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  • Rough out knife

    Greetings! I have a detail knife and a Murphy knife. Thinking I need a roughout knife but not sure of the best blade length. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    To me, a Murphy knife would be a roughing knife. Perhaps ask yourself, "what do I need to do that my current knives can't achieve?"

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    • #3
      In my mind, a roughout knife, or tool, for that matter, can be one that is larger than the ones you have, and can remove more wood faster. I could be a knife that is 3 inches long, a chisel that is 1 1/2 inches wide, or a gouge that is 1 inch wide but has a deep profile like that of a #5 or #9.

      So, it is a matter of interpretation as well as how much money you want to spend, and your ability to use the knife or tool. Someone may not be able to use a 3 inch knife, but could use a deep gouge with a mallet. In both cases, you could rough out a duck decoy.

      One more point, if your starting from a block of wood, assuming are not using power tools, you could use a hand saw or coping saw to remove a bulk of the wood by cutting corners up to the pattern line to the point that you could continue refining the carving with a Murphy knife.

      Hope that helps more than confuses the issue!

      Bob L

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      • #4
        Are you cutting away, cuting away, cutting away? At the end of the session, it's hard to see what got done? Me too.
        BobL is so right.
        >Hand saw and coping saw.
        >Mallet with a 9/15, a 5/35 and a 2/30 smoothie.
        That's the rough out
        Now the fun part.

        In the Pacific Northwest, you might start with adzes and chainsaws.
        The rough-out crooked knives might be 1/32" thicker steel, same sweep
        and a longer handle for maybe 2 hands, some times.
        Brian T

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        • #5
          If I am taking off saw marks on a blank, I use a couple of different knives. I have a 4" blade Mora knife that is super sharp and has a flat bevel that works super great. It goes through good basswood like a hot knife through butter.

          I have a #3 Gerald Sears Helvie knife that has a 1 3/4" blade that works well, too.

          I have started carving square yard sticks, and if I am a bit concerned about where the sticks have been, I use a modified Stanley #199 fixed blade utility knife to rough out the sticks and take off the outside wood.

          Hope that helps!

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          • #6
            Depends on the type of carving you do and how much you need to take off. I have several "rough out" knives that are thin, like the Murphy. I prefer something with a thicker blade that won't bend. The OCC might be OK from what I hear but I find my Flexcut 2 inch knife does well for my 3-6 inch, 1.5-inch square caricatures.

            My OCC 1.5 inch does well for more "rough out" work and even detail work. Long story short is 2-inch Flex for lots of rough out, then most of my carving with the OCC, then fine detail with my 3/4 inch OCC.
            Bill
            Living among knives and fire.

            http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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            • #7
              A roughout knife is relative to a carver's matter of choice and the size of the project he/she is working on. My roughout knife has a 1 1/2" long blade, but I only carve projects that are no larger than 6-8". A carver working on a 24" carving will probably want to use a longer blade for roughing out. On the other hand, I know carvers who use roughout knives with 2 1/2" blades when working on a 6" carving. So the decision is really up to you. Decide what you're comfortable with and what works for you. There is no right or wrong answer to your question.
              Keep On Carvin'
              Bob K.

              My Etsy page: https://www.etsy.com/shop/rwkwoodcarving


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              • #8
                if its too long you wont be able to control it if its too short you wont remove enough wood and remember the bigger the blade the more to sharpen if you stay right around the 1.5 to 2 inch lenght you will be happy but as you continue to carve you will experiment with different blades and brands and that is ok i have yet to find the perfect knife that does it all but then again im a klutz there are many vendors selling excellent knives so you wont have a problem finding suitable tools.

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                • #9
                  What RickM said minus the "Klutz" comment.

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