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  • #31
    For carving really soft woods like wesrtern red cedar and yellow cedar, maybe even fresh alder, the best bevel angle for me is 12 degrees,
    up as high as 15 degrees but no more. I do the adze and draw knife blades all at 25 degrees.

    I had not seen Jay Hawkins site before. Thanks. I have little faith in bladesmiths outside the Pacific Northwest. Funny how he shows a D adze made from an axe head.
    Rare to see one cut in half for that. Truck leaf springe are easier to cut and work.

    Gregg Blomberg (Kestrel) worked with the late Bill Holm in the development of the blades and handles.
    Holm was the "analytical guy." Northwest Coast Indian Art is as dry to read as the whole coast is wet from rain!
    The yellow and black whipping on my elbow adze is not just for looks.
    The upper break marks your hand position. , the "Holm Constant" . It's a 90 degee place coming off the bevel of the blade.
    Obviously, you can hold where you like. For all day work, it marks a swivel point.

    OTOH, the "Kestrel Constant" is handle size. Palm up, fist grip on the handle, your second and third fingertips should just touch the fat ball-part of your thumb.
    I experimented with that, making a number of different handles. For me, I need to start with a handle blank which is 7/8" square and round that down.
    Same applies to the elbow and D adze handles. The rest of the wood can be any size.

    I would not hesitate any more to knock off any handle which is the wrong size and make my own. I've done that.
    Or, you can change what you have. "Vet-Wrap" bandage is a great way to fatten up a handle to see if that's what you need.
    Even the #18 tarred nylon seine cord and the yellow do add a significant amount to the handle sizes.
    The brown is some dacron that I was given. Too slippery for hand grips, OK for cosmetic wrappings.
    Brian T


    • #32
      When I'm in the market for an adze, I'm going to talk to you RV. The Stubai and Pfeil an those like them look so darn overbuilt and clumsy to me, just by glancing it seems like the Pac NW design would be miles ahead. The irony is that I generally consider Pfeil gouges to be of the right weight and approach vs some other designers which I won't name but think make clumsy gouges.


      • #33
        I'll only be too glad to help. The Sitka elbow adze has the versatility. The D adze really makes me think about my carving.
        There's a carver in Haines, Alaska who calls the Kestrel Sitka elbow adze a "bandsaw on a stick." That's a fair judgement.

        I took up the Pacific Northwest First Nations style of carving tools to learn how and why they are so different from common gouges.
        There's nothing crude or simplistic about any of the designs at all. Many things I cannot do with gouges.
        Carve a deep dish with straight flat insides and a flat bottom. No big deal.
        Brian T


        • #34
          Originally posted by Brian T View Post
          I have several adzes and another one on the bench.
          I buy blades which come with handle patterns and the rest is entirely up to me.
          It is a fact that with shipping and exchange to Canada, the blades cost me approx $100.00 each.

          You don't show where you are. North Bay Forge and Kestrel Tool are in WA. Caroboo is north here in BC.
          All my blades have come from Kestrel. I'm convinced that you really do get what you pay for.

          They are used on carvings in the 24 - 64 inch range of size.
          Start with a 5" x 5" x 64" western red cedar post. Make it round.
          Is that sort of what you had in mind?

          I have the 7/75 Stubai which feels and works like a rat-rod version of an ice axe. Not at all worth the new price.
          I have a Baby Sitka elbow adze that performs really well for the rough-out work but in weight, almost too small.
          I have a D adze that is an absolute dream to use. I can even push it like a Stanley plane if I have to.
          I have a full Sitka gutter blade on the bench for a bigger, heavier elbow adze.

          AdzesB.JPGKestrel 20s.jpg
          Hi, Just saw this. It's Cariboo Blades. Thanks


          • #35
            Hello Cariboo & welcome! Switched to PacNW tools maybe 5 years ago.
            Enjoy making all my own handles. I am NE of you in McBride.
            Those 2-handed smoother/planer knives used to be Mora Frost #188 farrier's blades.
            Brian T


            • #36
              someone told me that the most serious and large numbers of injries were made from thos things and not to use one unless you use a leather apron. I wanted one but heeded the advice and didnt get one when you think about it they do have a large potential to careen off the wood and if so they are coming right at you i know very many people use them but im just too accident prone to rish any more carving incidents


              • #37
                I was taught not to carve in front of myself with an elbow adze.
                But to carve sort of beside myself or straight down so the adze hits the bench.

                Make a whole bunch of fin-like saw cuts then hack off all the chunks with the elbow adze. Very fast work.
                The D-adze, I can go very fine, even to push it like a carpenter's plane.

                I always wear a very heavy canvas apron. That keeps me from getting hit in the chest with a crooked knife.
                Besides the sting of a cut, I wrecked a few shirts until I smartened up.
                Brian T


                • #38
                  Hi Brian,
                  My wife and I went through your neck of the woods on the way to Edmonton a month ago. Beautiful country for sure. Lots of red in those trees, especially going into Jasper. Lots of rain here so we are being spared this year.
                  I make knives with long handles, different styles and hooks, crooked knives, adze and draw knives from spring and lumber mill saw blade steel. I've a few smile scars on my hands from hook knives. 30 years ago I put an adze in the front of my foot trying to take a knot out of a log. Nasty it was. Never did that again. One definitely has to take care using Pacific Northwest Indigenous carving tools. Like you I wear a thick apron and smartened up.
                  I was a member, 2007. Couldn't log in with my old user name. Didn't post for a few years.
                  In 2014 summer edition, WCI #67, I wrote an article on how to make your own crooked knife. Recycled steel and how to re-purpose it into knife blades.
                  Nice tools by the way

                  One step I was shown by a Haida carver was to fill up old car tire tubes with sand. Secure your work under them so you have control and use both hands with confidence.
                  Last edited by Caribooblades; 06-28-2019, 01:47 PM. Reason: An addiition.


                  • #39
                    Lots of carvers in WCI really have no use for adzes. They can cut carving blanks with a bandsaw in a minute or two. What ever gets it done.
                    I made 2 5" x 64" poles for story carvings from 5x5" posts. I guessed a day of chopping, I was done before lunch with the adzes.

                    I've made a couple dozen really good crooked knives from farrier's hoof knifes of different brands.
                    Some days, having left and right knives with single edges is the best.

                    I didn't know about any of you blade smiths when I started. I thought that everybody made all their own tools, so I did.
                    Jus a few hints from some Haida carvers to push me along.
                    Brian T


                    • #40
                      I made up a new handle for my small north bay adze iron, grabbed a piece of maple from my friends barn. Right when I got to the inside of the elbow I opened up a bunch of worm holes. I was so close to finishing that I strapped on the blad and carved a small bowl. It didn’t brake but I don’t except it to last. I’ve sense rapped it with hemp and coated the cored with polyapartic. I’d like to make it from a crook but I haven’t had the time to find one. I’m experimenting with haft shape
                      Attached Files


                      • #41
                        A guy in my carving group gets his blades from kestrel and makes his own handles, does a bang up job too. He carve face masks.
                        Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!



                        • #42
                          Probably the best thing you can buy right now is the 12-page booklet "Adzes & Ends" from Kestrel.
                          Full size adze handle patterns (55 degree elbow) for the Sitka, Baby Sitka as well as the D adze.
                          Lots of pictures, drawings and information.

                          I've used all the Kestrel patterns, everything fits as expected.
                          Brian T


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by NoDNA View Post
                            A guy in my carving group gets his blades from kestrel and makes his own handles, does a bang up job too. He carve face masks.
                            You should post some pictures if you get the ok. I started up a mask the other day out of cherry. I forgot to rap it in plastic so it might already have gotten to dried out. I’ve been trying to to work with green wood as much as possible but it’s been so hot here in the north east(mid-high 90s for 4 days) every starts cracking if I work out side which I try to do this time of the year. I really want to make a open sided building(with screens, bugs are soo bad here especially during black flie season) I can carve out of in the summer. A place I can axe or waist wood. The best time I’ve found to do big green wood removal outside is when it’s raining, I’ve never had a bowl, sculpture, whatever is when it’s raining. When I do carve in the rain I use my wife’s large sun umbrella, it’s big enough I’ve had to move it to 3-4 different locations because of the mountain of wood chips. Even dry cured wood seems like it carves so much easier do to the moisture. Just have to remember to wipe all the irons down with a good oil.


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Brian T View Post
                              Probably the best thing you can buy right now is the 12-page booklet "Adzes & Ends" from Kestrel.
                              Full size adze handle patterns (55 degree elbow) for the Sitka, Baby Sitka as well as the D adze.
                              Lots of pictures, drawings and information.

                              I've used all the Kestrel patterns, everything fits as expected.
                              Brain your right, I should. I just hate buying something that’s pretty much free on the internet. It would definitely save me time which be worth it in itself. I was going to ask you to send me the pattern of the adze haft you always show, you could send it with my crook knife your making me


                              • #45
                                I am surprised that Gregg (Kestrel) has not put the entire booklet on the internet.
                                There are centuries of experience by Pacific Northwest carvers in that little thing.
                                I'm fussy about copyright issues so it's a $4.00 small-sized recipe booklet for adzes.
                                You get one for free if you ever buy an adze blade from those guys.

                                Having said that, look at lots of examples. Get the basic elbow about 55 degrees.
                                Don't cut the actual blade notch until you settle on blade position for the Holm Constant (hand position).
                                A pair of hose clamps is good enough for the experiments.
                                Brian T