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  • Detail knives

    ​​​​I'm still fairly new to carving, and have done most of my work with a short Finnish knife (https://www.lamnia.com/en/p/118/kniv...z-uhc-bearclaw). I find it good for all but the last few levels of detail, which I've done rather unhappily with an xacto. I'm looking to get a detail knife or two, and was considering Drake as well as Cape Forge. I'm wondering about the difference in functionality for the blade profiles, though. For example, between the high-point and curved detail knives from Drake, or between a sheepsfoot style miniature like Drake's 3/4"mini and the curved Cape Forge #4. It's got to be more than aesthetics, is it just preference? Or do different shapes do better without different things?

    DK7_HIGH_POINT_1024x1024.jpeg vs DK4_1.375_DETAIL_1024x1024.jpeg


    DK13_MINI_DETAIL_1024x1024.jpeg vs Screenshot_20181007-204946_Chrome.jpg
    Last edited by WildIsTheWind; 10-07-2018, 08:50 PM. Reason: Pictures vs links

  • #2
    Hi Wild is the wind
    I prefer to use a chip carving knife for final detail work, my favorite one is a Wayne Barton chip carving knife,also use a short bladed chip carving knife from Lee Valley, German steel for about 20 Canadian $$

    Bruce

    Comment


    • #3
      I have to grin. I'm sure you're going to get lots of different answers, you might also ask what shape of a handle.

      I'm by no means making fun of you, no not by a long way.

      In the final, decision, you will maybe change your mind after carving for a while and try just one style

      With that said, I'll get down from the soapbox and try to give you my opinion.

      Since you are familiar with x-acto blades, I refer to them for shapes only.

      #2, #12 & #28 would be the shapes I would consider. Remember, you are doing clean-up/finish work, so you wouldn't want a thick width blade, thinner works for me better at the stage of caving, I even like a little sideways flex in my blade.
      . . .JoeB

      Comment


      • #4
        So many variables but in my case, it all depends on the size of the carving. Larger knives for larger carvings and smaller for small carvings. That also goes for chisels and gouges. I have many tools from many manufacturers that are used based on the style of carving also. I found I would buy tools as needed for my carvings.

        I suspect others have variants of other's approaches. Good luck and the more carving, the better understanding of needs...JMO.
        Bill
        Living among knives and fire.

        http://www.westernwoodartist.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by WildIsTheWind View Post
          ​​​​I'm still fairly new to carving, and have done most of my work with a short Finnish knife (https://www.lamnia.com/en/p/118/kniv...z-uhc-bearclaw). I find it good for all but the last few levels of detail, which I've done rather unhappily with an xacto. I'm looking to get a detail knife or two, and was considering Drake as well as Cape Forge. I'm wondering about the difference in functionality for the blade profiles, though. For example, between the high-point and curved detail knives from Drake, or between a sheepsfoot style miniature like Drake's 3/4"mini and the curved Cape Forge #4. It's got to be more than aesthetics, is it just preference? Or do different shapes do better without different things?

          DK7_HIGH_POINT_1024x1024.jpeg vs DK4_1.375_DETAIL_1024x1024.jpeg


          DK13_MINI_DETAIL_1024x1024.jpeg vs Screenshot_20181007-204946_Chrome.jpg
          Windy! I'd suggest that you peruse the Helvie Knife Website. They make a great knife plus they''l provide a custom knife to your specifications at very little cost.

          https://www.helvieknives.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            In my opinion it all comes down to what you are comfortable with and how the blade performs for you. You may have to try a few different styles before you settle on on you like. It all comes down to a matter of preference. Not all blades perform the same way. For example, an upsweep blade will cut around curves better than a straight blade. Some carvers swear by them. Me, I prefer a short, thin straight blade but I do use both. If you ask me, I would choose the straight blade Drake in the third photo.
            Keep On Carvin'
            Bob K.

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


            My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/robert.kozakiewicz.9


            My RWK Woodcarving Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rwkwood


            My Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/rwkoz51/

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with Bob K and use that knife. I have big hands and the handle is comfortable.
              Dean

              Comment


              • #8
                I mostly carve small (4 to 10 inch) figures in the round. I have 6 detail knives. 4 are shown below. The other two are a Flexcut KN13 and a Helvie with 1.75 inch blade. The Flexcut has a much thicker blade than the rest and I don't care for it for detail, but use it as my roughing knife. The Helvie with the longer blade I also use as a roughing knife, because of the blade length.
                In the photo, all cutting edges are toward the bottom of the photo.
                The top knife is a Bütz detail knife; blade thickness in middle of length 0.044 inch; blade thickness 1/4 inch from tip 0.027
                Next one down is Helvie economy detail; blade thickness in middle 0.033 inch; blade thickness 1/4 inch from tip 0.033
                Third one down is Helvie; blade thickness in middle 0.029 inch; blade thickness 1/4 inch from tip 0.029
                Bottom one is Helvie; blade thickness in middle 0.030 inch; blade thickness 1/4 inch from tip 0.030

                I use the Bütz mostly for detailing eyes. I should mention: the one in the photo lost 1/8 inch broken off the tip, so I re-shaped the back of the blade to make a new tip. The Helvie economy is my general detail knife. the third one down I use primarily to shave up against a stop cut; for example, where a shirt and pants meet and the shirt is tucked into the pants. The little one at the bottom with the upsweep tip is great for shaving small thin chips in difficult to reach places. The small handle is not a problem, because when I am using this knife, I'm holding it mainly with my finger tips. I don't need, or want, a large handle on it.

                Claude
                My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks, all, for the replies. I hadn't considered Helvie mostly because of how confusing & repetitive their website is. I couldn't be sure whether they make 2,000 models or 20. I'll head back there and give another look.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    By the way, is there a classifieds section on this form?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WildIsTheWind View Post
                      By the way, is there a classifieds section on this form?
                      Sorry, no classifieds. They seemed to create problems with the original web site, so they never implemented them here. Helvie is a mom and pop enterprise, with Rich and Holli Smithson making every knife and tool sold. They will even make you a custom knife with your choice of blade length, style thickness in a handle of your choice. I own a number of Helvies and they are always the ones I reach for. A one inch or smaller blade is usually considered a detail blade, but most of mine are 2 inches. The extra length helps me reach deeper on the carvings I do.Pick a handle that looks like what you might prefer and order one! I also have Drakes in knives and gouges and I hear great things about the Cape Forge also. You will not be disappointed with either of those three brands.
                      'If it wasn't for caffeine, I wouldn't have any personality at all!"

                      http://mikepounders.weebly.com/
                      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mike-...61450667252958
                      http://centralarkansaswoodcarvers.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I carve mostly western red cedar. It does not hold detail so I have little to be concerned about.
                        I have a "detail" knife, built by BrandantR (Old Stump). Just a straight edge, no curve, and it will clean any corner.

                        I suspect that you will wind up buying several. Each one teaches you the questions to ask of the next one.
                        If you develop T.A.S (Tool Aquisition Syndrome,) nobody here will notice.
                        Brian T

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          well personal preference rule i like a worn out rough out knife that i work furthrt doen i think for me the basic for a detail knife is thin as you van get it and that means good steel so it doesnt chip off or break. cape forge is excellent but p.s. i find mot detail knives per se i buy i have to cut down to make thinner anyway I dont likr the up swept blades in ther picture as i have had them slp and thry are like a ramp that goe up i would rather have flat blade but again its up to you a thin blade, strong and with a good point also a lot of dunkles fit the bill nicely and im liking occ more anfd more good knife good price and a lot of styles to choose from

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Rick makes some good points... I have an upswept "scimitar" blade from Allen Goodman. Only 0.30 thick so it's quite flexible. Blade is 1.75 inches long. I bought it from him because it was flexible and extremely sharp. Didn't like it at all, right at first. Found after using it a while, the tail of the handle was way too thick for my hands. Fixed that with a sanding drum in my drill press so it fit my hand better. I continued to "play" with the knife over the next year, getting used to what it can and can't do... It's one of my favorites now. Holds an edge like you wouldn't believe and goes through basswood like butter. I kept looking at it when using it and finally figured it out. Many of us press a blade with a straight edge directly into the wood, as if it were a chisel. Wood cuts MUCH easier if a slicing motion is used. I first observed this use of slicing at the RWR in TN by watching what the instructors were doing; all used a slicing motion, so I've trained myself to use a slicing motion on all my straight edge blades. The scimitar blade, though because of the curve and length, will almost automatically cause a slicing motion; the curve means the edge meets the wood at an angle, similar to a skew chisel/gouge. The upsweep is not for everyone - you have to be comfortable with whatever knife you use, but for me, that upsweep blade makes my carving much easier and more fun (after I had figured out how to use it!)

                            Claude
                            My FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ClaudesWoodCarving/

                            My Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/cfreaner/

                            My ETSY Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaudesWoodcarving

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Claude View Post
                              Many of us press a blade with a straight edge directly into the wood, as if it were a chisel. Wood cuts MUCH easier if a slicing motion is used. I first observed this use of slicing at the RWR in TN by watching what the instructors were doing; all used a slicing motion, so I've trained myself to use a slicing motion on all my straight edge blades. The scimitar blade, though because of the curve and length, will almost automatically cause a slicing motion; the curve means the edge meets the wood at an angle, similar to a skew chisel/gouge. The upsweep is not for everyone - you have to be comfortable with whatever knife you use, but for me, that upsweep blade makes my carving much easier and more fun (after I had figured out how to use it!)

                              Claude
                              I guess that's a bad habit I never learned, as I started fiddling using a swept blade pocket knife, and moved on to the roselli. My tendency to slice actually makes me hesitant about straight blades - how do they not snag everywhere?

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