I decided to retire my older 'Work in Progress'
thread and start a new one. That was started in November 2011 about six months before I became a vendor. It's kind of funny, back when I started that project, I had no idea I'd become an official 'vendor' here at BCUSA.
Even though it's only just however many hundreds of days later, maybe six hundred something?... You can really look thru that thread and see rapid progression. There is a reason as soon as I'm finished with a carving project I put it away and grab about log without looking back.
I've realized that everytime I start a new project I have more knowledge and skills gained and I'm excited to start the new piece, and try out the new cuts and theories I've learned from the last one.
For now instead of making a carving thread, seperate tools thread, etc.. I will compile it all into one here.
So this will be where I catalogue my projects up to date. Not all of them, but the majority of it all. As some of you may know I've been planning some big things the past couple of months. I'm designing and hand forging my own line of carving tools with Matt of MP KNIVES
. (A vendor collaboration.. what is the world coming to?!?!?!?
We haven't announced anything officially, or when things will be up for sale... but we have started our 'Research and Development' stage in the process. He's been teaching me to hammer the anvil on my own, and we've both come up with some exciting new knives.
I present the ________ Large Hook/Spoon Knife:
I keep getting a lot of questions about where, when, how....We're not making these with stock removal methods. Were making these the old fashioned way... with a flame, hammer, and anvil. No cutting out cookie cutter sheets of metal, and sharpening a drawn on bevel.. we're going to get cut, get burned..and it's all a part of the process.
and I really do mean what I say.. I must test these thoroughly. Being able to slice a piece of paper, or making a feather stick is not a 'real test' in my book. I will actually be carving kuksas, spoons, and other things with these before advancing to the next design. There's a lot more to a knife than just the very sharp edge.. especially with a carving tool.. that is bent. We've already made about 3-4 different 'Large Hook Spoon Knives' and they're all great, but I'm looking for something I haven't been able to find with the other great smiths who make similar knives. (Del Stubbs, Svente, Karlsson, Orford, Budd) So I'm posting a photograph of the first model that we've both decided should be the official first model.
Something I'm still deciding is how I'm going to handle these. Most of the other makers of spoon knives put generic/quickie handles on their knives. This is a way to keep costs down. Well I've broken off most of my handles on my Karlsson knives and he charges $60-80 per knife. So I'm pretty set on the idea that I will be sourcing the handles myself and carving them to shape. This means, harvesting the materials locally, burning the hole for the tang to be inserted (which gives a perfect custom fit) , and shaping it all with a knife. Materials will change of course and I'm not sure if I'll offer options of wood. Everything is still up in the air still. Lately I've been making handles out of Yew, which is as tough as nails unstabilized. It also cuts with a glass finish. Some people don't like the tooled surface of handles, but I assure you there is a method to my madness. Sure I could waste time and money sanding for hours to make factory looking handles, but the tooled texture is KEY. It's all about grip, and actually being able to feel the tool. These are sharper than any spoon knives I've used and it's just another level of safety having a better grip. It's a really easy knife to get cut with since 99% of all cuts are towards your chest, and or thumb.
I guess what I'm trying to say is I want to offer something that isn't really available. Fine tuned carving tools. Most are made for the carver to personalize, and there is nothing wrong with that approach. That's a very old school tool mentality.. hence why most vintage axes have huge cheeks.. they're made to modify specifically for the tool's purpose. I will be honing these ready for carving.
I'd like to also state that I'm not saying these are better than other similar knives around the world. I've used a good majority of them and always found them missing something. Each one had it's positives and negatives. After modifying some, having numerous blades custom made, talked to other very influential carvers.. I realized I should try this myself. Which only made sense financially, and as a carver. I really believe that understanding the tool itself and it's relationship with wood is one of the key factors of mastering a tool or technique. I'm far from mastering anything, but learning why these cut where the cut, the sweet spots, and all of the cons will help me improve many of my skills.
Every tool made will be something I would personally use and love. I'm not making knives, slapping some glue and a handle and throwing it in a box. I have to spend a lot of time sharpening, honing, and testing.. if I won't use it, I won't sell it.
Anyways enough rambling..
I present to you the ______ Large Hook/Spoon Knife. [No name yet] This is a left handed spoon knife. Large hook is great for general purposes... digging the bowl, and also cleaning cuts.
The handle material is locally harvested yew. Very ancient wood, with a peculiar colored grain.
This knife was custom made for a fellow here on the forum. I will make a 'waiting list' thread or something similar once I get more details covered.
Here is the right handled version in the same handle material. This has a more exagerated handle. Naturally crooked and has different 'flip grips' involved. I may also decide to make all handles bent. This really aids in torque, and also is easier on your bones in some cases.
The handle was whittled to fit my hand, so in other words... this one is mine!
I just got a 10,000 grit Waterstone from Cellis (Another great vendor here) You can go to his shop by clicking here
. I am a huge fan of this sharpening method. It's messy, the stones are delicate, but there is nothing like the sound of a knife on a stone. It's like carvers meditation.
I will probably be sharpening these tools with this method. (Which is expensive and takes time)
The small knife in the photo is a 'Sloyd' Knife Matt and I came up with. It's our take on the swedish carving knives. This is about as long as my pinky finger, and comes to a very agressive point for detail carving. I can Carve a spoon or kuksa with just these three tools.