|Review by just_adam||posted 11-07-2009 06:16 AM||7445 views||2 times favorited||5 comments|
Hello and this review carries my initial impressions of a fine carving knife made by Paul Beebe for Lee Valley Tools in Canada. At the time, it cost me about $33USD and presently it is in there on line catalog at this address:
I’ve used all sorts of knives in my meandering about the wood. Opinels, Ken Onions, single edge razors, XActos…James Krenov wrote a great passage about using knives in one of his books and it resonates fully with me. Good stout carving knives are invaluable for woodworkers like me to assist in micro adjusting joints; trimming corners, general detail stuff. They can be so agile in deft hands.
Take trimming dovetail joints, case in point. My tool of choice so far had been a simple beveled edge carving knife that I got at Haida tool in Berkeley. It works great but I wanted something with a nice, sharp, stout blade whose edge is at least projected directly out from the hilt of the handle. Much of my detail work is minute cutting with the blade turned towards me, like so:
The #11 Paul Beebe blade (There are a small handful you can select from Lee Valley) projects a small bit towards you off the line of the handle, and when I saw this, I knew it’d be a great start for those small, inward turned cuts I make!
Well I got the tool this week in the mail. You know you have something well prepped when it cuts you without even knowing as you’re extracting the tool from it’s packaging, eek! Yes, this thing comes sharp!
I love the heft of the knife. The wood handle is dense and lends a good feel in my big clumsy paws. I measured the handle at about 6” long. It’s thick enough to feel good and secure in my hand without having to hang on tight. I hate handles that are small or narrow in cutting instruments. It forces my fingers to work too hard at wrapping around the handle. This handle feels great in my hands. I could carve for hours with it. I might consider rounding off the palm side edges of the handle at some point, but for now it seems OK.
And the blade itself is so great, too. The slight curve of the edge allows me to take very tight, minute curls of material off of my project, and it’s razor sharp all the way to the tip. When I was a kid, one of the greatest challenges for me was to carve propellers for model airplanes with my dad in the shop. So now whenever I want to run a carving instrument through it’s courses, I see how well it performs in and around the blades of a propeller:
I tried to show the generous tang of the blade as it reaches into the handle. It looks sturdy and I’ll only know over time how stable it is. So far, so good:
My Bottom Line is that this is a great tool for the money, but I’ll follow up later on after I’ve carved a few more miles of mahogany!!!
-- Oakland, CA