Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Knives



LITTLE STINKER knives are designed by the WOOD BEE CARVER and made by HELVIE KNIVES.  These are DETAIL carving knives intended to be used in a slicing action (like slicing a tomato or bread) while being held like a pencil between the thumb and index finger while resting on the second finger and in the crook of hand between the thumb joint and the index finger. The slender wooden handle is comfortable when held pencil fashion rather than in the palm of hand as when holding a larger bladed knife.  Each knife can be held in the palm of the hand for short periods of time to make certain cuts but not for long periods of time.


The term “little stinker” sometimes refers to someone who is mischievous or ornery – someone who pulls a practical joke or it is said in an affectionate and teasing manner of endearment to someone who is clever.  Calling these DETAIL knives “Little Stinker” is to imply that each one has a clever way of reaching into tight areas of a carving project while slicing a slick cut that puts the finishing touch on a desired area.  While it would not be practical to open a peanut shell with a crowbar or a sledge hammer it would also not be practical to use a detail knife to do heavy and roughing out carving cuts.  Little Stinker knives are specialty knives to reach into those unique areas of a carving project that another knife may not be able to reach as well.  Each Little Stinker knife has a unique shape and function for a variety of detailing slicing cuts.

Like any knife each carver should get to know their knife by making a variety of slicing cuts to discover each knife’s unique carving ability.  The WOOD BEE CARVER is primarily a knife carver who through over forty years of trial and error experimenting with a variety of knife blade shapes has discovered that the curved cutting edge of a scimitar shaped blade is most versatile as a slicing blade.  All of the WOOD BEE CARVER designed knives made by HELVIE KNIVES are variations of the basic concept of a curved cutting edge used in a slicing action either is the push or pull stoke.  While slicing the wood in the action similar of slicing a tomato it is helpful to add a twisting of the wrist in a rolling action to add a sculpting or dishing out effect that is more appealing than a flat plane slice.  This “slice and roll” action as well as learning to slice with every movement of the knife takes some practice. A curved cutting edge also requires the learning curve of discovering how it slices more efficiently than a straight cutting edge of the commonly used carving knife.

The blade in the Purple handled Little Stinker number 1 knife is a scimitar blade shape with the curved back edge mirrors the curved cutting edge at the end of the extended tang.  This small detail blade is used most often to make a variety of slicing cuts for the fine details.

The blade in the Red handled Little Stinker number 2 knife has a curved cutting edge on the rounded tip of the blade to join with the straight cutting edge.  This unique design allows the curved rounded tip to be used as a mini knife to make slicing cuts in a variety of settings.  This blade is also very useful for making those final smoothing slices to the surface of the carving.  Experimenting with this blade will discover it multiple uses.

The blade in the Orange handled Little Stinker number 3 is a curved skew that will reach into tight and other inaccessible areas of a carving. The blade in the Maple handled Little Stinker number 4 is also a curved skew a little larger with a larger curve to the cutting edge. A curved cutting edged blade at a skewed angle can also make a variety of cuts typical of a carving knife.  All cuts should be done with a “slicing action” for the most efficient effect.

The blade of the Blue handled Little Stinker number 5 is another scimitar blade shape that angles downward and approached the slicing cut at a different angle than the number 1.

The blade of the Green handled Little Stinker number 6 possess multiple cutting edges all with a slight curve.  The longer cutting edge is fronted with a curved skewed with a slight backward angle and in between those two-cutting edge is a rounded tip that also is a cutting edge.  Experimenting with this blade shape will reveal its versatility of making a variety of cuts.

The blade of the Yellow handled Little Stinker number 7 is a mini scimitar blade similar to the number 1 and number 5.  As a mini scimitar blade it makes very delicate and precise slicing cuts to reach into very tight areas.

The business end of each cutting part of each blade sits at the end of an extended tang portion of the blade.  This extended tang allows for a longer reach into nooks and crannies. But even more importantly, the extended tang moved the fulcrum point of the level physics principle closer to the business end of the blade for greater maneuverability of the cutting action.

The next series of photographs depict each of the blade shapes as they appeared in the proto type stage of testing the design of each blade in the detail carving action of a six-inch-tall Gandalf figure that had been shaped to its basic form with larger carving knives.  The position of each blade in each photograph illustration where it is making detail slicing cuts.


The next series of photographs show number 1, 2 and 3 knives used to carve various faces on friendship cane segment block with a different style of faces carved on each side of the block.

The two photographs below are of the three knives used to carve an ornament with raised holly leaves and raised letters spelling LOVE.


The left photo shows a practice board of making freehand decorative cuts with the rounded tip end of the Red Handled # 2 Stinker knife in the top half of the practice board.  The tip of the Orange Handled # 3 Stinker knife carved “LOVE” and the three sprigs of grass. The four corner decorations on the top half of the practice board with carved using the Purple Handled  # 1 Stinker knife. The right photo shows the three knives used to carve a face recessed in a chunk of wood.


The final six photos below are of several of the Little Stinkers used to carve a variety of subjects.




Little Stinker knives can be ordered from HELVIE KNIVES ~ 765-675-8811 ~ ordering by the handle color and number ~  (Purple  # 1 ~ Signature Series # 34) (Red  # 2 ~ Signature Series # 35) (Orange # 3  ~ Signature Series # 36) (Maple # 4 ~ Signature Series # 39) (Blue # 5 ~ Signature Series  # 40) (Green # 6 ~ Signature Series # 41) (Yellow # 7 ~ Signature Series # 42)

These Detail knives live up to their names of being a Little Stinker of a Detail Knife.  They are like the Seven Little Dwarfs who each have their own personality and function and as they slice through the wood they sing, “Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go…”



This entry was posted on Monday, March 19th, 2018 at 6:57 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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