LumberJocks

Netsuke Carving Knives.

  • Advertise with us
Project by RusticJohn posted 07-23-2012 09:45 PM 2963 views 3 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am making a very complex walking stick which I will post when finished. I have never had much success with commercial carving knives and so make my own. The ones shown were all specially made for this project, mostly by me and some by a mate. They are based on Japanese styles. The faces on the walking stick range in size from about 15mm to the largest at about 75mm. They all contain intricate detail with some parts being about 1mm deep and 1mm wide. All of the knives have small, narrow blades and handles about the size of a pencil. I hold and use the knives like a pencil.

All of my knives are made from recycled steel. The best I have found are old thick, guillotine blade which seem to be made of a very fine steel. Of course they have to be cut up and it is important to not heat them. I understand this type of steel cannot be easily re-tempered by the simple technology available to me. So I cut them carefully, cooling all the time, grind them to shape, equally carefully and mount in a handle. They are usually bound, more for good looks that practical purpose.

This set of knives has been very successful and I will apply them to more regular types of Netsuke carving in the future.

-- RusticJohn





13 comments so far

View jonagnew's profile

jonagnew

7 posts in 1339 days


#1 posted 07-24-2012 12:31 AM

Wow!

Like you, I’ve never really liked store bought carving knives. I would LOVE a step by step of how you make these!!!

View zwwizard's profile

zwwizard

189 posts in 2360 days


#2 posted 07-24-2012 12:43 AM

Hi, I make small knives like yours. Your cane is a work of art. Here is a site you may not know about.
http://www.thecarvingpath.net/forum/

-- Richard http://www.PictureTrail.com/gallery/view?username=thewizz

View RusticJohn's profile

RusticJohn

183 posts in 2242 days


#3 posted 07-24-2012 04:57 AM

Thank you Guys for the comments. I particularly appreciate the reference to the Carving Path. To make the knives in the pictures I get a blade, already tempered. Guillotine or Hi Speed Steel. I cut it with a 1mm wide cut of wheel on my angle grinder. Be careful, I got 60 stitches in my fingers at Christmas doing something similar. Keep the blade cool as you don’t want it to overheat. Shape the new blade on a bench grinder, glue in a handle with Gorilla Glue. Do the final grind on the blade with the bench grinder and then sharpen on an oil stone.

-- RusticJohn

View mafe's profile

mafe

9509 posts in 1740 days


#4 posted 07-24-2012 09:48 AM

Beautiful tools.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View RusticJohn's profile

RusticJohn

183 posts in 2242 days


#5 posted 07-24-2012 10:21 AM

I like to make tools as much as I like carving. Trouble is you only need so many tools to work with and so there is an upper limit on the numbers any one person can make. There are only a few Netsuke carvers in New Zealand so not a great demand for the tools.

-- RusticJohn

View JJireh's profile

JJireh

38 posts in 1650 days


#6 posted 07-26-2012 05:57 PM

Great post, thanks for sharing. Here are some other links you might find interesting (if you haven’t already)

http://www.sterlingsculptures.com/Resourcesfolder/NetsukeBookfolder/CarvingNetsuke.htm

http://www.followingtheironbrush.org/viewforum.php?f=58

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1539 days


#7 posted 07-28-2012 07:11 PM

Beautiful tools make working with them a joy. Tools that are beautiful and made by their user are twice a joy.

If you’d like a suggestion for a future pattern, why not a totem cane using the art of the natives of the north west as an inspiration? Being part native myself (Kahnawake Mohawk) I’ve always loved the totems of the Haida, Kwakiutl and Tsimshin. The thunderbird, bear, raven, salmon, killer whale and otter all figure in the totem poles and other art works of these people and a well planned out cane using these designs would be interesting indeed.

Migwetch!

Paul

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1344 days


#8 posted 07-28-2012 07:12 PM

Wow, you’re a lucky man.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View RusticJohn's profile

RusticJohn

183 posts in 2242 days


#9 posted 07-29-2012 08:34 AM

Thanks for the comments. I have now joined the websites mentioned. Its a good idea to do a native American walking stick although I am not overly familiar with the cultural aspects. More used to our New Zealand Maori style.

-- RusticJohn

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1539 days


#10 posted 08-01-2012 01:55 AM

A web search for “Haida art” or “totem poles” would give you a good start on getting a feel for the style. Just remember, if you use a thunder bird, it traditionally must be at the top.

Paul

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View RusticJohn's profile

RusticJohn

183 posts in 2242 days


#11 posted 08-01-2012 05:33 AM

Thank you Paul. I have been looking at a couple of books on the subject to see what sort of ideas I can come up with. I was in Canada a couple of years ago and was very interested in the indigenous art.

-- RusticJohn

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1664 posts in 1539 days


#12 posted 08-03-2012 12:53 PM

Hi again John.

I’ve been seriously thinking of doing one as my first carved cane. Almost my first carving, as it’s been half a century since my last carving in high school. I’m part Mohawk, not Haida, but the Mohawk don’t have a totem carving tradition so I;m adopting their style. I’m sure they won’t scalp me for it. (grin)

Have fun with the totems. They are traditionally a story of the family or band they are carved for with each totem representing something significant to them. Something like a family tree. By adapting this idea and mixing in some of your own “totems” you can have the same idea for whoever you’re carving the cane for.

Paul

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View RusticJohn's profile

RusticJohn

183 posts in 2242 days


#13 posted 08-03-2012 11:45 PM

Hi Paul, I have been looking at my books. There certainly are some great designs there that will go well on a walking stick. I have incorporated two very old, primitive designs onto my current stick. Let me know if you need any advice. Only too happy to help. Cheers RusticJohn.

-- RusticJohn

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase