Monday, June 13, 2011

"Svanhild," my crooked knife

A crooked knife is just the thing for carving spoons, bowls, kuksas, and anything which requires a depression or concave shape. Mine is a Mora #164 full curve carving knife which I ordered from Ragweed Forge. The handle is plain wood, stained only by the dirt and perspiration that comes with use.

I made the little blade protector seen here. Tired and slightly embarrassed by my improvised sheath of cardboard and duct tape, the crooked knife demanded a proper home. I whipped this guard up from some scrap basswood and two small lengths of dowel, drilling the holes with a cordless Dremel tool. The hinge dowel, located upper left, is lubricated with a few drops of melted beeswax. The name and swan design were applied with a woodburner.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Birthday Knife!

My friends and family got together this weekend to celebrate my birthday. We spent the day by the Erie Canal, grilled up some great food, and had an all-around terrific time. Among the many thoughtful gifts was this Case knife from my girlfriend Jennifer!

The knife is Case's humpback half whittler with stag scales and raindrop damascus blades. It's my first and only damascus knife. Despite it's good looks, this one will be no safe queen. I will use it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Maple spoon #2

This is the second spoon I've carved from the maple batch. I'm waiting for this one to slowly dry, then I might stain it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Maple spoon

Some friends gave me a pile of maple branches, and my "test" carving is this spoon. The wood is green, so carving was very easy.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Freya," my drawknife

Whittlin' is done mostly with one knife, but there are times when a more specialized tool is called for. A drawknife makes shaving larger pieces quicker and easier, such as shaping the outside of a large bowl, or debarking a limb for a walking stick project.

My drawknife, affectionately dubbed "Freya," due to her her good looks and Scandinavian origin, is made by Frost's Mora and purchased from Ragnar's Ragweed Forge. It's handles extend straight out from the blade on either side, unlike traditional drawknives who's handles are mounted almost at 90 degrees. I find the Frost's style very comfortable and natural to hold, especially for longer carving sessions. I grasp both handles and rest my thumbs on the flat of the blade, then slice away long curls of bark and wood with a pulling motion similar to using a rowing machine.

Since it came without a sheath, I made a blade guard from some basswood (with the bark still on it!) and used a woodburner to apply her name. The guard fits snugly and she's never looked better.