Taters!

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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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