Weekend Projects – Kitchen utensil holder

Monday 9 July 2018

One of my first successful woodturning projects was a rolling pin that I still own; it is in surprisingly good condition after all these years. My next project was a kitchen utensil holder that didn't fare as well as the rolling pin. Back in those days I didn't have the tools or the techniques to do deep hollowing. Now just about every woodturner has some form of hollowing tools. Many times we woodturners overlook making items like this. Maybe we think they are easier to buy? Maybe they aren't challenging enough? However, every kitchen needs a tall, thin container to hold frequently used tools. As a woodturner you have no excuse as to why your kitchen doesn't have a wood utensil holder made by yourself. This is a project you can make in a very short time. Hopefully, this item will bring much usefulness and pride to your kitchen.

Tools used:

10mm bowl gouge

16mm bowl gouge

32mm spindle roughing gouge

Woodcut pro

12mm Kelton tool

16mm bowl gouge


For this project you need to start with a very dry piece of beautifully figured end grain wood, measuring about 190mm diameter and 160mm tall


Next, mount the piece between centres and true up using a 32mm spindle roughing gouge


Give it a rough shape – determine the container's orientation by looking at the figure. You wouldn't want the best figure on the bottom of the piece. The piece will have tools in it so no-one will ever see it. The best figure needs to be on display


Put the tenon on what is to be the bottom of the piece. This will be turned away


Reverse the piece and put it into the chuck. The figure makes this piece hard to cut cleanly. I suggest sticking with the spindle roughing gouge for this particular step; the reason being that it usually gives the best cut on highly figured end grain stock. Once you have the desired shape, cut a recess with the spindle gouge to accept a drill bit to remove the centre of the piece


Next, use a 10mm hand-held drill to bore a hole to the finished depth, about 12mm from where the tenon starts


It is best to work from the inside out, leaving the wall thickness hefty to make finish cuts with a better technique


Remove as much as you can with this tool – a little over half way is an ideal amount


Use a 12mm hollower to remove more bulk – I used a Kelton – being careful not to remove too much wood


Cut the wall cleanly with a 10mm bowl gouge. Working directly into the end grain cut three quarters of the way down leaving the wall thickness approximately 10mm. I finished the last quarter of the container with a Woodcut hollower. This cuts the end grain better than the Kelton hollower. Using the Kelton first is advisable as it is a better bulk remover and is easier to sharpen. You can now sand the entire piece to 400 grit


Make a jam chuck out of green wood to remove the tenon and design the base


You can now remove the tenon, supported by the tailstock


Next, sand the piece to 400 grit. Tap the back of the jam chuck to remove the finished piece. Finish the piece with heat-treated walnut oil


The finished utensil holder should look something like this