Carving knifes from old plane iron
spoon knife from jig saw blade
With a soft spot for tool making and beauty, I decided it was time to make my own carving knifes, found a wonderful old Chinese hand forged plane iron in a drawer of junk in my workshop and decided to give it a go.
This is what we will end up with, two carving knifes and a long blade spoon knife.
(This sketch was made after they had come to life).
Started up with no real plan, just that I wanted two blades, one flat and one curved cutting edge.
Made a rough sketch on the blade and Just went on with a Dremmel cutter.
Here you see the drawing clearly.
Curved blade is roughly there.
On the sander it got a bevel, just roughly there, free hand and spirit. ;-)
Remember to dip in cold water often so you don’t burn the metal and destroy the hardening.
I think this is fine.
Love the hand forged finish on the iron.
Both blades are shaped now.
For handles I find some scrap.
A piece of old furniture and a wonderful piece of flamed birch.
Both gifts from my friend Flemming, thanks.
I never did the two half version of a handle, so this will be tested here, just to see if it’s quick and the result are fair. So the wood are cut in half, one part the thickness of the blade wider.
Sketching where the blade will be.
Then the shape I want.
Next step is to inlay the blade into the thicker half of the handle.
This takes no time, so yes this is a quick way of making a tool knife.
Blade in place.
Same for the other one.
Sharp chisels and a holdfast make it a joy.
As I was working on the knifes I got the idea to see if I could make a spoon knife from a jig saw blade.
So the teeth’s were sanded of, bevel formed and I try gently to shape the blade here.
It was possible and it held it’s flex really well after.
New wood, this time from my Norwegian uncle Terje, thanks, he brought me different wood pieces and some iron on his last visit in Denmark.
Two half’s again.
Blade fitted in.
Before gluing the blades get some rough edges, like this the glue will have places to stick.
Time to mix some epoxy.
The full side.
Used the 5 min. version so I had to be fast, usually don’t use this for knifes.
Strong clamps lots of pressure.
Ohhh yes the blade have to go in.
And glue on top of it.
Again clamps and pressure.
Left them for an hour, just to be sure.
Can you handle this?
Ok no bad jokes MaFe, just move on.
Rough cutting on the band saw.
Lovely piece of wood, the sap wood makes a beautiful contrast.
Now the sides are also rough cut.
Like this the shaping and sanding will take less effort.
New knife, same song.
Sweet, I kind of like the slim curve here.
Marking the center and then the side curves.
Ok we will leave it with that…
Sanding on the spindle sander, this is a wonderful intuitive tool when used for this free hand shaping.
Some details just for pleasure.
Here they are before the sanding.
In fact we could stop here, they are tools after all, but…
So a light sanding, not trying to get rid of the dings and marks, I like this on a tool, like it is born with a life of it’s own.
Raw linseed oil in a jar.
Leaving them there overnight.
Then wipe of the oil and give it a wee wax.
We got knifes.
That’s what it’s all about, a knife that is perfectly fitted to your hand.
Yeps perfect grip for those small details.
The little fishy experiment also seems to be possible, now I can make whatever size I need when I need it.
(Actually I am soon going on a forging class so I will be able to go to next level, but I do love to make tools of what’s at hand and that everyone can do after, it does have a special charm).
(Another small blog might follow up on the spoon and fork).
Hope it can inspire, perhaps even make some old blades get a new life.
The best of my thoughts,
-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.