Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Knives

KNIVES-KNIVES-KNIVESThe WOOD BEE CARVER is primarily a knife carver with the photograph at the left representative of the various knives used in Whittle-Carving.  On the right are two pocket knives representative of the very first and most often used knives for carving.  The two knives on the left are small handled pocket knives that have been “tinkered” with larger wooden handles.  The knives in the center represent custom made knives that are also used in the carving process.  The top and the fourth down are Ralph E. Long knives.  The second knife was made by good friend Larry Piety.  The third knife down is an old Herb Dunkle knife and the bottom knife was made by Dave Lyons.  Even though each of these knives are adequate for carving, yet making one’s own knife is a fun project.

CHARLES SIMPSON KNIVESCharles Simpson from Alabama made the knives in the photograph on the left using Personna eight inch floor scraper blades.  He has been making them for years with many satisfied carvers using his knives. Other carvers have also used the floor scraper blades to make knives so it was only natural for the WOOD BEE CARVER to tinker around again with another knife making project.  A search on the Internet for “eight inch floor scraper blades” will bring up Personna blades as well as Better Tools scraper blades to be purchased.  Personna floor scraper  blades (five in package – .036″ gauge) can also be purchased at Lowes Home Improvement stores in the flooring department for about seven dollars.  Make sure that scraper blades are at least .036″ gauge because any gauge less makes the blade more susceptible to breakage.




The first photograph shows the scraper blade tube package, a full length blade and several smaller blade sections cut off the larger blade.  The next photograph shows the dulling of the sharp edge of the scraper blade in order to work with it.  Wear eye protection and a safety glove while working during the cutting of the blade into smaller sections and the shaping of the smaller blades on the belt sander.  A Dremel tool with a cut off wheel is used to cut the larger blade into smaller sections.  The smaller blades are shaped on a one inch by forty two inch belt sander  laying horizontally using 120x grit Aluminum Oxide or 120x grit Blue Zirconia belts.  Use new belts because as the belts are worn down they heat up the metal quickly.   Dip the blade in water every so often to protect against burning the metal and drawing out the temper.




The top photograph shows a cut blade blank and a shaped blade ready to be assembled into a handle.  The second photograph shows two strips of wood for a handle with one strip receiving a mortise cut to receive the end portion of the blade which will all be epoxied together using five minute epoxy.   Once the epoxy has cured the wooden handle is whittled and sanded to shape. An assembled knife is also shown to depict the finished knife.  The third photograph shows several knife blanks along with finished knives.  The blue handled and chucked knife is used to hold the blade during the shaping process on the belt sander.  Once the blade is shaped and secured in a handle then the blade is sharpened and stropped to make ready for carving.

The middle three photographs show finished knives all made using Personna floor scraper blades.  The bottom three photographs show Better Tools floor scraper blades and the knives made from this brand of scraper blade.  Both Personna and Better Tools blades are high carbon steel, .036″ gauge and have adequate hardness and temper to make usable carving knives.  Granted they are not as good as a custom made knife by Long, Lyons, Dunkle or any of the other fine knife makers.  But for the carver who likes to tinker at making a suitable carving knife, this is another project that will do the job.

Practice SAFETY always while working with making knives and also when carving.  Any tool is only as sharp of the person using the tool, so always BEE SHARP.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 3rd, 2010 at 8:33 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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