Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Knives

                  VIPER Knives

HELVIE KNIVES introduces the latest addition to the WOOD BEE CARVER Signature Series of knives. VIPER (#22) , VIPER II (#23)  and VIPER III (#24)are the latest innovation in the basic design concept of the WOOD BEE CARVERS Signature Series of knives. VIPER blade is two and half inches long , VIPER II blade is one and five eighths  inches long and VIPER III is an inch long.  HELVIE KNIVES has added a detail knife to the VIPER Series of the WOOD BEE CARVER Signature Series of knives and can be ordered by calling 765-675-8811 (soon to be added to their web site) Rich Smithson is a very accomplished knife maker and all his knives are good choices for carving knives.

The VIPER and VIPER II were used to carve a six inch tall pirate to illustrate the versatility of these two knives to carve the block of wood into the basic form of a pirate and then carve the detail cuts to complete the pirate.

Viper 12    viper 8    viper 9

The basic design of the carving blade for the WOOD BEE CARVER Signature series Knives was developed over a period of forty years of carving with a knife. During that time various shapes and angles were put through the trial and error process of discovering a blade shape that was most functional for the style of Whittle-Carving using ONLY a knife. More about this concept of blade design along with examples of the variety of knives developed using this basic blade design concept can be read in the posting under Cool Links entitled “Helvie Knife Guide,” found in the second column to the right of this posting.

       viper 7

The discovering process continued through experimenting with making what is called the “Other Knives” as described recently in a posting on this blog. The photograph above shows the experimental Other Knives below the Viper and Viper II knives as a “before and after” comparison. The Other Knives were made using old pocket knife blades epoxied in a butternut handle whittled into a pistol shaped handle.

All the blade designs in the Signature Series are based upon the concept of slicing with the cutting edge. Most blade designs utilize a curved cutting edge along with an extended tang that positions the business end of the cutting edge of the blade out and away from the handle. The extended tang also puts into play the physics principle of the lever and fulcrum to create an enhanced cutting action. The blade design in this series that has a straight cutting edge incorporates a reverse skew angle so that the cutting edge angles up from the tip towards the notch in the tang. This reverse skew angle enhances the slicing action of the straight cutting edge. The reverse skew angle is found in the Drone Bee and the Side Winder Bee knives.

The VIPER and VIPER II blades utilized the curved cutting edge in the Scimitar blade shape while each positions the blade at a downward angle as they come out of the handle. Such an angle and curve of the blade enhances the approach of the blade into the wood for a variety of cuts. The photographs below show a variety of positions of the cutting edge making a slicing cut.  The VIPER III is a detail version of the first two versions of VIPER.

viper 1viper 2viper 3

The first photo of the VIPER blade positions the cutting edge into a slicing action utilizing as much of the blade to create a ditch, trough or grove with two angled cuts to separate the arm from the side of the back of the figure. The second photo shows the slicing action of a push stroke of the belly of the cutting edge. The third photo shows the slicing action of the pull stroke of the heel portion of the curved blade at the notch of the extended tang.

The next series of photographs show the VIPER II blade in various positions and slicing cuts. The first is of the cutting edge slicing to separate the side of the coat lapel and the ruffled bib of the shirt. The second photo shows how the curved scimitar blade can carve around corners and get into tight places like between the peg leg and the shoe of the pirate figure being carved. The third photo illustrates how hair is textured with layers and waves by using the tip portion of the cutting edge like it is an ice skate and as it is sliced forward the slicing cut is rolled in the forward motion which creates a hollowing out cut resembling a gouge effect.

viper 4viper 5viper 6

The VIPER and VIPER II utilize a long blade which creates a different feel of cut when compared with a short blade. There is a place and time for the use of different lengths of the blade. The longer blade offers greater maneuverability in the slicing cuts while a short blade may give a sense of control for close up slicing cuts. The key is for the carver to become very familiar with whatever size and shape of tool being used. Familiarity comes about the more the carver uses the slicing tool.

The WOOD BEE CARVER recommends that every carver should do a twenty minute a day work out of carving with one tool only to shape of piece of wood by experimenting with a variety of cuts and positions of the tool to the wood. Always concentrate on doing a slicing cut like the action of slicing baloney, bread or a tomato. In the twenty minute a day work outs the knife carver will discover what all the cutting edge of the blade can do and the knife will simply become an extension of the hand connected to the creative spirit.

A curved cutting edged knife may seem awkward to a carver who has only used a straight cutting edge knife as a secondary tool to supplement traditional carving tools in the carving process. Learning to carve using only a knife in a slicing action will enhance the carving experience. And, learning to use a curved cutting edge in a slicing action will lead to a discovery of new ways that a carving knife can be used. Click on this hot link SOFT WHITTLING ~ A Tutorial to understand a little more the concept of carving only with a knife in a slicing action using a curved cutting edge. Then purchase a curved cutting edge knife to begin the twenty minute a day work out that is to be followed by carving something using only that one knife. Practice “slicing the baloney” with slice and roll cuts as well as learning to open up the block of wood using the notch cuts and three cut triangular chip cuts so that one can continue to carve the basic form first and finish by carving in the details.

Visit Helvie Knives to look over the WOOD BEE CARVER Signature Series knives available, pick one that looks interesting as your first one to try since any knife depicted will work as the first learning knife. At a later time another knife may be considered based upon the good experience of the first learning knife.

The WOOD BEE CARVER always says, “Would be carvers would be carvers if they would carve wood,” and “The more one carves the better one carves,” and “Slice, Slice and Slice with the cutting edge.”





This entry was posted on Monday, February 15th, 2016 at 1:52 pm and is filed under Knives. 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.

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