Boil ’em, mash ’em, put ’em in a stew!
Well, the pertinent method of preparation today is to mash them. In our kitchen was a contraption that was everything I dislike about kitchenware.
It doesn’t work very well because the cheap plastic flexes when you’re trying mash down on your boiled potatoes. The waffle-pattern face is hard to clean without adding any utility. And it’s made in China. But it was cheap! I decided something better was in order.
I took a piece of walnut and chucked it in the lathe. The billet for this project is 3″ x 3″ x 12″. After turning it down to a 3″ cylinder and cutting down a drive stub, I measured in from the ends and sized down to the diameters at a few points. The big end stays at 3″. The little stem is ¾”, and the two bits on the left are 1¼”.
After that, I started connecting those points fluidly. Watch where the main body takes a very quick turn into the handle because it’s easy to catch the side of the gouge. The finial on the end can be a ball or an “acorn” style. I prefer the latter because it keeps it from looking too chunky. The business end of the masher is not flat. Instead, it’s a shallow convex curve. This lets it get into the bottom of a bowl more easily.
Once it’s properly sanded and the drive stubs are cut away, add a coat of the mineral oil/beeswax blend and it’s ready for the kitchen.