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Excellent Hans Karlsson Drawknife From Country Workshops

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Review by Caleb James posted 05-26-2010 03:57 AM 5016 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Excellent Hans Karlsson Drawknife From Country Workshops No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I recently purchased a $235 drawknife with leather cover from Country Workshops after being totally disappointed using a LeeValley carving drawknife that was $65. This drawknife on the other hand was exactly what I wanted. It was worth every dime. I couldn’t be more pleased. I have never used a tool that said it was honed ready for use and it was actually true. It holds and unbelievable edge. The steel is just awesome. This tool looks very common but don’t let it fool you. I used it for several hours today and the edge is as sharp as when I started. I took very heavy cuts in white oak and it cut very smoothly. The angle of the bevel is ever so slightly rounded on the “knuckle” of the bevel making it work in slightly concave cuts and it doesn’t dig in suddenly like others that are really flat on the bevel side. The tang isn’t bowed like on most all drawknives since it is more expensive to manufacture them flat and straight. This is supposed to make it really easy to sharpen though I haven’t had to do that yet. I am using this for roughing chair parts on a shave horse. I highly recommend this tools. No regrets.

UPDATE:

I have been using the drawknife for close to three years now. I still have not used a better knife. I have worked with the likes of Peter Galbert and Curtis Buchanan, they have a lot of old tuned up ones, and I still love this knife. What is so superior about this knife is that it holds an edge for so long it is unreal. I wish I could turn all my steel tooling to this stuff. Maybe I just got one of those one in a million perfectly hardened and tempered ones but I think the price just reflects a top notch tool.

-- http://www.calebjameschairmaker.com, http://www.kapeldesigns.com




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Caleb James

149 posts in 1583 days



14 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112087 posts in 2231 days


#1 posted 05-26-2010 05:25 AM

Wow for that price it should be very cool

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Swede's profile

Swede

191 posts in 1672 days


#2 posted 05-26-2010 11:56 PM

Quality tools always seem to have a steep price tag. A little to expensive for me but enjoy.

-- Swede -- time to make some sawdust

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PASs

563 posts in 1752 days


#3 posted 05-27-2010 02:47 AM

I don’t use mine too often.
Don’t know the make.
It was my grandfathers from sometime in the late 19th century.
And it was FREE.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

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TopamaxSurvivor

14746 posts in 2330 days


#4 posted 05-27-2010 02:48 AM

Thnaks for the post.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2101 posts in 2382 days


#5 posted 05-27-2010 03:07 PM

For a simple tool like this, I’d think the two keys are good ergonomics and a quality edge. A quality edge of this size won’t come cheap though. I’m glad that you like it. I’m in the market for on in the future myself, but need to finish a few other things before I can justify making any purchases. Thanks for the review.

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Caleb James

149 posts in 1583 days


#6 posted 05-27-2010 03:10 PM

Free is good. Though I feel good about paying a high price when I know it was personally made by the tool maker Karllson. I would like to have used the lei-neilsen one but it is still not available and ithink I made a good choice anyways. I am going to get the inshave that Hans makes as well.

Not many reviews on chair making tools so I will post what I can. This is a great site. Wish I had discovered it a long time ago.

-- http://www.calebjameschairmaker.com, http://www.kapeldesigns.com

View velo_tom's profile

velo_tom

118 posts in 1670 days


#7 posted 05-27-2010 03:44 PM

I bought the $43 Austrian drawknife at Lee Valley. It was not honed out of the box but still sharp enough to do a quick rough bit of shaping before finishing with spoke shaves. When I got around to honing it the blade was finished well enough to get a good razor sharp hone in less than a half hour.

For occasional users like me with a lower budget I think you can get acceptable results with a lower priced tool. I’m sure the more expensive tool has better features and materials as well as workmanship, but all is not lost if your on a lower budget either.

-- There's no such thing as mistakes, just design changes.

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hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 2781 days


#8 posted 05-29-2010 12:06 AM

A spend a lot of time with draw-knives at the shaving buck.
All of my draw-knives have been obtained at used tool sales in Kentucky.
I’ve never paid more than $20 for one.
Most are made by local Amish or Mennonite craftsmen.
My favorite drawknife was made from an old file.

I sharpen the knives differently depending on how I intend to use them, e.g. bark removing, stock shaping, tenon roughing.

Here’s a link to sharpening a drawknife.

-- 温故知新

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velo_tom

118 posts in 1670 days


#9 posted 05-29-2010 12:27 AM

Thanks for the link hobomonk. I’m self taught on sharpening the drawknife. I cut a stone holder out of a chunk of wood that gets it high enough to get the handles out of the way. I then sharpened it much like any other blade then followed up with a leather strop. I got good results but wouldn’t mind seeing how a pro does it.

-- There's no such thing as mistakes, just design changes.

View Caleb James's profile

Caleb James

149 posts in 1583 days


#10 posted 05-29-2010 12:41 AM

Yeah I wish I had some places to pick up older tools like that. I am in Houston, TX and there really isn’t much like that around here. Let me know if you find a good inshave or travisher, hobomonk. I am in need of one of those.

-- http://www.calebjameschairmaker.com, http://www.kapeldesigns.com

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Caleb James

149 posts in 1583 days


#11 posted 05-29-2010 12:53 AM

velo-tom I think you are on the right track. I kinda splurged with this buy. I intend to delve deep into post and rung chars and wanted a really high quality tool that I would be happy with for years to come. I do get tired of going cheap and then wishing I had just got the quality one. This is the case with tools I intend to use weekly such as for my day job. Anyways I am glad you like the austrian drawknife. I can’t say the same for the 4” carvers drawknife from lee valley. The edge failed almost immediately. I think they are aware of that problem since there fix was to sharpen a steeper edge on it. That defeats the purpose of the tool, to carve cleanly.

-- http://www.calebjameschairmaker.com, http://www.kapeldesigns.com

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hObOmOnk

1381 posts in 2781 days


#12 posted 05-29-2010 02:26 AM

Let me know if you find a good inshave or travisher, hobomonk. I am in need of one of those.

There are lots of these and other chair making tools around here.
Chairmaking is a big tradition here in Kentucky.
Some of the most noted chairmakers live in Kentucky, e.g. Don Weber, Mike Angel, David Wright, Brian Boggs (now in North Carolina).

-- 温故知新

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Caleb James

149 posts in 1583 days


#13 posted 05-29-2010 03:25 PM

I have wanted to take a road trip and see some old timber frame barns and the like through the mid-west and the northeast. Maybe I will route through Kentucky. I will have to send you a message and pick your brain on those secret picking spots.

-- http://www.calebjameschairmaker.com, http://www.kapeldesigns.com

View velo_tom's profile

velo_tom

118 posts in 1670 days


#14 posted 05-29-2010 07:17 PM

I know what you mean CalebJames. I’ve had to upgrade some of my planes. I use hand planes several times a week, often hours at a time when squaring and dimensioning. I started bumping up against the limits of what I had to work with. I’ve found I can buy some that are ready to use with practically no prep work. Others I’ve bought turn into good planes after a significant effort. Since spare time is limited, often I opt for the more expensive tool. I’m certainly not beyond buying something expensive because of the craftsmanship built into it appeals to me.

I’ve only played with the drawknife at this point so wouldn’t really hit any barrier with it for a while. So far I’ve just envisioned a shape and tried to cut it. After I get close to final form I finish with spoke shaves. I eventually want to do some chair building but have quite a number of other things I need to build first.

I bought a travisher from Crown Plane Company but have not had a chance to use it yet. They hand make their tools on a per order basis. I have a project planned I will need it for but probably won’t get to it till this Fall or Winter.

-- There's no such thing as mistakes, just design changes.

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