Wood Carving Knives
#21
  Re: Wood Carving Knives by cajunwoodworks (Just wondering what ...)
(12-12-2018, 07:35 PM)cajunwoodworks Wrote: Just wondering what everyone's opinion is on the best whittling knife ......

~Cajun

If you are going to carve large items like spoons and spatulas, the Mora knives are a fantastic bargain in my opinion.

If you are into caricature carving and detailed figure carving then the Helvie knives are great because they have smaller blades that are thinner in cross section.  

http://www.helvieknives.com/
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#22
  Re: Wood Carving Knives by cajunwoodworks (Just wondering what ...)
I have Pinewood Forge, Mora, and Pfeil carving gouges, but the ones I like best using are all from Flexcut.  They fit the hand nicely, are relatively inexpensive, and they are very sharp.  Coupled with a strop and some honing compound, they'll stay sharp a long time.  Flexcut even makes a stropping kit that includes profiles for curved blades and v-gouges.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#23
  Re: RE: Wood Carving Knives by hbmcc (One of the reasons I...)
(12-13-2018, 12:36 PM)hbmcc Wrote: One of the reasons I have stayed away from whittling, or carving, knives so long is that there are so many to choose from, and in so many types of steel. Over the years a lot of money has gone their way with little reward. I have Oar Carvers in powdered D2 steel that hold an edge forever but also take forever to sharpen. My advice, stay with O1 type steel. 

I don't think any usable folder made will survive repeated prying. 

Then you deal with cutting angles. Anything that cuts easily is also thin, and fragile. My experience with Mora knives verged on abuse. They just kept going, so lived with fish guts, dry salmon eggs, in a tackle box until God saved them in a moment of my forgetfulness. Mora were butt ugly, so we had useless but flashy bowies and bear killers on our hips.

Looking at the Wille Sundvqist books, you start with a known quality and it evolves to fit your style. My baby knife--pre-school to college--did just that. It started life as a two-blade folding Barlow, was sharpened on convenient stones (natural); lost its red plastic scales, the large blade. Eventually, the toothpick-shape small blade snapped. The desirable aspect of my Barlow was its size, smallish to fit unobtrusively in a pocket.

Of course, what you whittle will define your tool. My spoons and spatulas started and ended lives at the camp fire, so bling was secondary to function. I needed only one knife.
..................................
One of the reasons I have stayed away from whittling, or carving, knives so long is that there are so many to choose from, and in so many types of steel

I like "making" knives about as much as I do carving and have been at it since the sixties.....and two of the very first ones I made are shown in these photos..I like using many types of tropical hardwoods but in the last couple of years, I started making  what I will refer to as my "Native American" series with an eagle head and Indian symbols carved or burned into a "twig" handle..Some have home made brass ferrules, some have sinew "ferrules" and some have no ferrules...I made my own Pyrography pen many years ago as well and use it on this series..
      I would like to see other carver/knife makers carve/burn a "theme" in their handles..I don't think handles have to be boring...And the handle "shapes" can be different also. If a person can carve/whittle with an uncomfortable pocketknife in their hands, they can adapt to different shaped wood handles...I made a Vacuum stabilizer a couple years ago for stabilizing softer woods..and that works very well...
     I would love to see knives that others have made for carving..And blades can be purchased  {if need be} from Amazon very reasonably..One brand I can recommend is the Warren blades and knives...made in Rhinebeck N.Y.






The top "knife" is out of an old riffler file and will be cut in two to make two separate blades..The gouge is made from an old paddle drill..

I have made hundreds of knives but here are some I did not make , but they are sometimes available from dealers on Ebay...and they are excellent knives for carving


I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be
issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the
traditions for generations of warriors past. [Cpl. Jeff Sornij, USMC;
in Navy Times, November 1994]


Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korean War 51/52
Get off my lawn ! Upset





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#24
  Re: RE: Wood Carving Knives by AHill (I have Pinewood Forg...)
(12-13-2018, 02:23 PM)AHill Wrote: I have Pinewood Forge, Mora, and Pfeil carving gouges, but the ones I like best using are all from Flexcut.  They fit the hand nicely, are relatively inexpensive, and they are very sharp.  Coupled with a strop and some honing compound, they'll stay sharp a long time.  Flexcut even makes a stropping kit that includes profiles for curved blades and v-gouges.
................
I agree Alan...Flexcut is an excellent value for sure,,,The only thing I don't care for is the way they fit my hand when "pull cutting" the knife blade { which is not recommended anyway }...it feels "backwards"...the gouges tho, are fine and are very comfortable...And they are "dangerously" sharp right out of the package. Winkgrin
I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be
issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the
traditions for generations of warriors past. [Cpl. Jeff Sornij, USMC;
in Navy Times, November 1994]


Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korean War 51/52
Get off my lawn ! Upset





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#25
  Re: Wood Carving Knives by cajunwoodworks (Just wondering what ...)
Jack, I agree carving knives and tools come in a great array of quality, usefulness and price. And no matter any of this if you can’t sharpen you won’t be able to carve very successfully and probably give it up.  Vee tools are the most difficult to sharpen but the most versatile.  I’ve found that I’ve gotten older the handle takes on more importance as my hands just aren’t as strong and flexible as they once were and I’ve wrapped some nice handles in various type of rough tape..
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#26
  Re: Wood Carving Knives by cajunwoodworks (Just wondering what ...)
WOW fellas...I did not expect such great responses. A lot to digest but I'll get to my questions as I make my way through the responses!
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#27
  Re: RE: Wood Carving Knives by Timberwolf ([quote='hbmcc' pid='...)
(12-13-2018, 12:36 PM)hbmcc Wrote: One of the reasons I have stayed away from whittling, or carving, knives so long is that there are so many to choose from, and in so many types of steel. Over the years a lot of money has gone their way with little reward. I have Oar Carvers in powdered D2 steel that hold an edge forever but also take forever to sharpen. My advice, stay with O1 type steel. 

I don't think any usable folder made will survive repeated prying. 

Then you deal with cutting angles. Anything that cuts easily is also thin, and fragile. My experience with Mora knives verged on abuse. They just kept going, so lived with fish guts, dry salmon eggs, in a tackle box until God saved them in a moment of my forgetfulness. Mora were butt ugly, so we had useless but flashy bowies and bear killers on our hips.

Looking at the Wille Sundvqist books, you start with a known quality and it evolves to fit your style. My baby knife--pre-school to college--did just that. It started life as a two-blade folding Barlow, was sharpened on convenient stones (natural); lost its red plastic scales, the large blade. Eventually, the toothpick-shape small blade snapped. The desirable aspect of my Barlow was its size, smallish to fit unobtrusively in a pocket.

Of course, what you whittle will define your tool. My spoons and spatulas started and ended lives at the camp fire, so bling was secondary to function. I needed only one knife.

(12-13-2018, 01:29 PM)Timberwolf Wrote: ................
My preference is for D-2 steel and I have two pocketknives by Ross Oar that I bought from Joel...As you say, D-2 holds it's edge..better than any other knife steel I have used when sharpened to a low angle,, with the possible exception of M-2 HSS which I am now using in the carving knives I make. I have no problem sharpening it on a six inch  3,000grit diamond lap mounted on my Worksharp 3000, then "power stropped".... I have other laps in different grit sizes that are 8" diameter for my Veritas MKII. Diamond cuts it like butter.
   For everyday carry, I have two favs... an Artisan Zumwalt in D-2 and a TwoSun Flipper also in D-2.....I think the secret's out...D-2 is starting to "catch on" in the knife community...I hope so anyway..... Big Grin

I hear you, this is my current issue...too many choices, both in blade shapes and steel choice. On the later though I have a better understanding now from an article I read recently research...I'll see if I can find the link as it was very informative. Anyway, the article recommended W1, W2, or O1  which are basically all high carbon tool steel. The drawback is corrosion and the benefit is a hard blade and edge that will hold.

HBMCC, what is your reasoning for staying away from O1?  I can see D2 being good for its higher carbon content but not rusting. That said I know I just need to grab a few different knives and get after it and see what sticks.

Timberwolf, Seems like D2 is treating you well, I'll keep that in mind. M2 is supposed to be pretty good to and if I recall Spyderco has a model or two made with it that I have heard good things about.

Edit: Here is the link I mentioned above... best whittling knife and wood carving knife sets. Also, I meant to say how nice that collection is Timber, very cool!
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#28
  Re: RE: Wood Carving Knives by AHill (I have Pinewood Forg...)
(12-13-2018, 02:23 PM)AHill Wrote: I have Pinewood Forge, Mora, and Pfeil carving gouges, but the ones I like best using are all from Flexcut.  They fit the hand nicely, are relatively inexpensive, and they are very sharp.  Coupled with a strop and some honing compound, they'll stay sharp a long time.  Flexcut even makes a stropping kit that includes profiles for curved blades and v-gouges.

Any experience with Flexcut knives, I have actually been recommended them on more than one occasion.
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#29
  Re: RE: Wood Carving Knives by dry heat ([color=#000000][font...)
(12-13-2018, 06:50 PM)dry heat Wrote: Jack, I agree carving knives and tools come in a great array of quality, usefulness and price. And no matter any of this if you can’t sharpen you won’t be able to carve very successfully and probably give it up.  Vee tools are the most difficult to sharpen but the most versatile.  I’ve found that I’ve gotten older the handle takes on more importance as my hands just aren’t as strong and flexible as they once were and I’ve wrapped some nice handles in various type of rough tape..

.........................
Handle shape is one of the things that I have experimented with a lot over the years { you may have noticed } Big Grin ..A carver can usually "adapt" to almost any shape for a short time, but carving for long periods wont be as enjoyable, to me anyway...I generally prefer a shape that will allow for comfortable carving whether pulling OR pushing..One can be very comfortable when pushing but awkward and uncomfortable when pulling, and I am the type that will use either direction if the situation calls for it..I do have carving gloves but am loathe to wear them...And I have cut myself {who hasn't?" Crazy Big Grin .I had ten stitches to close a cut in my thumb one time, but I was cutting a vine on the
back fence..not while carving..Cuts with sharp knives heal quicker, fortunately.
When it comes to sharpening "V" tools, to me, it is so much easier if you have a "knife edge" Arkansas slipstone for inside the "V"...and a "knife edge" hard leather strop to polish off the inside burr...especially effective if you have a really hard leather wheel {saddle leather about 3/16" thick} is what I prefer and I have one mounted on a small Bodine motor with a tapered mandrel turning at about 3K RPM. Fortunately, occasional stropping is about all that needs to be done to keep one in top shape for long periods.
I love the Corps for those intangible possessions that cannot be
issued: pride, honor, integrity, and being able to carry on the
traditions for generations of warriors past. [Cpl. Jeff Sornij, USMC;
in Navy Times, November 1994]


Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korean War 51/52
Get off my lawn ! Upset





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#30
  Re: RE: Wood Carving Knives by cajunwoodworks ([quote='AHill' pid='...)
Simon,

Sorry for not doing this earlier, but I don't think we know enough about what why you want a carving knife.

What do you want the piece of wood to look like when you're done with it?  A figurine?  a face?  A spoon?  A walking stick?  If you look at the pictures of the amazing array of knives that Jack (Timberwolf) made, you can see that they're each going to do different things well.

The other question is what you find comfortable.  If you're using a knife for a couple of hours at a time, your hands will be miserable unless the handle and blade size are comfortable.  Go play at your nearest Woodcraft or Rockler.  Or find someone near you who has some carving knives and play with them.  It won't take long for you to find what feels good.

As for folders, they may be easier to carry around and you can definitely make stuff with them, but I'm not sure a folder is ever going to be as comfortable as a fixed blade knife.

Finally, if you wait to find the perfect knife, you'll never carve anything.  I will likely never stop searching for the perfect knife, even though I realize that perfection doesn't exist.  It's just a tease.

Over the years, you'll end up experimenting with lots of different knives.  You'll love some and you'll hate some.  But the most important thing is to get a blade into your hands and start cutting some wood.

Just my $0.02.

Steve
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