Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Knives


As the old saying goes, “Nothing ventured is nothing gained,” therein is the motivation within undertaking a “venture” which becomes an “adventure.” Venture is defined as “an undertaking involving chance, risk or danger.” Or, “a venture is a project or activity which is new, exciting, and difficult because it involves the risk of failure.” Add to this meaning of “venture” is an expansion of it meaning to become ADVENTURE which is defined as “an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.  Adventure is a journey of life as in learning, imagination, new experiences, experimentation, inventing, and hobby that expands the mind and skills with opportunities to grow and learn.

It is no secret that the Wood Bee Carver has experienced and advocated through the writing of this blog that carving and related pursuits is an adventure as a journey that is continuous, never ends and is always a venture into the unknown of the challenge of “if it can be imagined it can be.”  Every carving project is a venture of chance and risk in the creative process that teaches that failure is only a challenge to teach of lesson of what can be.  The same can be said for the making of carving knives for personal use which the Wood Bee Carver does from time to time. This personal knife making is not out of necessity of need of another knife but of the inner compulsion for a venture in making knives to experience the “adventure.”  This was best explored in an earlier blog entry entitled CREATIVE PLAY.

This posting of “Knife Add Venture” covers the most recent adventure with a few illustrative photos and brief background descriptions of the continuing journey of the inner compulsion to make knives for personal use from time to time.

In this entry the knives have been made using blades recycled from old pocket knives accumulated over earlier years.  These old pocket knives were accumulated during earlier journey of searching for old knives that had been well used, abused and often worn out from their original purpose and certainly not collectable in the value sense.  However, the blades in these old knives still had a life in their potential to be reshaped, sharpened and re-handled into functional carving knives.  The venture then is to experiment with reshaping into a functional design as well a learning the feel for sharpening the reshaped design into an innovative and functional carving knife for personal use.

The three photos below are of the three SIDE WINDERS in the opening photo above. The three blades used to make the three different size Side Winders came from a three bladed Boker pocket knife. The handles were sawn in half and in one half the tang portion of the blade area was morticed into the wood and then five-minute epoxy glue was applied to secure both halves of the handle and blade together.



The next two photos illustrate using a blade that is technically called an “Eraser” in that it was used to scape off the dried ink letters mistakenly written on parchment paper with a ink pen that was dipped into an ink well in the 1800’s. (predating fountain pens, ball point pens and cheaper grade paper)  This blade more often was in its own handle and used also as a letter opener although some appeared is pocket knife form.  The first photo shows the typical eraser blade made by Clauss.  In its original shape it is not very functional as a carving knife but reshaped it contains quality steel.  The second photo is a blade made by Utica in a cheaper version although the steel is superior when reshaped in this case two different blade shapes for carving.

The next photo is of a Challenge Office knife whose blades were made into two different carving blade shapes. The knife with the smaller blade is for carving in detail and miniature size carvings as well as clean up in very tight areas of a project.  The larger blade is in the shape called Serpentine Scimitar whose front tip is rounded for making sculpting slicing cuts both in the front and the belly of the blade.

The next photo is of the screw driver blade that was included in a pocket knife often called an electrician knife. The assumption for reshaping this blade is that if it was strong enough to hold up from the twisting action of a screw driver then it would make a good carver. Two knives were made in the shape of a long-extended tang with a small scimitar blade at the end which is normally the business end of most carving knives that utilizes the front end of the blade for most slicing cuts  .


The next photo is of a IXL blade who has a twisted wire rat tail laced through the hole in the tang of the blade. The twisted wire rat tail receives an application of super glue so that the blade tang and wire bond together to make a solid poste to insert into the drilled hole of the handle filled with epoxy. The photo is a before and after presentation of the same blade inserted into the finished whittled handle.

The final photo is of a Camillus hawk bill blade reshaped into a Side Winder blade in the before and after depiction. Following are two more photos showing that knife being reshaped on an inch by 42-inch sanding belt with sander in its horizontal position. The blade is inserted into can of water during the process to keep form drawing the temper and softening the hardness of the blade. The last two photos are of the Dremel being us for minor concave shaping the back edge and the other photo shows diamond hones in various sizes that are used for flattening the sides of the blade and then sharpening to bring the cutting edge to a burr edge smaller and smaller through the extra fine hone and finally stropping on a leather strop. All these last stages is using hand guided strokes of the blade against the hones and strop.



All carvers should take the practice time to learn a method that fits them for sharpening because the adventure of carving is enhanced by being able to tune up the carving blade to do more than one expects in the function of a sharp blade.  The Wood Bee Carver recommends learning to sharpen by hand rather than the motorized sharpening systems.  Most carvers are hobby carvers and production time is not an issue.  Even with motorize sharpening systems it takes practice of learning the “feel” for the proper pressure and position of the blade to the moving abrasive and buffing wheel. Sharpening is never a wasted effort as it is part of the carving process. The time invested in sharpening  isto  wed the feel of the knife to the carver’s hand so that when carving with the sharp knife the hand and the knife are one in the carving action.  All of which add up to a venture becoming an adventure on the journey of creativity with heart, hand and mind working together.  Woodcarving is the journey more than the destination ~ enjoy the journey.




This entry was posted on Monday, September 19th, 2022 at 1:48 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.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.