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New Frankenstein knife

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  • New Frankenstein knife

    A couple of months ago I bought an Opinel No. 5 Non Locking knife. I didn’t like the idea of a non-locking knife but I like the blade and it’s size. I have a 3 1/2” length Opinel with a locking ring that is fantastic for carving but the blade is too long for my taste, plus the locking ring is loose. So, it’s not all that safe for carving.

    I could just glue the blade into the handle but these days, I need a bigger handle to fill my Arthur Itis baseball mitt.

    I saw a homemade knife on eBay that I liked the idea, but too much handle and just short of an ideal 2 inch blade that I like to carve with.
    An idea popped into my head and below is what I call the Frankenstein knife.

    I was using the handle for a Flexcut SK tool and thought I bet the knife would slip right in with a few taps of a mallet. It did.

    So, for now, I’ll use it to see how I like it. Just thought I’d show off ol’ Frankie.
    Bob L
    Last edited by Just Carving; 05-01-2020, 02:47 PM.

  • #2
    Good innovation. If the shoe fits, wear it. No harm in saving the blade in a handle that fits you.
    I did the very same with a couple dozen crooked knife blades.

    Kestrel Tool, in their Adze and Ends booklet, describes ideal handle size:
    "Palm up and a fist-grip, the tips of your second and third fingers should just touch the fat ball part of your thumb."

    I realize that lots of carvers have all sorts of physical challenges. One-size-fits-all for handles simply does not work well.
    Brian T


    • #3
      Well done, and if it feels good , good tip
      . . .JoeB


      • #4
        If I can get used to this being a golf hole I guess you can get used to anything. Hope the knife meets your expectations.
        Living in a pile of chips.


        • #5
          Helvi makes a stubby knife which is very similar to yours.


          • #6
            No I'd rather make my own knives.

            Bob L


            • #7
              Many of us have reached the stage where we need to rethink our carving tools, especially knives. The repetitious motions of carving, coupled with the repeated motions on computer keyboards, are damaging our hands and wrists. Personally, I limit my carving to reliefs, done mostly with gouges. I have even done chip carving with a fishtail gouge. Yes, I use a knife to clean up the borders between areas of relief. Fortunately this is a hobby and I can put it all aside for a while.


              • #8
                Nice adaptation, Bob!

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                • #9
                  Thanks Claude


                  • #10
                    Well, the Frankenstein knife didn't work out. Handle was too small--my index finger was riding onto the blade, and surprisingly, the blade length was a bit too much for my taste. Because the handle was round, it was hard to control.

                    I came across another handle I had set up for the SK tools. I pulled the blade out of the palm style handle and slipped it into second handle. The blade is exposed 1 3/4" as opposed to 2" and the overall length is 5 5/8" as opposed to 4 1/4". We'll see how this one works out. The few cuts tried seem good. I may tweak the rounded corner square handle which is almost an inch thick which leaves me plenty of room to play.

                    Bob L
                    Last edited by Just Carving; 05-06-2020, 07:10 PM.


                    • #11
                      BobL do you ever think of carving some junk prototype handles first?
                      Maybe get a sense of what feels good? Now that you know what does not feel OK?

                      I carved what I thought were full-size models of handles for crooked knives,
                      long before I ever built up any of them. Man, but did they stink.

                      Handle size is a tricky issue. One size does not fit all.
                      The "Kestrel Constant" for handle diameter was a big step forward for me.

                      Brian T


                      • #12
                        Yup. That's why I have a few handles here and there from the Flexcut SK tools that I'm trying on knife handles.

                        I have a modified Flexcut detail knife that I really like. The point snapped off and I modified that a while back. I didn't like the tail of the handle hitting the bench when I carve. I rest my hands on the bench and do mostly push cuts when I carve. And the dolphin style tail stuck out from the back side of my hand. So, I've been using the modified Flexcut as a guide. But I'm looking to tweak the style on other knives as there was only so much to work with on the Flexcut dolphin tail handle. Little by little the knife handles are going towards that style. But I like to start with what I have and experiment and work my way to what works. Sort of if it ain't broke don't fix it. But eventually, it may get tweaked. I'm just having fun since I have a bit of time on my hands. The pic below shows the knife I posted last night. I already started modifying it. The Flexcut which really fits well in my hand but I'm seeing if there's any room for improvement on other knives like the utility knife below it which I'll keep with me outside when I'm in the yard to whittle on found wood. And on the bottom of the pic is a handle I started setting up for another knife--possible a fine detail blade. The front and the tail of the handle are a little smaller. Thanks.


                        Bob L


                        • #13
                          Thanks for describing your experiments and exploration. I used blocks of western red cedar because it is soft and the carving went quickly. No good for permanent handles, just for the shapes. Takes time to figure it out. Good to see another's efforts.
                          Brian T