My First Crooked Knife

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Project by skone posted 02-22-2012 01:51 PM 4823 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m just starting out on the lathe. As I am learning to turn bowls it only seems right, in my mind at least, to learn to carve the spoons that would go with them. I ordered a little sloyd knife for shaping and as for carving out the bowl portion of the spoon—- I made this. There are products out there for purchase (scorps, spoon gouges, etc.), I just can’t drop the money on them. There’s a lot of info out there on how to make your own traditional crooked knife, so i went ahead and did it.

The blade is made from steel I had laying around from another project. The wood is aromatic cedar driftwood I found here on Lake Champlain. It obviously had not been “drifting” for long and still has an incredibly strong scent. I cut the blade to shape with my grinder, put an edge on it, heated it up, bent it to shape, put the holes in it on the drill press, heated it up again cherry red, dunked it and then worked on the edge again with my sharpening stones and sand paper.

I cut the rough shape for the handle from an angled piece of the cedar using my japanese pull saw. I then shaped with my pocket knife (sloyd knife hasn’t come in the mail yet) and some sand paper.

Haven’t used it yet but am looking forward to it.

-- "Take extra care not to lose what you feel" (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood)

17 comments so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6231 posts in 3557 days

#1 posted 02-22-2012 02:18 PM

Looks like you got a handle on making a nice kinfe! Cool !

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2510 days

#2 posted 02-22-2012 03:02 PM

That looks like it will do a good job, nice knife

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3668 days

#3 posted 02-22-2012 03:11 PM

Excellent. So much more satisfying to make what you need rather than just throw money at it. Good job!

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21743 posts in 3309 days

#4 posted 02-22-2012 03:31 PM

Good job on the knife. You’ll appreciate it more than the boughten one because you made it yourself!! With your talent, you can make all kinds of special carving tools!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 2559 days

#5 posted 02-22-2012 03:50 PM

Thats very cool! Custom tools are the best.

Lucky driftwood find too!

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3781 days

#6 posted 02-22-2012 05:10 PM

You needed it an made it,just like days of old.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3946 days

#7 posted 02-22-2012 05:14 PM

interesting knife, kinda looks like a hoof knife.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View skone's profile


147 posts in 3010 days

#8 posted 02-22-2012 06:58 PM

thanks guys. yeah, jm, it does look like a hoof knife. hoof knives were a specific part of the research i did before starting. i just hope it holds its edge.

-- "Take extra care not to lose what you feel" (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood)

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3989 days

#9 posted 02-22-2012 08:39 PM

Looks good…how did you temper the steel?

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View stefang's profile


16144 posts in 3538 days

#10 posted 02-22-2012 09:08 PM

That looks good! I wonder, did you temper the steel after hardening it?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View NormG's profile


6283 posts in 3208 days

#11 posted 02-23-2012 01:47 AM

Great job and hope to see the bowl soon

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2894 days

#12 posted 02-23-2012 02:00 AM

Google loop blade hoof knives. I’m not a carver but I have made a lot of knives and I think a loop blade would work really well for you carver types.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View skone's profile


147 posts in 3010 days

#13 posted 02-23-2012 03:24 PM

i still haven’t used this but the more i think about it and hold it in my hand—- it’s pretty darn big. i may be reworking the blade to be quite a bit smaller.

as for tempering…
i think i tempered it. as stated before, this is a first. i was under the impression that when i heated the blade up “cherry red” and then gave it the dunk, that was the tempering part of the process. let me know if i’m wrong. especially since i’m starting over. more or less.

gfadvm – i have seen those loop blades and they do seem like they’d be worth a closer look. thanks!

-- "Take extra care not to lose what you feel" (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood)

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2516 days

#14 posted 02-23-2012 03:44 PM

Tempering, especially if you want to carve wood, is more complicated than that.

For starters, you need to have an idea about what steel you are using. You could end up with something so brittle it will shatter if you drop it. There is a difference between hardness and brittleness. You said your steel from from another project- do you know what it is? Some carbon steel will never keep a decent edge, no matter what you do with it.

Typically, you heat it red, oil quench, then heat it again in the oven when momma is cooking the pizza. Controlled, in other words. Than you might even think about tossing it in the deep freeze for a while. I knew one guy that set his blade on a hunk of dry ice.

Don’t believe me, I’m maybe full of crap today, check this-

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3989 days

#15 posted 02-23-2012 03:47 PM

Warren cutlery has that blade sharp and ready to be installed in a handle. They have them in left and right handed ….best part they are only a couple of bucks.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

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