Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Knives

How many knives does a wood carver need is the question and the answer is what the Old Carver sez: “One is dandy, two are handy and three are never enough.” And so, it is for the Wood Bee Carver who is a doodler and tinkerer at heart.  Even though the collection has long ago surpassed the “enough” yet the Wood Bee Carver from time to time will dabble in making a few “Other Knives” for personal use.  That is what this posting is about with photographs and written description in case anyone else would like to explore this relaxing obsession.

Pictured above are examples of old and junk pocket knives used for the purpose of harvesting the blades for reshaping into carving knives inserted into wooden handles. The left photo below shows five junk pocket knives before the blades are rescued from the body of the pocket knife with some showing guidelines for the grinding pattern. The photo of the right below shows four of those knives after the grinding of the preliminary shape of the blade. The third photo shows four additional knives reshaped.


The first step in reshaping is to grind away metal towards the pattern drawn on the blade using a hand cranked grind stone with its face rounded as depicted in the first two photos below. The third photo shows a blade receiving further shaping on a one inch by 42-inch belt sander with 120 grit.   [NOTE: when using power belt sander and Dremel sanding drum, dip blade in water to cool during the process so as not to soften harness and temper of blade.]

Once the blade has been shaped the body of the pocket knife is taken apart to rescue the blade.  Then the blade is inserted into a hole of a wooden block that will be whittled to shape to make the handle.  Epoxy secures the blade into the new handle and once the epoxy has cured the blade can receive continued shaping and sharpening with stropping finishing up the process. The two photos below show three of the blades inserted and epoxied into a wooden handle.  The photo on the left shows the progressive steps and the right photo shows the three completed knives.

Another way to secure the blade into the handle is to first insert the tang of the pocket knife blade into a five sixteenth brass tube cut to a length of two inches.  Stainless steel wire is inserted into the hole of the blade tang and then twisted to form a wire tail that will be threaded into the crimped end of the brass tube with the tang portion of blade fitted into the crimped end. Epoxy is then inserted into the open end of the brass tube to fuse the twisted wire and tang to the brass tube.  Then the brass tube/blade assembly is epoxied into a pre-drilled hole in the end of the handle.  The handle is then whittled to shape and the blades sharpened into a ready to carve knife.  The photos below show the progression of the three bladed pocket knife with blades reshaped. The second photo illustrates the brass tube assembly process.  The third photo shows the brass tube/blade assembly epoxied into the wooden handle while the fourth photo shows the three finished carving knives.


The next series of photos will show the before and after of some of the other junk pocket knives and completed carving knives.






The photo below shows blades that have been permanently inserted and bonded with brass tubes ready to be inserted into wooden handles. One blade on the right side has the twisted wire tail along with an empty brass tube to illustrate the before stage of bonding blade into brass tube.  Also pictured are loose pocket knife blades awaiting to be joined with brass tubes and two pocket knives that await being harvested of their blades in order to convert them into carving knives.  In other words there is a lot more doodling and tinkering to be done when the urge dictates.


Other Knives become the “change of pace” carving knives that have a certain something that is comfortable to this old carver as the blade slices through the wood.  Other Knives do not replace any knives in this carver’s arsenal because of all the favorite knives the most favorite is the one in the carver’s hand at the time of carving.  Like my late whittling friend Billy Stephens said when he coined a memorable phrase, “There is never a dull moment for a boy who has a sharp knife and a piece of wood,” so it is for any carving knife kissing a block of wood with its creative beauty. Thus, the WOOD BEE CARVER will continue to doodle and tinker be it with carving wood or making Other Knives all for the personal joy of the journey.



This entry was posted on Friday, March 8th, 2019 at 4:11 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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