Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Knives

The WOOD BEE CARVER is primarily a knife carver who began as a youth using a pocket knife to whittle toys and other play things.  When carving grew into a serious activity it was still the pocket knife that remained the primary carving tool.  Old pocket knives rescued from flea markets were reshaped and sharpened into carving knives.

Following years of trial and error experimenting with various blade shapes one basic shape became the most versatile for practicing the slicing cut.  Thus was born the “Universal Whittle-Carving Knife,”  whose basic design has the back edge of the blade sloping down with a twelve degree angle to meet the cutting edge that gently curves up to meet the back edge at its tip.

A Variation to this Universal Whittle-Carving Blade  is to create a concaved arch in the twelve degree back edge to form a “scimitar”  blade shape.  The “scimitar”  blade shape allows for reaching into tight areas of the carving project while the curved cutting edge allows for the most efficient slicing action.

The “Universal” distinction of the blade shape allows for general purpose slicing and carving of the wood for roughing out and as well as the half inch of the tip of the blade is used for detail carving.

The modified pocket knife blades shaped into the Universal Whittle-Carving blade are for the WOOD BEE CARVERS own personal use.  In order to meet the request of other carvers who would like to carve with this style of knife, three knife makers are recommended who make knives according to this design.

Ralph E. Long of North Carolina has been making quality carving knives for twenty years of various blade and handle shapes.  His WH-8 knife with a scimitar blade is very functional for Whittle-Carving style of carving.  Ralph and Dot are very accommodating to the carving customer and Ralph changed the handle design to a round, fat cigar shape per my request.  Such a handle allows for the knife to be maneuvered in the carver’s hand to guide the blade to cut upside down, sideways and right side up with a simple roll of the handle in the hand.  A readable and printable catalog is available under “Cool Links” on this blog by clicking on “REL Knives.”



Rich, Holli and Skylar Smithson of Tipton, IN manufacture and sell the famous Helvie Knives.  One of their offerings is their “Signature Series” knives of which the WOOD BEE CARVER has designed two knives.  One is the Universal Whittle-Carving Knife (U-1) with sloping twelve degree back edge and the other is the Universal Scimitar Whittle-Carving Knife (U-2) with a concaved arch in the twelve degree slope of back edge.

Both blade designs have the tang part of the blade extending out of handle with a notch before where the cutting edge begins to allow for the index finger to wrap around the tang portion of the blade when choking up on the handle for detail carving control.

Rich enhances the fat cigar shaped cherry handle with his wood burning artistic designs along with my signature.  “Helvie Knifes”  is listed under “Cool Links”  on this blog which takes the viewer to their web site for ordering purposes.



Bud Murray of Missouri has been making carving knives and tools for many years that have been well received in the carving community.  He makes the third knife of recommendation that is a variation in the Universal Whittle-Carving Knife design fitted into his unique pistol grip walnut handle.  The handle allows for a couple of holding positions that fit comfortably in the carver’s hand. The tang of the blade extends out of the handle to allow for the index finger to wrap around that part of the blade while choking up on the handle for detail carving cuts.

BUD MURRAY’S CUSTOM CARVING KNIVES, 1490 THUNDER MOUNTAIN ROAD, CAMEDENTON, MO 65020 (phone) 573-346-7321 OR  budmurray10@gmail.com

 The pistol grip handle can be held by pistol grip  for long reaches or it fits comfortably in the palm of the hand.  The extended tang with finger groove allows for choking up for making detail cuts.  An index finger groove in the side of the handle is a trademark feature of Bud Murray’s knives.

A knife is always a personal choice and there are many good knife makers who make excellent knives.  The Three Knife Makers that are being recommended have been accommodating in making a knife in the design of the WOOD BEE CARVER.  Each knife has its own carving characteristic and one is as good as the other two.  Once again it is a matter of personal choice.

Care for any carving knife is to use it always in a slicing action and never in a twisting or forced wedge cut.  When carving around a curve it is advised to always begin the slicing action before turning the tip of the blade to eliminate bending or breaking the tip of the blade.  Sharpening is only done when there is a knick in the cutting edge.  Maintain a sharp cutting edge by stropping often on a leather strop ever so often.  Stropping simply is polishing the fine cutting teeth of the cutting edge as well as polishing the sides of the blade.  It is the cutting edge teeth that separate the wood fibers in a slicing action while it is the polished sides of blade that burnishes the wood as the blade slices between the block of wood and the shaving being removed.  Always slice with the cutting edge.

A knife is as only good as the carver using the knife so carve as often as possible to get the most use out of the carving knife to experience that “the more one carves the better one carves.”




This entry was posted on Thursday, November 17th, 2011 at 2:12 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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