Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Knives

The stuff we learn as a kid and stored in our memories become the benchmark of experience that influences some of the things we do throughout our lifetime.  When we enter the Twilight Zone of our advanced years we tend to reflect upon those memories to give a sense of where we have come from on our journey of living.

To better understand my passion for Whittle-Carving and the love of the use of knives for carving the reflection in the mirror of memory gives a clue.  My early growing up yearswere that of a farm boy who began first grade in 1947 and graduated high school in 1959.  I was during those years that the informal lessons of observation, trial and error of making things for imaginative play and interaction with school mates that the passion for pocket knives and whittling carved a niche into my creative imagination. And now, such as it is in the twilight years is to revert to doing lessons learned doing kid stuff those many years ago that still influence what is done today.

Lessons learned during the “kid stuff” era like tinkering to make things for play while exercising imagination to figure out how to do things that one wanted to do, grew up to be done with a purpose. This kid used an old pocket knife to whittle toys so when this kid became an adult who rekindled an interest in carving as a hobby, the lowly pocket knife became the first choice for learning how to sharpen a blade for carving purposes. As the kid learned to make do with what one had on hand at the time, so the adult chose to continue that approach by rescuing old junk pocket knives to turn them into a workable carving tool.  This process was a great informal learning experience in what to look for in pocket knives that could become a carving knife with the main criteria being the “cheaper the better” and can the blades be reshaped and sharpened into a usable blade.  The rest of the pocket knife may be in rough condition, broken handles, worn out spring, rusty blades with most worn down by improper sharpening and misuse.  Most were beyond repair as a pocket knife, but the blades could be harvested to be replaced into another handle that required the “kid stuff” know-how of making what was needed.  The “kid stuff” experience included collecting things for the fun of collecting, so the adult kid continued for years to collect worthless old junk pocket knives purchased cheaply because they lacked collectable value but whose value was in what they could become in the imagination of “kid stuff” knowhow.

As this kid grew older that pocket knife handle was too small for holding in the adult hand while carving for long periods of time.  The blades in old pocket knives where to most important part to be rescued and placed into a larger handle that would fit the hand for comfort and utility.  Thus the “kid stuff” ingenuity was called back into action to make handle shapes that fit the carver’s hand as well as learning now to insert the blades into the wooden handle in a secure manner.

The same mixture of ingenuity was called into action when it came to experimenting with reshaping the rescued blades into a shape that was efficient as a slicing carving blade. Following the reshaping came the learning the process for sharpening the reshaped blade and maintaining the cutting edge as a viable carving edge used in a slicing action.  Kid stuff ingenuity of trial and error experience led the way to a process that becomes second nature of learning by doing and the more one does the better one does at sharpening as well as carving and continuing to do “kid stuff.”

This old carver still enjoys doing “kid stuff” mainly for the joy of the journey. The three knives described here show the transformation of worn and/or broken blades into a usable carving knife to join the “Other Knives” that have been made in similar fashion described in previous posting. “Other Knives” are the knives the Wood Bee Carver makes for his own personal use and experimental development of utilizing “kid stuff” memories and know-how.

The next series of photos show the progressive steps of cutting a mortise into one half of wooden handle, trial fitting the tang of blade into mortise for tight fit, applying epoxy to the mortice, pressing reshaped blade into the epoxied mortise, applying epoxy to handle, laying other half of handle on top of epoxy, clamping the two halves together, gluing contrasting wood on butt of handle and then photos of the finished handles that have been carved to shape, sanded, sprayed lacquer sealer and receiving final application of Birchwood Casey gun stock Tru-Oil to handle.



This entry was posted on Friday, August 25th, 2023 at 11:59 am 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.