Posted by: woodbeecarver   in BEE Buzz

Scott King, publisher of the CutleryNewsJournal, recently interviewed me on the subject of WHITTLING.  The interview may be viewed by visiting http://cutlerynewsjournal.com/2009/05/02/meet-a-master-whittler/ .  I am very honored to be able to share my ideas about Whittling with those interested in collecting antique pocket knives.

WHITTLING KNIFETen or twelve years ago our local carving group asked the organizer of a knife show that was meeting in our area if we could come for one day and demonstrate whittling and carving.  He was thrilled that we would want to do so and even asked if we would organize and conduct a “whittling contest” for the show and he would donate two pocket knives to the winners.  Our carving group decided to have a letter opener as the subject for the whittling contest since letter openers have a blade.  We carved up some examples of letter openers, wrote guidelines for how to whittle a letter opener along with photographs and supplied basswood sticks for the contest. 

At the show we tried to sign up people who passed by with a personal invitation to supplement the public announcements that were made about the Whittling Contest.  Almost every one who gave us an ear said “Thanks, but I only collect knives.  I don’t even know how to sharpen a knife.”  We only had one contestant and he ended up with the first prize of a forty five dollar German Eye congress pattern knife.

WHITTLING KNIFECollecting knives is a great hobby with a lot of history and nostalgia associated with it.  Some collectors may only be motivated by the speculation of making a profit from knife trading and collecting.  I can understand wanting to keep the knife in mint condition to sustain its value and to have a nice looking collection.  What I can not understand, however, as a whittler since I was a boy, why collectors would not at least have one knife that could be  sharpened and used for  whittling.  What is the purpose of a knife in the first place other than being a cutting instrument?

WHITTLING KNIFESo I am indebted to Scott King for giving me an opportunity to spread a good word about “whittling” with the hope of encouraging someone to pick up a piece of wood and use that old pocket knife to whittle something, anything, just for the fun of it.  As I have often said, “The world would be a better place if we had more whittlers and fewer chiselers.”

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 2nd, 2009 at 6:31 pm and is filed under BEE Buzz. 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.

2 comments so far


Don, Congratulations on the interview. I have admired your work in your blog since I started carving 4 months ago. Plus, you have provided me advice and guidance at the Miami Valley Woodcarver’s meetings on how to get started that I truly appreciate. 60 years of experience is hard to beat.

May 2nd, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Don, great interview. I also feel puzzled when a man who owns a knife refuses to use it. Collecting is all well and good, but how can someone who loves knives pick one up and not start looking around for something to cut with it?

Bob Tinsley, aka Macktheknife

May 3rd, 2009 at 10:45 pm

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