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Homemade Chip Carving Knives

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Project by AAL posted 07-02-2018 06:10 PM 629 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had to take a break from practicing my new hobby which i recently started to paint a number of kitchen chairs for the LOML. Yet, I was able to “work in” a project of my own which was to try making a chip carving knife for fine detail such as in script lettering. I made these two by grinding & pre-sharpening each end of a surgeon’s scalpel I had on hand, cutting them in half, making the scales from an unknown piece of really hard wood, chiseling an inlet for the blade to seat in, drilling the rivet holes, epoxying things together & then riveting the scales from a piece of 1/8” aluminum rod I had laying around. Once the epoxy cured (18 hours) I put a final grind & stropp on the blades. I was going to chip carve my initials on the scales, but the wood is so hard I doubt if I could do it. Anyway, as ugly as they are I anxious to try them out after I get the chairs painted.

-- "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill





5 comments so far

View mel52's profile

mel52

554 posts in 414 days


#1 posted 07-02-2018 08:09 PM

Looks like they should do the job for you. Good job !!!

-- MEL, Kansas

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

1411 posts in 723 days


#2 posted 07-03-2018 04:34 AM

Interesting project. I wouldn’t have thought a scalpel would have enough beef to make a good chip knife, but outside of sharpening a piece of saw steel, or a thick scraper plate I’m not sure what I would have used? I do like the shape of the handles, which will probably be as important in the long run.

Please hack away at some wood, and let us know how they work out.

Thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View AAL's profile

AAL

75 posts in 1575 days


#3 posted 07-03-2018 09:34 AM

Thanks for the kind words.

I’m back on the paint job. For some unfathomable reason the LOML thought painting the chairs was more important than playing with knives.

As an aside, the scalpel was too hard to work with so I used my Mapp gas torch to it to soften it up so I could cut it in half & drill the holes. After I pre-ground it to near finish I used the torch again to heat treat it & then to draw it back so it wouldn’t be so brittle. When I get to use it I’ll find out if the tip breaks on me. The blade edge isn’t as straight as I originally planned. I had dropped it after I heat treated it & of course it had to hit on the tip breaking off a bit of metal. So, it took a lot of time stoning to get some kind of point back. Time will tell.

-- "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

32083 posts in 3016 days


#4 posted 07-03-2018 04:21 PM

These are very nice chip carving knives and I like the hefty handles..

-- helluvawreck aka Charles, http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

View AAL's profile

AAL

75 posts in 1575 days


#5 posted 07-24-2018 02:13 PM

On the home front I’m still practicing on white pine boards & need a lot more practice before I’ll attempt to carve initials, etc. on jewelry boxes, or other finished projects. However, my daughter recently gave birth to our first grandchild, and knowing that I have started chip carving, asked if I could carve her son’s initial on a piece of wood so she could have it on her desk at work. Fortunately she chose the Times New Roman font which I was able to work on. Having tried the more elegant script fonts I ran into trouble with the small loops, especially the closed loops. I also found it difficult to carve the wide portion of some of some fonts due to having to cut wider vees. It was difficult cutting these features in a single cut per side which required me to go back into the cuts to clean them up. This usually turned out to be a mess.
So yesterday I completed the little (3”x 6”) plaque & hopefully she will like it. One thing I don’t know how to do is to “highlight” just the lettering, leaving the surround area as a contrasting background. So, I tried staining the lettering & the board together, but that didn’t provide the contrast I was looking for. Just leaving it natural gave a better contrast than the stain.
I used the bottom knife of the two above that I made. I was surprised at how well it actually worked: felt good in the hand & cut well.
Criticisms/comments welcomed.

-- "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Winston Churchill

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