A while back we blogged about A new woodworking community call Show your Wood.  The site now has a woodworkers forum where you can have your say about anything wood related.  There’s even an area for trading wood and selling your tools.  If you’re into woodworking of any sort, it’s worth checking out.


This is a great 5 star video showing you how to turn a honey dipper.

Here’s a great gift idea for your Christmas turning.  This is everything you’ll need to turn a one of a kind ice cream scoop. Make it as fancy or as simple as you like 🙂

Brass Ice Cream Scoop Hardware Kit
Make your own deluxe dessert disher. Get creative with a custom-turned wooden handle, then attach this solid-brass scoop and ferrule for the perfect finishing touch. Instructions for turning a handle and assembling the ice cream scoop are included.

Brass Ice Cream Scoop Hardware Kit

Brass Ice Cream Scoop Hardware Kit

In addition to this kit you will need the following:

Wood: Approximately 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ x 6″ of a strong hardwood such as maple, cherry, walnut, oak, or yellow birch. Of the imported hardwoods bubinga, purpleheart, gongola alves and cocobolo make wonderful handles.

Ice Cream Scoop Wood Turning

Ice Cream Scoop Wood Turning

If you’d like to turn your handle out of highly figured big leaf maple, you can purchase the blanks directly from Christina at Vedder Mountain Hardwoods for $3.00 each by leaving a comment on this post.

Turning tools: Spindle roughing gouge, spindle/detail gouge, parting tool and optional skew chisel. A pair of outside calipers with rounded edges on the measuring points is helpful in fitting the ferrule.

Drill bit: 3/8″ brad point or regular twist bit.

Chucks: Depending on how you will hold and drill the piece (see below),you may need a scroll-type chuck for your headstock and a Jacobs-style chuck for your tailstock.

Glue and finish: The tang can be glued into the handle with epoxy or a thick type of CA (“super glue”). The finish could be with a drying type of oil such as pure tung oil or boiled linseed oil. An oil and varnish blend such as Rockler’s Nordic Oil also looks great. For a film type of finish (for extra protection against moisture and a higher sheen finish) try a wiping type polyurethane or a gel varnish.



1) Submitted by Phil, from Newman Lake, WA on 11/24/2008

Customer Rating: 
Initial order was for a dozen…handles turned from various exotic woods (Christmas gifts) will soon order more…good product.

2) Submitted by Steve, from Fort Wayne, IN on 11/20/2008

Customer Rating: 
First class all the way! These are solid and blemish-free, and the instructions were concise and easy to follow. I’ve already ordered more.

3) Submitted by Chuck Daggs, from Mesa, AZ on 11/11/2008

Customer Rating: 
Solid, defect free brass casting, with highly polished scoop and ring. Instructions useful and complete. Expect a lot of happy recipients this Christmas.

4) Submitted by Bill Nash, from Kingsport, TN on 11/10/2008

Customer Rating: 
I turned handles for the Brass Ice Cream Scoops. They turned out great and will make excellent Christmas gifts.

5) Submitted by N, from Springfield, VA on 9/21/2008

Customer Rating: 
Top quality and great instructions.

This is a gift that is destined to become an heirloom and will be loved by everyone! Enjoy 🙂

Spalted maple has to be one of the most beautiful woods available for both wood turners and luthiers.  It’s unique characteristics make each piece a treasure.    


Spalted Maple Guitar Top Bookmatched Set

Spalted Maple Guitar Top Bookmatched Set


What is spalted maple?

Spalted maple is created when the wood is infected by a variety of fungi.  Each unique fungus creates a different effect in the wood during the natural process of decay. If the wood is caught and processed at the right time, before it gets soft and punky, it can create a stunning mosaic of light and dark areas most often bordered by dark lines (inklines).  This provides a striking visual contrast.

Is spalted maple foodsafe?

After researching this topic in great length… this is what I found.  If the wood is kiln dried, the fungi will go dormant or die.  As long as you apply a durable foodsafe finish to your turning, the wood should be foodsafe. However, after having said that, I could not find any research with a solid conclusion either way.  I also could not find any reported illnesses from using spalted wood in this manner. The only cautions I could find regarding the use of spalted wood were workshop related. The dust from the spalted maple and the warm damp climate of your lungs make for an ideal breeding ground for the fungi to come back to life.  When you’re cutting any kind of spalted wood, please protect your lungs and use a respirator mask for your own health.

Here’s a list of some foodsafe finishes you may want to try:

Pure Tung Oil.  Tung oil comes from the nut of the china wood tree. Requires many coats and provides good water-resistance. 

Walnut Oil.  This oil is pressed from the nuts of the walnut tree and is sold as a salad oil in health food stores or grocery stores.  It’s easy to apply but requires frequent reapplication.

Mineral Oil.  This oil is available for sale as a laxative in drug stores and as a wood finish in hardware stores. It’s simple to apply but requires frequent reapplication and is not very water resistant.

Beeswax. This wax can be mixed with an oil like lavender to create a pleasant smelling finish. This smells great but is not very water resistant.

Carnauba Wax. This wax is from the Brazilian palm tree. It’s a harder wax than beeswax and a little more water resistant.

Shellac.  Harvested in India, shellac is a secretion from the lac bug. The most waterresistant variety is super blond shellac in flake form and can be found in most hardware stores and woodworking catalogs.

Raw Linseed Oil. This oil is pressed from flax seeds. It has a very long curing time and low water resistance. Linseed oil also requires frequent reapplication.


Spalted Maple Bookmatched Set

Spalted Maple Bookmatched Set


Quality spalted maple can be very expensive and is getting harder and harder to find.  Vedder Mountain Hardwoods has a good supply of both turning blocks in spalted curly maple and spalted maple guitar tops available. You can purchase direct through their website or from their eBay store.

This is part 3 of turning an Icicle Christmas Ornament. It covers turning the head of the ornament.



Biography – Kerry Deane-Cloutier and Dennis Cloutier

Running Dog Woodworking is Kerry Deane-Cloutier and Dennis Cloutier.  We have been woodturning together for six years.



Kerry Deane-Cloutier’s initial craft was quilting and fiber arts.  Her first venture into woodworking was in carving.  She studied under Chris Pye, a renowned wood carver from England.  From there she moved into wood turning and found her voice.



Dennis Cloutier has been woodworking since an early age.  He gradually progressed from simple cabinetry work to making fine furniture.  He now shares a joint passion for woodturning with Kerry.



We share a passion for wood and for simplicity of design.  We believe in the importance of form and line as vehicles to display the natural beauty of wood.  Finally, we believe that art should be part of everyday life, and that utilitarian objects should also be beautiful.

View more from Running Dog Woodworking Gallery  



Spalted Maple Burl Pen


Spalted Maple Burl Wood Pen Turning


This is my very first pen turning. The wood is Spalted Maple Burl …Big Leaf Maple 🙂 I used a black fancy slim line kit that we bought from woodturningz online. Sanded to 800 grit and finished with Crystal Coat friction polish. I love the contrast of the maple burl and the black kit.

This one is my favorite ….so far 🙂