Wooden letter opener

letter opener

A neighbour brought around a section of an oak (?) tree that had been felled on his property some time ago. It was very dry and has been eaten by some critters, but regardless I split it up using a maul and wedge followed by a froe. Just for the fun of it.

The wood smells wonderful when freshly split. I took some of the pieces and tried to dimension them with a drawknife on the shave-horse. At this point I began thinking of things I could make of wood of this size. It was not wide enough for a spoon, but maybe I could make a letter opener out of it.

But who uses letter openers?

I was having too much fun to care. 15 minutes later I had a roughed out handle and made an asymmetrical pointy end. The surfaces were smoothed with a flat-bottomed spokeshave, and a convex spokeshave came in handy to contour the handle. I used a little sand paper to finish the surfaces. Four coats of tung oil over four evenings and it was done.

Maybe I’ll open some letters with it.


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