This was my first attempt at a coffee scoop, and the handle doesn’t balance the bowl visually, but the project required the improvisation of a set of plywood jaws, and that’s what’s interesting about it.
The first bit is straightforward enough: you make a little handle with a ball on the end. But then you’ve got to do two things: finish the end of the ball without losing the round shape, very hard to do by hand, and then hollow out the scoop at right-angles to the original axis.
To accomplish this, I made a set of plywood jaws with the help of my trusty pillar drill. Subsequently one broke, so I had to modify the design for the next ones, but the principle is there. The long holes through the length of the jaws allow the bolts to attach them to the mounting jaws. Lining them up with the smaller holes at the other end was fun, but it finally fitted.
Because there’s a hole right through the centre of the chuck, the handle can go into it, allowing the end of the ball to be finished off. I cushioned the ball with a rubber hose adapter that I happened to have in the oddments drawer. A charity bracelet is another option.
Then it was a case of cushioning the ball at right-angles to the spindle to hollow out the scoop. For this I did use a charity bracelet; I collect them, in different sizes, although most of them are the child’s size because that’s what fits my wrist.
It’s a strange feeling having the handle whizzing round, and you have to be careful not to bash your fingers on it. It does, however, provide a way to monitor its orientation. I did notice it move, and had to stop the lathe and set it perpendicular again. But it did the trick and I was able to hollow out the scoop quite effectively.
These jaws, and their successors (see future posts) are very good for finishing balls and eggs without marking them.