Bird's Eye Maple spoons

Hi,
I made a wooden spoon for my wife from some scrap cherry and everybody wants one. That's fine, and they ship better than nightstands so it's great for the relatives a thousand miles away. The cherry spoons look great so I started experimenting.
Got some beautiful BE maple from craigslist. My wife got one of the first birdseye maple spoons and that's my question.
I finish them all with walnut oil because it dries hard and I'd prefer not to use mineral oil. With the cherry, that's fine. They keep that nice rich finish no matter how much they get used.
But the maple, no. Just use it once and it gets that washed out whiteish look, as though it was never finished. I've re-oiled it twice. The first time, I warmed the spoon and the oil to about 150 degrees in the oven.
But one use still makes the birdseye look washed out. It's a great display spoon and it works fine as a tool if you don't mind that it's not nearly as pretty any more. :-)
Is this something that happens to birdsey maple spoons or have I just gotten an odd sample of it? I'm going to experiment with mineral oil just to see what happens, but several family members have said they would prefer unfinished over mineral oil. So far everyone likes the walnut oil finish. I'm thinking of mixing beeswax in with the walnut.
No problem finding other things to do with the wood. I'm just surprised there's so much difference in behavior between the cherry and the maple. To me, it seems more difference than I'd expect just because the cherry's darker.
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Years ago we made several dozen rolling pins and used Wesson Cooking Oil for finishing. They have held up well with no "damage" or whatever from usual hand washing along with other dishes. We have not used a dishwasher that I recall.
We kept a few of them and gave the rest of the rolling pins away to relatives and for wedding presents.
Bob AZ
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I made a lot of spoons and turners for a while and tried all manner of wood and finishes. I made them to use, only one to show, and I came to this conclusion:
If you are going to use them, they become tools. They will never be presentation pieces again. I had some beautiful white oak that was so close grained it didn't look real that I used to make turners and a couple of spoons. Over the last few years they have turned gray like I had left them outside.
The maple looks like it has been in restaurant use as it is really discolored, scorched, and stained. I can sand it lightly, and oil it again, but it doesn't do anything to preserve the appearance once it is back in the kitchen.
I have tried all manner of woods, and oddly, the only one that has held up extremely well as far as appearance goes is walnut. (I know it is poisonous, but I am not eating the utensils). I have one last cookie/cake batter turner left of some really tight grained walnut (exact type unknown) and it looks great with a simple mineral oil finish.
I was so disappointed in the appearance of the kitchenware after a just a year of use I haven't made any since.
Robert
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Just curious, what wood do they use to make the elcheapo wooden spoons.
They may be cheap, but they don't discolor.
Lew
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The best of them are made from solid beech. It seems to be perfect for utensils. It handles heat well without scorching, doesn't discolor much (if at all), and wears extremely well.
It is straight grained and has no open pores, so it really doesn't require much care or finish other than to clean it well after using and letting it dry thoroughly.
It took me 3 - 4 hours to make a nice wooden spoon out of maple, oak or cherry. Handmade, wooden spoons can be pricey, but not mine. I don't make art out of my utensils, so they really aren't anything special.
I can buy a better wooden spoon than I can make out of solid kiln dried beech for about $4 - $5. They are available everywhere from the mall to Amazon.
No more spoon/spatula/utensil making for me.
Robert
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Robert
So where does one get some "solid beech"? I would think some 2X beech stock would be in order.
Bob AZ
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Beech doesn't yield its water readily when being kiln dried so it is uncommon to find it thicker than 4/4.
--
FF

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Fred the Red Shirt wrote:

Not _too_ hard to find.. :) http://www.advantagelumber.com/domestic.htm
Beech dries fairly readily, actually, but it is bad about checks, warps and is prone to discoloration during the process iirc...
--
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Check out dpb's post later on down. He has a link. A couple of minutes on the net yielded several sources.
Robert
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wrote:

Well then, now I'm surprised at how well the cherry's holding up. :-)
It's not a show quality finish any more, and it does look used. But it still looks great. Still got a "vibrant" sort of look to it. SWMBO loves it.
The maple, for reasons I'm not sure of any more, looks beat to death with just one plunge into boiling water and back out.
Strangest thing.
I don't know how the zebra wood spoon is doing. It went to my supervisor as a retirement present and I don't think she'll slow down enough to ask for a few years yet.
I guess I'll have to make another one for testing.
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Keep using them. They are a mainstay in my kitchen and are used frequently for all manner of things like pasta sauces, beans, stews, soups, etc., etc.
Make two of one kind. Set one aside, then compare the user and the untouched version after about 2 - 3 years. You won't believe the difference.
Robert
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