TURNIP BEE Knife Tested

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Projects, Knives

The best way to test a knife is to use it almost exclusively in a carving project to experience all the various slicing cuts it can make to shape the block of wood into the envisioned image of the carving project.  In this test a six-inch-tall woodworker is holding a saw in one hand and a hand plane in the other hand.  The completed carving is seen in the opening photos.

The TURNIP BEE blade is an abbreviation of “Turn Up Tip” or a curved cutting-edge knife blade.  The TURNIP BEE blade intentionally and abruptly “turns up the tip” of the front end of the blade to create a curved skew tip to the cutting edge.  The TURNIP BEE blade creates a secondary slicing area on the longer curved cutting edge making it a multipurpose and multi-function slicing tool.  The front end of the TURNIP BEE blade can reach into areas where the longer curve of the cutting edge cannot reach and between the longer portion of the blade and the front end turned up tip the sharp radius curve creates another unique slicing area of the blade.

The TURNIP blade possesses a multipurpose cutting edge that is explained using the A-B-C illustrations in the photo above.  Illustration A represents the front of the blade with its curved skew shape.  Illustration B represents the section of the continuing curvature of the blade.  Illustration C represents the longer curved section of the blade that trails the sections A and B.  Slicing cuts can be made using just the front A section using primarily a pushing stroke.  Slicing cuts can be made using just the middle B section.  Slicing cuts can be made using just the C section of the blade for a wider slicing cut. Slicing cuts can be made with combination of A and B or B and C or a total combination of AB and C.

The series of photographs below illustrate various positions and slicing cuts being used on the shaping of the carpenter.  The first photo shows the A section of the Turnip blade slicing along the side of the chest at the crook of the arm area. The second photo shows the same A Section of blade shaping the corner of the crook of the arm at the inside of elbow.


The next photo below illustrates the B section of the blade being used to make a controlled stop cut separating between the side of arm and the back of carpenter.  The second photo shows a similar slicing cut being sliced on the front side between the arm and chest.


The first of the next two photos begins with the combination of B and C sections of the blade being used in a slice and roll action to create a soft surface hollow of the apron and the second photo shows the same kind of slicing action on the back of the shirt.


The slicing action of C section of the blade is illustrated in the first photo on the back of shoulder area and the second photo illustrates the A section slicing along the side of the shoe between the base and the bottom of the pants cuff.


A section is illustrated as it slices under the front of the collar lapel as it fits in-between the top of apron and the lapel illustrating how this blade can work in tight and difficult areas.  The second photo illustrates the texturing of the apron neck strap by using the B section curve standing on its edge like an ice skate and as it is sliced forward the blade is twisted slightly to catch a thing sliver of a shaving to hollow out a trough in the neck strap.  This is called the “ice skating cut.”


The next three photos depict the completed carving of the carpenter beside a basswood block in the beginning stage of being shaped into another carpenter.  Note that the beginning stage of shaping the block is to slice away wood around the area the will be the head that is slightly turned and has the eye area hollowed slightly exposing the beginning shape of the nose.  While shaping the head the shoulders are also shaped along with the front and back areas.  Notice also the red horizontal lines that indicate the top of shoulders, the waist and mid knees of the Rule of Three for proportions of the body.  Within these red lines guidelines are drawn to position the arms and the hands holding a plane and saw along with guidelines for the legs, shoes and apron. The guidelines will guide where to begin the opening cuts to be followed by continued shaping and modeling cut to prepare for the final detailing of the finishing features.

The next three photos show close up views with the first showing the hand holding the plane, the details of the plane and the front of the apron and shirt collar. The second photo shows another view of the hand and plane.  The third photo shows not only the front end of the plane but also of the hand holding the carpenter saw.  Notice that the index finger is extended along the side of the handle.  This is an artistic design feature that adds interest of seeing something more than all the fingers inserted and disappearing in the handle opening.


The TURNIP BEE knife was used to carve ninety percent of the carpenter with a little detail help from the BUSY BEE 2, the BUZZ BEE and the DRAGON II knives.  The test of the TURNIP BEE proved its versatility as a knife that slices in many variations of carving exercises.  It heads the list of the other three knives mentioned to become the “Don Mertz Dream Team 4.”  HELVIE KNIVES makes the WOOD BEE CARVER Signature Series Knives designed by Don Mertz.  Click on this link to HELVIE KNIVES to see all the Mertz Signature knives and how to order.  Rich, Holli and Skylar Smithson are good friends to the carving community and make very good carving knives.




This entry was posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018 at 3:14 pm and is filed under Carving Projects, 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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