Since time immemorial the cranberry pickers have raked the berries from the vines in the cranberry bogs with wooden scoops. These same scoops are still being used for their original purpose today. On top of this, we have found a new use for them-to hold magazines and bring a breath of salt spray and authentic early American atmosphere into our living rooms.
Pine is really the only wood that should be considered for this
piece. All of the original scoops were made of pine. No other
wood will do as well for our purpose. If there are some
sound knots in it, so much the better. The back, sides, front and
bottom are all 1/2″ thick; the handle is 3/4″. The back member
will probably have to be glued up from two pieces. Make sure
the grain runs vertically to be parallel to the teeth of the rake.
As shown on the drawing, the back member, will have to be
laid out and cut to produce 18 tines. It should be noted on the
drawing that the slots which produce the tines are wider at the
top than at the bottom. After each slot has been laid out, the
upper end of each tine should be shaped as shown. Cutting of
the slots and shaping of the tines can be done on the jig saw.
After this portion of the work has been completed, the outer
face of the back member should be tapered as shown in the end
view of the drawing. This tapering is started at the bottom of
the tines and extended to the end of the, tines, at which point
the thickness of the stock should be reduced to 3/4″. If the craftsman wishes to produce an authentic effect, each tine should be made cylindrical in shape. This will require extensive hand work with a chisel and sandpaper.
Stock for the side members is cut to the dimensions given in
the drawing. The side members will require the laying out of a
full-size pattern, which may be traced or glued to one of the
side members. Since both side members are identical, they may
be cut on the jig saw in one operation by securing both together
temporarily with 3/4″ brads. The jigsawed surface of each side
member should be finished smooth with a file and sandpaper.
The stock for the front member should be cut to the dimen·
sions given in the drawing, then the upper edge shaped as
shown. This shaping may be done on the jig saw or by hand
with a spokeshave.
The handle will require the preparation of a full-size pattern.
The pattern is traced on the stock, then the wood cut to shape
on the jig saw. The handle may be finished on a drum sander
if one of suitable size is available. If a sanding drum of such a
small diameter is not available, the finishing of the sawn surfaces may be accomplished with the aid of a file and sandpaper.
The final piece that must be prepared is the bottom member
and this is cut to the dimensions given in the drawing.
Before assembling, it is important to check each member to
make certain that it has been properly sandpapered. All tool
marks can be removed from the surfaces of the wood with a coarse sandpaper such as No. 1 1/2. The sandpaper marks left by such a coarse abrasive must now be removed with a finer abrasive. This w0rk can be done with No. 0 sandpaper.
The first step in assembling the work is to secure the handle
to the front member with 1 1/4″ No.7 flathead screws. To provide for the screws, bore two holes 5/32″ in diameter through the front member, then countersink these holes on the inner face. The side members are secured to the back piece with nails 1 1/2″ long. The nails can be made very decorative if the heads are worked over with a hammer to give an antique effect. This same effect may be obtained by filing the head of each nail to a rectangular shape, which will give it the appearance of a handwrought iron nail such as was used on all early American pieces. To avoid the bright new shiny look, heat the nailheads to a red heat and quench in oil.
The bottom member is secured to the back and side members
in the same manner. The front member with its handle attached
by means of two flathead wood screws as shown in the side view
can now be fastened to the bottom and side members.
Soften all the edges and round off all those parts which would have become worn with use. Now stain the scoop a warm
reddish brown tone and finish with three coats of thinned shellac, rubbed down between coats. A couple of coats of paste wax well rubbed will provide a long-lasting protective surface.