|Project by shampeon||posted 350 days ago||1164 views||3 times favorited||12 comments|
I drew Brandon W in the 2013 Marking Knife/Awl swap. I took a quick look at Brandon’s (very impressive) projects to get a sense of what style he might like in a knife or awl, and saw that he already had made a scratch awl. I confirmed with him that he’d prefer a marking knife.
A while back I picked up a decent sized offcut of rough padauk from MacBeath’s bargain bin, and used it to practice squaring up rough stock with just hand planes.
It was maybe the best $20 I’ve ever spent on wood. It is gorgeous, and easy to work as well. I’ve been using the board here and there for other projects, and had a turning square that was perfect for a knife handle. It got me thinking about how padauk’s color changes as it ages, and I decided I wanted to make that the theme of the knife.
Copper goes well with the red-orange color of padauk, and will similarly tarnish with age. A copper end cap from the hardware store would be the ferrule. I finished the knife handle with some blonde shellac and carnauba wax.
So then I got to thinking about the blade. I could make one out of the 01 stock I bought for my plough plane blade project, but that didn’t really fit with the “change over time” theme. Then I remembered that I had a bunch of twist auger bits that were beyond help, leftovers from an eBay lot of bits I bought a while back.
The head of the auger bit might make a pretty nice, and unique, blade, the shank would be easy to fit in a hole in the handle, and the channels in the shank would hold the glue. I shaped and sharpened the head, but left the exposed shank’s rough patina. You can see the size and makers stamps on the sides of the blade.
And it fit with the theme: an auger bit is now a marking knife blade. This is how the knife looks now, but just like us, it’s going to look different as it ages.
Of course, also like us, it’s not perfect. I wish I had better squared the ends of the ferrule before putting it on. And I added a flat to the handle to keep it from rolling that’s probably a little too subtle to be useful. I only discovered that after I had glued in the blade. But I’m still pretty pleased with the result, and hope Brandon enjoys seeing it slowly age and tarnish.
-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."