18
Jun

A LONG KNIFE PIRATE

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects

A LONG KNIFE PIRATEA LONG KNIFE PIRATEA LONG KNIFE PIRATEA LONG KNIFE PIRATE

The WOOD BEE CARVER is primarily a knife carver who started as a boy growing up on a farm three miles south of Poneto, Indiana whittling with a pocket knife in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.  In the early 1970’s David Monhollen showed me the fundamentals of carving and ever since I have pursued wood carving as a growing experience of learning by doing.  Even though other carving tools are used in some carving projects, yet my first love is carving only with a knife.  Thus I have developed a style I call “Whittle-Carving” which is simply carving only with a knife.

The boyhood interest in pocket knives and the continued use of knives in carving compels me to test and try out carving knives  made by knife makers as well as reshape older pocket knives and utility work knives into carving knives.

I was introduced to Ralph E. Long knives by good woodcarving friends, Mike Sullins and Mark Akers of South Carolina who gave me a couple of REL knives.  I liked them and ordered a couple more from Ralph.  Recently I ordered a few more of his WH-8 curved bladed knives.  The blade shape is a smaller version of a Tupelo or sometimes called a Cajun Whittler.  The blade shape is actually called “Scimitar” which is a curved blade with the cutting edge on the convex curve and the back edge is concave curve.   The Scimitar is a “slicing” blade shape and the curvature of the cutting edge mirrored with the curved back makes the blade highly maneuverable in tight areas.

Ralph Long KnivesKNIFE IN TIGHT AREAKNIFE IN TIGHT AREAKNIFE IN TIGHT AREAKNIFE IN TIGHT AREAKNIFE IN TIGHT AREAKNIFE IN TIGHT AREAKNIFE IN TIGHT AREAThese photographs  are a few examples of how maneuverable this blade shape is in reaching into tight areas.  It is also an excellent shape for doing all kinds of slicing cuts even with the blade up side down.  The concave curvature of the back of the blade allows for a quick roll out when making a slicing and rolling cut with the tip of the blade.  In many ways this blade shape can “slice around corners” as it can reach areas that other blade shapes can not reach.  It does take a while to get used to using the “Scimitar” blade shape but in the end it has become a favorite among many.  Keep in mind that there is no one perfect blade shape so having multiple blade shapes is essential.  Plus it is fun to experiment with each blade shape to see what each can do.  But in the case of this particular knife by Ralph E. Long, it is definitely a “keeper.”

PIRATE IN PROCESSPIRATE IN PROCESSPIRATE IN PROCESSPIRATE IN PROCESS

These four photographs show different views of the pirate carved to basic form with the knife used to carve it in the foreground.  The next series of photographs will be a photographic trail of various areas of the pirate showing first the basic form and then the completed and detailed area.   Remember what I often say: “Form Follows Function and Detail Follow Form,” which means to “carve to form” first and then “detail builds in the form.” The “form” and then the “details” of the pirate were carved using only one knife with a two inch long Scimitar blade as pictured in the photographs.

SHOE CARVED TO FORMSHOE CARVED IN DETAILHOOK CARVED TO FORMHOOK CARVED IN DETAILHAND AND SWORD CARVED TO FORMHAND AND SWORD CARVED IN DETAILBRAIDED HAIR CARVED TO FORMBRAIDED HAIR CARVED IN DETAILPEG LEG CARVED TO FORMPEG LEG CARVED IN DETAILCHEST AREA CARVED TO FORMCHEST AREA CARVED IN DETAIL

PIRATE FACE CARVED TO FORMPIRATE FACE CARVED IN DETAILPROFILE OF PIRATE CARVED TO FORMPROFILE OF PIRATE IN DETAILDETAILED PROFILEDETAIL OF COAT TAILThe pirate was carved out of an inch and a half square by six inches tall basswood block using only the one Ralph E. Long knife pictured in the photos. Ralph made excellent carving knives until his death in April, 2015 and his knives are prized by those carvers who have carved with a Ralph E. Long Knife.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2009 at 1:55 pm and is filed under Carving Projects. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 comments so far

Michael Keller
 1 

Don, you are a master of information, carving, photographing your work and a great writer. The Long Knife Pirate is a very nice piece. Good luck in Davenport.

Carvefully yours,

Michael

June 18th, 2009 at 5:41 pm
 2 

I really like the look of the Long knife. I’ve just written to Mr. Long to order one.

On the pirate, you’ve done an outstanding job defining the arms, particularly in front between the lapel of the coat and the front of the arm. Very clean cuts! That’s one of my “gotta work on it” areas.

Great work, and thanks for introducing me to Ralph Long.

Bob
aka MackTheKnife

June 19th, 2009 at 7:38 pm
 3 

Don:
Fantastic job on the Braidy Bunch,great tutorial,thank you so much.keep carving and see ya in the fall.

June 24th, 2009 at 7:30 pm
ElWoodTroll
 4 

That’s one good look’n pirate. Thanks for the study photos. A lot of detail for such a small carving

July 25th, 2009 at 7:22 am

One Trackback/Ping

  1. WoodBeeCarver » Blog Archive » BEAR CREEK BLADES    Jan 11 2016 / 3pm:

    […] shaped knife. In 2009 I carved a pirate for Ralph using only that Scimitar knife as in the posting Long Knife Pirate. We became fast friends through phone conversation. Ralph E. Long was my very special knife making […]

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