My fiance’s father is a huge food guy (as am I) and is building a brick pizza oven up at their camp. The perfect gift, I thought? An obnoxiously-massive pizza peel. Thoughtful, handmade, and super practical, a pizza peel is the perfect gift to complement his new pizza oven while ensuring I get to eat delicious homemade pizzas for years to come -- the gift that keeps on giving. Check out how I crafting this insane DIY pizza peel right here, right now.
Angle Grinder - https://amzn.to/2XybDB2
Arbortech Turbo Plane - https://amzn.to/2K2iIGK
Spoke Shave - https://amzn.to/2WTRHLT
Start by sketching a rough outline of the DIY Pizza Peel you’d like to design. I created my rough outline a piece of scrap wood, defining the exact dimensions after I sketched the shape I wanted. I then went to my lumber rack and picked out the lumber I needed, choosing a really solid maple handle from my rack for a sturdy and beautiful finish.
Cut your wood down to size on the table saw and with the miter saw. You’d be doing a lot of sanding on the handle, so it’s a good idea to get this cut down to a size that doesn’t make your job in the future too hard but also leaves some wiggle rooms to get the shape you want.
Next, make sure the wood for the head of the pizza peel is all the same thickness. I did this with my Jet Helical Head Planer, bringing all the head pieces down to a relative thickness.
On the handle, you want to make a flat cut about halfway through the thickness of the wood with a hand saw. This will give you a place to put the head of the peel for a smooth, flat finish on top. From here, clamps and wood glue to put the head pieces and the handle together. Allow that to dry fully -- which should take about 24 hours.
Now it’s time to start smoothing over the head of the DIY pizza peel with a bench plane. This will finish up the job of making sure all the wood is the same size and prepare the head of the peel for the next steps. From here, you’ll want to mark and measure the slope of the handle onto the peel.
Next, I used the Dewalt DCG413B Brushless Grinder , with the Arbortech Turbo Plane to create perfectly-smooth curves from the handle to the head. Carefully carving out to a gentle slope, the turbo plane was actually super fast and easy to use. Also a total blast!
Alt text: John malecki sketches the curves on a DIY pizza peel
I traced the curves around the edges of the head using my French Curve -- or as I like to call, my Freedom Curve (bald eagle flies over my workshop through a sea of red, white, and blue fireworks). I cut along these curves with my Festool Cordless CARVEX Jig Saw. Since the peel is so large, this jigsaw is perfect for projects like this where I need power and handheld convenience.
Next, I ripped out the Dewalt DCG413B Brushless Grinder with the Arbortech Turbo plane. After placing straight lines down the middle of the handle on each side, I used the Dewalt Brushless grinder to begin shaping the handle into a rounded, ergonomic shape. The lines acted as my guide for getting an even rounded shape that would minimize the sanding and filing work that remained once I got the shape down. After my shaping with the Dewalt Brushless Grinder was done, I used a rasp and my spokeshave to help dimension the stock and to finish the rounding.
Next you’ll want to finish shaping the end of the handle.
Sand all your edges with the Festool Rotex Sander. For the concave and convex curves of the peel, use a spindle sander to shape directly to the lines you drew with your Freedom Curve (Yankee Doodle hands me a hotdog, a beer, and high-fives me, and walks away). These should give you a nice, smooth finish that requires minimal sanding by hand afterward.
Use the same Festool Rotex Sander and a wood file to flatten the end of the pizza peels so that the pizza can easily slide on and off. FInish off the DIY Pizza Peel by taking the Festool Sander across the entire head and handle, smoothing for a splinter-free finish.
Once sanded, rub the whole thing down with Butcher Block Finish to protect the wood. Add this finish every month or so to maintain the highest quality product possible. For best results, it can’t help to try out the DIY pizza peel yourself by crafting up a pizza yourself. This is optional, yet highly recommended.
So there you have it -- a massive 6-foot DIY pizza peel. My future father-in-law loved this peel and the whole family can’t wait to taste the brick-oven pizzas we’ll be firing up this summer. For more builds like this, check out my latest shop builds.
All ideas are my own. For more information, check out my disclosure page.
Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.