No sharpen draw knife

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Blog entry by Craftsman on the lake posted 03-31-2009 11:09 PM 3932 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I thought some people might be interested in my drawknife. It never dulls. Ever.

This is a picture (below) of one of my draw knives. I have three but this one is special and very, very different. It was made around 1976 and has been used a lot. The thing is, I can’t dull it, and I can’t sharpen it. Now, I’ve never tried purposely to dull it. I’ve used it mostly to carve guitar necks in mahogany and maple. And I’ve used it on other things too but always respectfully. I never tried to carve bricks with it.
It’s history is that it was made by my brother a long time ago. He was a nuclear pipe welder at the Portsmouth Naval shipyard in Portsmouth NH. He worked with lots of exotic metals for 30 years which is probably what caused his lymphoma a few years ago. Sometimes he had a little time on his hands at work. (federal job).
One day he came home with this drawknife. He had sharpened it at the yard when he made it. Actually, I don’t think it’s sharpened. I think the metal edge was cut that way by machine. It’s not razor sharp but just about as sharp as a chisel after you’ve touched it up then used it on a project. You know not tip-top sharp but pretty good. I used it awhile then tried to sharpen it. I used the traditional methods. I have a variety of stones, but to no avail. I put files to it and even a brief shot at a grinding wheel. I haven’t any diamond stones and have never tried diamond so I don’t know if that would do anything. And as far as I know, any material, like metal filings that is produced when I try to sharpen it comes from the sharpening device.
If memory is good (which it usually isn’t) the metal is something like nickel-cobalt alloy, used either in pressure fittings around the reactor or possibly nuclear sub hull metal. I used to listen to stories about metals and what they were used for but all the names are a jumble in my head.
So, this little draw knife stays as sharp as it was 30+ years ago getting no sharper and no duller than it was.
I’ve included a couple of pictures. If it doesn’t look very sharp it’s because the shiny knife edge is very old. The shiny doesn’t show any longer.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

9 comments so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3795 days

#1 posted 04-01-2009 12:08 AM

i would try diamonds. theyre the hardest material on earth so if they dont work your brother must be in possession of some kind of alien metal :/

View jeh412's profile


129 posts in 3403 days

#2 posted 04-01-2009 12:10 AM

That’s interesting … wonder what metal it’s made of? I haven’t had reason to bring out the drawknives in a long, long time. Hmm, may be time to remedy that!

-- John, co-owner Sawdust 'n Stitches

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3783 days

#3 posted 04-01-2009 12:11 AM

Does it glow in the dark? ;^)

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Splinter324's profile


4 posts in 3373 days

#4 posted 04-01-2009 12:52 AM

looks like a cheesecutter.

-- Sandra

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4155 days

#5 posted 04-01-2009 01:25 AM

I’m still using the draw knife that I inherited from from Grandfather.
Over the years, I’ve replaced the blade twice and the handles four times.

They don’t make draw knives like that any more!

-- 温故知新

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4354 days

#6 posted 04-01-2009 02:03 AM

that’s pretty awesome.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3701 days

#7 posted 04-01-2009 03:53 PM


Correction, diamonds are the hardest thing found in nature (that we know of), not on earth. Alloys are not natural so there are harder things.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4016 days

#8 posted 04-01-2009 04:38 PM

I would bet diamond stones would sharpen it.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4019 days

#9 posted 04-02-2009 04:53 PM

The hardest things known to man are Aggregated Diamond Nanorods

“ADNRs, are an allotrope of carbon believed to be the hardest and least compressible known material, as measured by its isothermal bulk modulus; aggregated diamond nanorods have a modulus of 491 gigapascals (GPa), while a conventional diamond has a modulus of 442 GPa. ADNRs are also 0.3% denser than regular diamond. The ADNR material is also harder than type IIa diamonds and ultrahard fullerite.”

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

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