Woodworking Talk banner
21 - 40 of 62 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Retired Craftsman
Joined
·
4,752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
hi SJB - and welcome to the forum !!
it is refreshing to see brand new members with their profile
filled out appropriately and posting photos in the correct format.
well done !!

I cruise the internet looking at hundreds of carving knives and sort of
make my own design on paper. then use that as templates to be cut
out on the bandsaw using a 1/4" blade.
I feel that carving knives should fit the carvers hands to be comfortable.
when you buy those expensive knives from the supply houses, it is the
"one size fits most". well, I want to do better than that.
there are huge hands, there are big hands, and there are small hands.
these knives fit MY hands. (for the most part).
I use a 1/4" quarter round on the router. I made a special plate for this project.
of course, a router table would be nice. but mine has a 2" hole and no inserts.
so that would be pretty dangerous for the fingertips.
I also bought a spindle sander just for this project to help cut down on hand sanding.
I got the assorted wood from my local WoodCraft store. some, I don't
even know the species, I just think they all look nice.
I used a 4" angle grinder to cut the metal to shape.
it is STRONGLY recommended that you have at least some experience with
the power tools before attempting this project. you can lose a finger quicker
than you can say OOOOWWWWWWWW that HURT.

Knife Blade Wood Tool

Product

.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SJB

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,365 Posts
John, what style handle feels best for you carving or whittling for a while? I want to make some more knives but want to find the right handle that feels comfortable and doesn't wear my hand out.
 

·
Super Moderator
Retired Craftsman
Joined
·
4,752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
Jim - I haven't really done any serious "whittlin" lately.
I just found it interesting to make some knives that fit my hand.
once I found where my fingers and palm fit on the handle,
I just sort of went in that direction.
I guess for advice, I would suggest to get some modeling clay
and sort of hold it in your hand to shape then try to reproduce that shape
in bass wood or soft pine and refine it from there.
when I was shaping the handle on the spindle sander, I kept holding it
and removing wood until it was comfortable to hold.
what I did find that was a game changer for me is to put the little "dish"
for the thumb on the top of the handle. I probably spent more time shape - hold,
shape - hold, shape - hold it until it felt comfortable.
(notice the cut fingernail. I bumped the bandsaw blade TWICE in the same spot
8 days apart. the first time didn't get my attention - the second time definitely got it.
the 1/8" brass rods are available at Home Depot or you can use 1/8" copper grounding wire.

Fish

Finger Nail Hand Leg Toe

Nail Finger Toe Hand Thumb

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,869 Posts
I like the design of the top knife handle in John's photo, and it gave me an idea. I have a pizza cutter turning kit sitting around. Instead of the usual round turned handle, A pizza cutter handle shaped like John's design might sit flatter in the drawer and feel more comfortable in the hand. Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,365 Posts
Jim - I haven't really done any serious "whittlin" lately.
I just found it interesting to make some knives that fit my hand.
once I found where my fingers and palm fit on the handle,
I just sort of went in that direction.
I guess for advice, I would suggest to get some modeling clay
and sort of hold it in your hand to shape then try to reproduce that shape
in bass wood or soft pine and refine it from there.
when I was shaping the handle on the spindle sander, I kept holding it
and removing wood until it was comfortable to hold.
what I did find that was a game changer for me is to put the little "dish"
for the thumb on the top of the handle. I probably spent more time shape - hold,
shape - hold, shape - hold it until it felt comfortable.
(notice the cut fingernail. I bumped the bandsaw blade TWICE in the same spot
8 days apart. the first time didn't get my attention - the second time definitely got it.
the 1/8" brass rods are available at Home Depot or you can use 1/8" copper grounding wire.

View attachment 397007

View attachment 397009

View attachment 397011

.
The knife in the top photo here is the one I really like, it has both thumb and index finger indents which is perfect when flipping the knife when in use. I flip my knives, as I make push and pull cuts. Those indents are really comfortable and make the handle fit perfect for me.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,365 Posts
Day before yesterday I received five of the beautiful knives John made and sent to me. He also sent me three blanks so I could make a few of the knives for myself. Believe me when I say these knives are more beautiful in person than in the photos.

The knives aren't sharpened and I like that. I am weird the way I sharpen my carving/whittling blades. Most people will sharpen a blade for a working blade that will withstand tough cutting. I taper the edge like a straight razor, it is more delicate but it is sharper, IMHO.

I am having a ball polishing the handles to a high sheen and removing any micro scratch there may be on the handles, I will sharpen the blades and mirror polish them soon. I can assure you I will use these knives a lot but I will baby them also.

Thank you John, for these fantastic knives, I really do appreciate them a lot.
 

·
Super Moderator
Retired Craftsman
Joined
·
4,752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
well, I've run out of things to do that I can safely do in my "den" work area.
I narrowed down the style of handle I like (and Big Jim likes too). refined
the pattern a bit, cut some blanks, set up the fence on the bandsaw so they
will all be the same thickness. the last batch I made, I just knocked them out
without paying too much attention to the grain pattern or color. or even how
the blade fit into the slot. this time, I put a little more effort into seeing how
it will look after it is made.
I just picked some blade designs - with no particular use in mind.

420210


420211


then traced the blade designs out on the plate of tool steel and with the metal cutting bandsaw.
after the dry fit, I numbered each one with corresponding "dots" to match the handles. the dots were
punched in the metal with a sharp metal punch because a marker would eventually wear off. the top
of the handle tail will be the last to be sanded, so a pencil mark will do okay there.

420212


then dry fit the blades to the handles and everything looks pretty good for the next step.
on to the grinder to remove most of the excess metal. then sharpen and heat treatment.
after the handles are shaped to the final design, the blades (that have been buffed to a high shine)
will be permanently affixed to the handle with epoxy and brass rivets.
then a lot of sanding on the spindle sander and other sanding methods.

420213


420214


.I guess you could call this project "Phase One".

.
 

·
Super Moderator
Retired Craftsman
Joined
·
4,752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
well, here is the pile of completed knives from this project.
4 coats of Danish Oil on the handles. (now if only I had something to use them on).
423066
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
Those are really good looking handles John. I prefer straight like on OCCS knives or round and tapered at each end like on Mora carving knives. I tend to shift and rotate my grip on knives during carving and just could not get comfortable with contoured handles.
 

·
Super Moderator
Retired Craftsman
Joined
·
4,752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Bob - these are basically chip carving knives for the style of work that I like to do. I will eventually be making some Mora style knives in the future.
I first make prototypes out of High Density Urethane (HDU) to fit my hand, then copy that into wood.
this is a HDU prototype I have been playing with for the "Rough-out" caricature carving.
I hope to get a few cowboy rough-outs with the next stimulus check.
there are several very talented knife makers and carvers on this forum that I have learned a LOT from !!!

423098
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,365 Posts
Beautiful knives John, I really do like the ones you sent me, they are professionally made for sure. I do like the contoured handles. I also do rotate the knives when carving, but have no problem with them being contoured.
 

·
Super Moderator
Retired Craftsman
Joined
·
4,752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Jim - I added a new scar to my left thumb - it is mostly healed up now.
that makes seven (that I can see).
my motto is: if you ain't bleedin on the wood, you ain't doin it right.
and you're right about the cut-resistant gloves - not worth a hoot in whittlin.
sheet metal work, maybe. but not for carving.
I will start with these two Mora styles in the next round.
423120
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,365 Posts
One good thing getting cut with a sharp knife (if there is a good thing) it doesn't hurt. I have learned to keep my hands/fingers and other parts of my body out of firing line of a sharp knife. After a few cuts, it is just automatic for me. I have been cut many times even being careful, just the nature of the activity.

I like both of those knives, especially the bottom one. That is the style blade I use most.

If I have a project that I know my thumb could be in the line of fire, I use some of the wrap that the VA uses after taking my blood. It is elastic and will wrap my thumb several times and it self sticks. It does help some if the knife slips, but if I am bearing down and the knife slips, it doesn't help a lot.

The gloves I have to help from slice cuts are the same a meat cutter uses. They aren't worth a cuss for stabs though.
 

·
Super Moderator
Retired Craftsman
Joined
·
4,752 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
LOL I made myself a leather guard but very rarely use it. (it is too bulky).
I have some of that elastic bandage tape too - brown in color.
I think the green would be more effective so you can always see where your thumb is.
Happy Whittlin !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
I took one of the cheapo cut resistant gloves and attacked it with a carving knife, surprisingly it was very difficult to cut. Based on what I found I do wear a glove on my off hand and have avoided those irritating little nicks. I tape up my thumb on the knife hand with that stick-to-itself safety tape, seems to work pretty well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,850 Posts
I have been carving with the crooked knives common to the First Nations carvers here in the Pacific North West.
Less than 10 years now.
I'm happy to pay a competent bladesmith to make the sweeps that I want.
I'll buy those blades (knives and adzes) and haft them in handles of my own design.
At the end of the day, the handle is everything. Fatigue hurts.
Don't think that I have built any more than 2 dozen knives of various sweeps.

I've been hit several times in the chest. Wrecks my shirt and the cut stings.
Super heavy duty canvas apron now, I can hear the hits.
 
21 - 40 of 62 Posts
Top