Full Chisel Blog

December 6, 2012

Traditional Molinillo / Chocolate Pot Stirring Stick

I got an order from the Tinsmith over at Hot Dip Tin for a couple of chocolate pot stirring sticks or molinillos for his chocolate pots.  I looked at many designs mostly from Mexico but did see a few European style from which I took the pattern and created my own version.

While looking around for a piece of maple to make them from, I came across some maple balusters I have been packing around for several years and immediately saw that I could get a stick from each one.

Probably would have been easier to chuck it up and re-turn the top handle, but I chose to shape it with a drawknife, spokeshaves to get the rough shape.  I sawed off the ends and used chisels to carve the round bottom part, both a V chisel and flat chisel to form the reeds.  I used carving gouges to shape the fluted transition to the round handle.  I also used my tombstone scrapers for the final shaping.

I raised the grain and lightly sanded the finished stir stick and applied a coat of Hemp Seed Oil for the finish.  Yes hemp seed oil is a drying oil like linseed oil, walnut oil, and poppy seed oil.

Now to make the other one.


December 3, 2012

High School Wood Shop Project ca 1941-1944 – Restoration

A small restoration project came through a referral from a friend.  The table was built by the clients father in High School sometime between 1941 and 1944, it is built from birch, stained walnut, hide glue, iron screws and a shellac finish.

One of the tripod legs had come loose and one of the dowels broke, I first drilled out the broken dowel parts using a gimblet bit, a small carving gouge and a duck bill spoon bit.  The gimblet bit drills roughly down the center, then with the carving gouge remove most of the remaining wood, then using the spoon bit to clean out and prepare the hole for a new dowel.  The replacement dowel is also made of birch.

I will replace this label with one on acid free paper with all of the information.

I used a couple of hook scrapers I made from saw blade fragments from making cabinet scrapers.  I heated them up in order to get a sharp bend then heated and quenched to harden it again.  Sharpened to a 45 degree angle with no burr.

I also roughened the surfaces prior to re-gluing the leg and new dowel in place.  I used a knife to cross hatch score the glue surfaces.

I used hot hide glue, 1 teaspoon glue : 2 teaspoons distilled water in my small glue pot, turned on the heat and 10 minutes later glued the leg into place.  I held the leg against the post for about 5 minutes, then applied blue painters tape to hold in place.

I will treat it with Moses T’s Reviver tomorrow, after I wash off any glue residue.  The surface has some alligator texture, which I will leave as part of its history.  This table is not an antique but it is older than me.


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