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How I make knives

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Blog entry by Bluepine38 posted 1107 days ago 7191 reads 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Having entered the Spoontaneus collaboration/class I needed some carving knives. Since my hands are
rather large and I have arthritis in my thumb joints, I needed special knives made. To make knives you
need good steel, saw blades have good steel, so lets see what I have.

A short chunk of bandsaw blade 8” by 4’ and some 23” table saw blades, no these are not from my
shop, my oldest daughter Mari is a saw filer at Pyramid Lumber and these are worn out cast offs.
First I cut off strips with an abrasive cut off blade in my grinder, then I rough shape them with the
same blade. Then to the belt and disc sander to further refine the shape and put a rough edge on
the blade. I found that I can not drill through the bandsaw blade, so I have to heat it up and punch
my holes I then used juniper wood and 3/16 brass rod to form the handles and rivets. All this was
epoxied together and rough shaped on the grinder, then hand finished to fit my hand.

These two knives are my basic carving knives. I needed something to carve spoon bowls, so I decided
to try making some curved blades for cutting the bowls.

You can see how the knives fit my hand, I use my fingers and palms to do most of the gripping. These
knives work great for shallow curved cuts and scraping surfaces smooth, but do not make it easy to
do deeper cuts. I decided I needed a curved gouge. This was formed by heating and beating the
strap of metal into half pipe using a piece of 1/2” black pipe to form the curve and then rolling one
half of the blade into a circle and using epoxy to secure into a hole in a piece of sugar maple for a
handle. Here is a picture of the gouge and a man in the spoon made with the carving knives.

These knives were sharpened on a 3m scotchbrite wheel and the stropping wheel shown here.

I can not get a shaving edge on the knives yet, but give me another year or two. I am in no
hurry. Thank you for looking. Here is a picture of the gouge in action, it works similar to the old
spoon bits of yesterday.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter



11 comments so far

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1571 posts in 1619 days


#1 posted 1107 days ago

Great blog Gus. I will have to give this a try.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Maveric777's profile

Maveric777

2690 posts in 1708 days


#2 posted 1107 days ago

It is so crazy seeing this today…. I been asking around lately trying to find someone local who makes blades. My plan was trying to make my own chip carving set and a nice collection of marking knifes…. This wonderful blog just made me an extremely happy future knife maker….lol

Thank you so much for sharing… This makes my day!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View MShort's profile

MShort

1725 posts in 2050 days


#3 posted 1107 days ago

Thanks for posting. This is very interesting.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15623 posts in 1498 days


#4 posted 1107 days ago

This is a great post and I enjoyed it very much.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View sedcokid's profile

sedcokid

2672 posts in 2230 days


#5 posted 1107 days ago

I am not a carver but I enjoyed your blog very much!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12262 posts in 2729 days


#6 posted 1107 days ago

Thanks for the info on making your tools.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View stefang's profile

stefang

12938 posts in 1966 days


#7 posted 1106 days ago

Great work. I especially liked the curved blade ones for hollowing spoons. I have made some chip carving knives too. They were made from hacksaw blades which work very well too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6806 posts in 1783 days


#8 posted 1106 days ago

Nice, good job, shop made tools are the best .

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View smithy's profile

smithy

90 posts in 960 days


#9 posted 927 days ago

like it!

-- Kevin, Indiana

View woodmaker's profile

woodmaker

264 posts in 1323 days


#10 posted 601 days ago

Gus, those are cool! I bought a set of small carving tools from Wood River, I think they’re too small. I need bigger tools to get those nice curves and circles.
I to have arthritis in my hands, so gripping handles a long time is not easy.

-- Mike

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

3169 posts in 639 days


#11 posted 601 days ago

Very cool. Might hafta give a try at making a few of these. ALl I gotta do now is get one of my daughters a job as a saw filer at a lumber company and I’m IN!

Thanks for sharing.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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