher. His pieces have been featured in several woodworking books, most recently in Robin Wood’s CORES Recycled. Yoav teaches woodworking at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, and also frequently guest teaches in craft schools across the country.  Between 2003 and 2011 Yoav  headed the woodworking program at Harvard University's Eliot House. Yoav’s articles have appeared in American Woodworker and Woodwork Magazine. He frequently contributes woodworking web content to a number of digital publications   Yoav has a degree in architecture and later held two competitive residency programs: at The Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, and the Windgate Foundation Fellowship at Purchase College, New York. He lives in Chestnut Ridge NY.