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  • #16
    For the crooked knives, palm up, fist grip, thumb up the side and cut towards yourself with a pull stroke.
    Based on experience, you really need to wear a bib-front chest protector.
    If and when you get hit in the chest by a crooked knife, it does more than just cut your shirt.
    I have an apron of flight bag canvas, no knife of mine has ever got thorugh it so far.

    In part, that explains why I like the single edges on the farrier's knives = you can change hands, turn them over and push on the spine of the blade.

    For the adzes, the first thing to do is to figure out where the blade goes if you miss a strike.
    Your bones are all you have to stop them.
    Lots of times, I work "beside myself" so a miss never hits me.
    Or, I work over a wood stump as a blade stop for trimming work.

    Listen to your heart. Don't cut faster than your heart rate.
    Seems slow but you can go all day. Flail away and you won't last 20 minutes.

    No carving axe. Can't imagine ever needing one. I know about them but no idea how or why they are used.
    I use a 48 oz froe and a 48 oz log mallet to split what I need from bigger log pieces.
    Those tools give me 1/16" accuracy, if it matters. Cedar salmon BBQ planks, those sorts of things.
    Then I use those odd planer knives to smooth off all the splinters.

    I have some hatchets ands axes that I use for field work ( salvaging wood from logging debris piles.)
    But I use them in the shop for splitting wedges!
    Brian T

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    • #17
      ...again thanks Brain all great advice. I’ve been, meaning to get a carving apron. I’ve been lucky with booboos, I’ve gotten the basic slices and stabs in my hand and arm, but mostly when I’m actually sharpening an old chisels. I’ve got a tormek with a gouge stromp and it seems like a v gouge is always the one that gets me. Cutless gloves are a must, even though my father told me never to use them on a grinder. The tormek is so slow. I really only seem to cut myself when I’m carving and really tired. I have insomnia so I go down stairs and carve at night, and that’s when I generally get sloppy. Ive gone through about two tubes of superglue stitching myself back up. I just had to seal up two of my wife’s fingers this morning. About time I get to do it to her. If things go wrong with an adze I can only imagine it’s catastrophic! The two adze I have are traditional very short handles. I haven’t really spent much time with them because I’ve never really liked them.

      Ive got a bunch of friends that make spoons. They have some kind of axe to ruff things out and a hook and straight knife. That’s mostly why I want one but an adze is much more important. I do have an anniversary coming up so this would be a great time to give my wife a few “hint hints”

      I see your in western BC, we are planing on heading up to at least Pemberton, with a few stops along the way from Washington. How far are you from there? I’d love to visit and see your setup.

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      • #18
        Depending on how long you can stay, you need a day in the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology.
        By the time you get through the Pacific Northwest section, (open the drawers, too.) you will never be the same.

        I live in a little mountain village, about half the way between the city of Prince George and Jasper National Park to the east.
        Long way, very long hard drive away from Pemberton. If you stay in the Pemberton Hotel, get a room that is NOT directly above the bar, OK?

        Adzes. Look at the designs in the Kestrel site. Any thoughts to bashing off the handles and remaking something you like?
        To cut Vees in form line carving, it's usual to make a center stop cut on the line with a straight knife.
        Then you come back to that with a pair of skews to cut the sides.

        This is a cedar umbrella stand. Think it is in California now. Covered with formline carvings.
        The other picture is what I look at when I eat in my dining room, looking south.

        Brolly B.jpgMountain Southwest small 003.jpg
        Brian T

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        • #19
          I’d love to make it over to Jasper some day! Your very fortunate to live in such a beautiful chunk of earth. When I’ve been in BC before I have a hard time getting far from the coast. I’ve to whistler a few times in the winter and once in the summer. My wife and I are mostly consumed with riding mountain bikes when we are out there so I’m ashamed to say I’ve done very little sightseeing.

          I realy like your carving, do you have a website? I was carving more PNW style last year. I still want to paint this and do some more detail cuts
          Attached Files

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          • #20
            A6613252-84E3-4755-BE52-CBCBF756170E.jpeg

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            • #21
              There are 4 distinctly different PacNW styles for art and carvings. I like the way you do feathers, it isn't apart of any First Nations feather design up here.
              I'm not one of them so I carve different designs as well. But very influential for most of my life.
              The best book, even includes drawing lessons, is : Learning By Designing: Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art. Vol I J Gilbert & K. Clark.
              Raven Press,1987 and reprinted many times. It's expensive so an interlibrary loan for a look is a good idea.

              I like your bear/orca carving. I'd think about that for a long time before I decided that it needs paint. Do you consider it finished?
              Even the paint you pick will say where that carving comes from. DON'T FORGET to sign them all.
              Brian T

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              • #22
                I have definitely not studied any of the PNW art styles but really enjoyed what I’ve seen on trips to the left coast, I also have a friend that mainly paints like the PNW artists but I don’t think she studied any specific style. The wolf(every one thinks it’s a bear) was one of my first carving and I planned on adding more details and then highlighting them with the typical red white black colors. I was planning on doing the same to the moon eagle. It will probably just highlight all the irregularities in the cuts. The wolf is to flat for me, I should keep on it but I just threw a few coat of oil based wood sealer on it to help keep it from cracking from the wood stove in the winter. I’d like to start using up some of the tongue oil I have left over from a few jobs I did. It will probably help preserve the wood better?

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                • #23
                  Red, White and Black are north coast colors (Haida, Tsimshian and Tlingit). Mid-coast, you add blue and orange and green.
                  The Jessup Expedition for 1905----(?) reported that there was a dramatic increase in art and carvings post-contact (tool iron).
                  I don't find south coast or west coast styles nearly as appealing.

                  House totem poles are not meant to last forever. When they fall down (like old people) they don't get stood up again.
                  Hilary Stewart writes that the life span of western red cedar poles outdoors is about a century on Haida Gwaii.
                  Maybe then you get a mortuary pole! I've never gone out of my way to preserve carvings. even those that are now installed outdoors.
                  Outdoor Ravens get a slop of black house paint but never any ongoing care.

                  Indoors, I like some paint sometimes. I use a lot of MinWax Tung Oil Protective Finish when I want water-wet glossy (4 coats is enough).
                  Unfinished wood indoors should last for centuries.
                  The finish on indoor wood must make it easier to clean the dust off things. It that true?
                  Nothing in my house gets dusted unless the house keeper desided it needs doing.
                  Brian T

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Robson Valley View Post
                    Red, White and Black are north coast colors (Haida, Tsimshian and Tlingit). Mid-coast, you add blue and orange and green.
                    The Jessup Expedition for 1905----(?) reported that there was a dramatic increase in art and carvings post-contact (tool iron).
                    I don't find south coast or west coast styles nearly as appealing.

                    House totem poles are not meant to last forever. When they fall down (like old people) they don't get stood up again.
                    Hilary Stewart writes that the life span of western red cedar poles outdoors is about a century on Haida Gwaii.
                    Maybe then you get a mortuary pole! I've never gone out of my way to preserve carvings. even those that are now installed outdoors.
                    Outdoor Ravens get a slop of black house paint but never any ongoing care.

                    Indoors, I like some paint sometimes. I use a lot of MinWax Tung Oil Protective Finish when I want water-wet glossy (4 coats is enough).
                    Unfinished wood indoors should last for centuries.
                    The finish on indoor wood must make it easier to clean the dust off things. It that true?
                    Nothing in my house gets dusted unless the house keeper desided it needs doing.
                    I have a friend that is from Equcidor but worked for me for about 6-7 years, he comes up to the US and works for a few months and can live like a king back home on the handsome chunk of change he makes. I’m always surprised how some one from a background with little resourcess has the ingenuity to do and make some quality things. There’s so many tools they just don’t have down there and most of the ones they have are home made from scrape. He generally goes home with $2,000 in just tools. I can’t believe some of the stuff he brings back with him. It’s a possibility destination for my wife and i during the winter or who know just do what he dose. So I can see how the natives of North America were flooded with resources that were hard to come by before the Europeans came over. I wonder what the natives thought of the paint that the settlers brought if there ever got a chance to use any?

                    I’ve been doing house painting for 25 years and paints and exterior finishes don’t last in New England, plus we don’t have as much nice rot resistance wood that you guys have. I have great over hangs on my home and it seems to make a big difference on maintenance. We plan on putting our house on the market this year and building a more efficient smaller home possibly off the grid. We have a good amount of honey and black locust trees on our property. Before we put the house up I’m hoping to harvest them as well as see if I can take some of the ones on my neighbors land. I’d love to use it as siding and decks. It’s the most rot resistance wood we have. I have a piece I wand to carve but I’m not sure what tools I want to punish doing it. It would probably make great material for bowls and spoons.

                    I hate not have a smooth smooth finish on interior wood, even on the ceiling. Once the last coat of finish has had a few days to fully cure I always buff and apply a few coats of furniture polish. It help so much with dust sticking to the wood and just feels nice.

                    ....oh I scored a few more crooked knifes from a ole friend that’s not carving anymore. There were a few kestrel and frost with a few beautiful no names. I’ll post a picture after I clean them up

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                    • #25
                      Pre contact, the First Nations of the North Coast style were using ochre (red), charcoal (black) and ash (white.)
                      The common binder was salmon egg. That alone suggests a tight seasonal window for what little painting they did.
                      I have seen some yellow but from what that came, I have no idea.
                      I guess anglo paint is a little more obvious to the south as they used blue, green and orange as well.

                      Good that you scrounged some more knives. Lucky dog. The old Kestrel will be Gregg's work. The Frost (Mora) will be slightly softer steel.
                      I wouldn't do too much to them yet until you know what you want to use them for. One thing as a time.

                      Somewhere near the shank/tang, take a look to see if CKW is stamped into the steel. That will be Crescent Knife Works (Vancouver)
                      The no-name stuff is probably no more than 100 miles local.

                      I used a bunch of my knives for 6+ months before I cut the handles into a boat-tail shape. Wanted to really appreciate the change.
                      Not as hard on my old thumbs to stretch back as far!

                      Today, I sharpen and hone new blades while my bread is rising.
                      Brian T

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                      • #26
                        I’ve definitely scored some nice tools in the last month, there should be a new tool thread is there isn’t. I’ve got to start getting my extras out the door to help fund my other carving needs. My friend is selling his huge bird and animal carving set up. It’s got a bunch of blanks, half carving, and wood stock. Lots of drift wood, feet, eyes. The think that interest me the most is a bunch of old books with patterns and a lot of direction. I guess it all came from a semi famous carver that passed. Plus he maid a great carving dust box with filters that suck the dust and chips. I’m going to make something similar once I start using the power carver. Wish I had room it get it but there’s so much stuff I wouldn’t be able to fit it all.

                        Ill have ave to take a closer look at the stamp on the knifes. I got some great North Bay pull gouges, the look like they will be handy. I realy like the handles on the north bay crooked knifes, have you seen the handles that Herb Rice uses. If I make any handles I’ll try to make up a few of these. If you ever want to try to back up some blades with a bandsaw blade hoses thought them a lot on his sawmill. They have good steel

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                        • #27
                          Crooked knife handles: Both Lee Valley and Kestrel have pages of drawings for PacNW crooked knife handles.
                          Better yet, I spent part of a day in the UBC/MOA, studying and drawing the drawers full of the real things, the PacNW crooked knives, handles and all.
                          I had knives and cedar wood with me. I went outside the museum and carved a prototype handle that I could "feel" for design.
                          I knew I'd need hard wood (alder, maybe birch) for real handles but I whipped up a quickie that felt pretty good. #2 was even better.
                          Funny thing = I just so happened to have a box of new blades in my shirt pocket.
                          Don't forget about the UBC/MOA online collection = handles galore. I need a new snow knife.

                          I experimented with the Kestrel Constant for handle size. Turns out that it has to be 7/8" square blank for me. For all the adzes, as well.
                          That's specifically why my crooked knife handles look like they do! I keep meaning to shave the oversize handles to size but . . . . .oh well.

                          My new adze and knife blades came up just like I hoped. I want my edge, not the factory edge. Good planning on Kestrel's part.
                          Now, I have to make a pile of woods for handles. I like shaping the handles, no different than carving. You can see the snail on my D adze,
                          it's a mark of how fast I carve most days.
                          Brian T

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Robson Valley View Post
                            Crooked knife handles: Both Lee Valley and Kestrel have pages of drawings for PacNW crooked knife handles.
                            Better yet, I spent part of a day in the UBC/MOA, studying and drawing the drawers full of the real things, the PacNW crooked knives, handles and all.
                            I had knives and cedar wood with me. I went outside the museum and carved a prototype handle that I could "feel" for design.
                            I knew I'd need hard wood (alder, maybe birch) for real handles but I whipped up a quickie that felt pretty good. #2 was even better.
                            Funny thing = I just so happened to have a box of new blades in my shirt pocket.
                            Don't forget about the UBC/MOA online collection = handles galore. I need a new snow knife.

                            I experimented with the Kestrel Constant for handle size. Turns out that it has to be 7/8" square blank for me. For all the adzes, as well.
                            That's specifically why my crooked knife handles look like they do! I keep meaning to shave the oversize handles to size but . . . . .oh well.

                            My new adze and knife blades came up just like I hoped. I want my edge, not the factory edge. Good planning on Kestrel's part.
                            Now, I have to make a pile of woods for handles. I like shaping the handles, no different than carving. You can see the snail on my D adze,
                            it's a mark of how fast I carve most days.
                            I’m not overly concerned with with building a handle for an adze or push plane, sounds fun!

                            Thats great that that you guys have so many resources to learn from. Great idea to bring wood to copy designs. I’d love to see them with your new adzes when you’ve got time please if you’ve got more than the ones you’ve shown. I’m definitely slowing in my carving the last few weeks. I’m ready for winter to be over. I’m done burning fire wood because I’m just sick of it, so just using fossil fuels for the rest of the heating season. I have been able to work up to doing some oil painting but I’m itching to get back to making wood chips and tracking them all over the house. I acutely like sharping and honing so I’ve been working on these newly acquired tools

                            Btw I was seriously jealous about the bread, not much I like better than making up and of course eating sour dough bread. My grandmother was a fantastic baker. I wish I learned more from hear. I’ve got some kind of auto immune disease, they thought it was limes but it’s not showing up in my blood work but I’m changing my diet that would suit different auto immune disorders, three months with no bread has been tuff! I think it’s been helping but not sure?

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                            • #29
                              I use the adze handle patterns that Kestrel supplies with each blade (can be bought alone).
                              It's a painful history of cultural genocide but the Pacific Northwest First Nations artists and carvers just went underground for many decades.
                              Gradual emegence with the elders, from the late 40's to the early 50's. Hunt. Martin. Edenshaw. Davidson. Reid. Neall. Carving family names.

                              I'll try to remember to take some pictures of the new handles as they get carved.

                              Examples: Google UBC/MOA. There's an online collection of 45,000 objects (10%?) that you can sort through. Not perfect but better than nothing.
                              I'm told the Smithsonian has an online collection too.

                              UBC/MOA let me bring a folding camp chair so I could sit and study the collection. I draw, I don't take pictures.
                              When I draw things, I understand things. The difference between looking at something and really seeing it.
                              Then I had to carve from memory to get it right. Even then, my handles are much more square in cross secion than any of the traditional things I saw.

                              The bread is a Zen thing. I used it to slow me down after work, every week for decades.
                              Brian T

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                              • #30
                                I agree about making bread, real sourdough. It helps slow things down and the out come is wonderful!(usually)

                                youve probably been to the Jay Hawkin website but some nice info https://jayhawkinstitute.org/tools/

                                im started to get a cutting edge on one of the kestrel crooked knifes, I believe it was used until it was extremely dull and then put away. I did get to fool with it some but it’s still has a little shuttler in tight cuts along steep bowl walls. I hit it with some worn 800 wet paper, though I had 1,200 but can’t find it. I use the back side of the wet sand paper to wrap around the something and use as a strop with green COX. I have an othe half round piece of wood, hit it with spray adhesive and the impregnate it with “wood is good stroping powder. I repeat the process a few time until I can’t see the wood and it all with, probably a better way to do it. So far I like the handles of the north bay over the kestrel but I’ve obviously spent more time with them.

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