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knife for hardwood

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  • knife for hardwood

    I'm going to be carving a lot of hardwoods; mahogany, ash, oak and cherry mainly. I know my Mora will carve them with no problem, did fine on the mahogany spoon, but I'm not sure about the thinner, possibly more brittle blade of my OCC. Any experiences and/or suggestions?

  • #2
    In general hardwoods require beefier blade bevels to hold up to higher forces. Recently I have been carving black walnut. Most of the carving involved gouges, but there were some details requiring knife work. I found a chip carving knife worked better than a Drake detail knife. The thin blade would stick in the wood rather than cutting the wood.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pallin View Post
      In general hardwoods require beefier blade bevels to hold up to higher forces. Recently I have been carving black walnut. Most of the carving involved gouges, but there were some details requiring knife work. I found a chip carving knife worked better than a Drake detail knife. The thin blade would stick in the wood rather than cutting the wood.
      That makes sense. I'll look into chip knives for a suitable blade shape.

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      • #4
        While it isn't dreadfully hard, seasoned birch is a whole lot stiffer than the usual cedars that I like.
        My good Pfeil gouges at 20 degrees (with a mallet) cut it quite nicely.

        I have a couple of knives that I save for birch/willow/mahogany.
        >A Moor Large Chip knife ( bevel 15 degrees). Just on principle, I should buy a second one.
        >Hall and Ukal farrier's hoof knives (bevel 15 degrees).

        I share what was good advice = You just need to get used to shallow cuts.
        Brian T

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        • #5
          I like the blade on the Moor but not the handle. Too much handle in the way for my style of carving.

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          • #6
            Squid: Since the Moor handle is plastic, maybe use a rasp to grind it down for a custom fit?
            I bash off the factory handles in many farrier hoof knives and make up my own handles to fit me.
            Brian T

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            • #7
              I carve hardwoods. Mostly cherry or rock maple, but sometimes much harder. As mentioned, bold, deep cuts in these woods are difficult or impossible, with any knife. A thinner blade will go deeper, but not by much. I use an OCCT detail knife a lot and I like it. But I don't make big chips; I tend to make small shavings.
              HonketyHank toot toot

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              • #8
                Originally posted by honketyhank View Post
                I carve hardwoods. Mostly cherry or rock maple, but sometimes much harder. As mentioned, bold, deep cuts in these woods are difficult or impossible, with any knife. A thinner blade will go deeper, but not by much. I use an OCCT detail knife a lot and I like it. But I don't make big chips; I tend to make small shavings.
                Great, that's good to know. My small OCCT bench knife should work well.

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                • #9
                  I think OCC should be fine. Deepwoods Knives may hold up better!

                  Dave

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                  • #10
                    Almost any of the better carving knives will work on the woods you are gong to be using. I use a Helvie detail knife on them all. my experience has been with hard woods to take shallower cuts. A sharp edge on any high rockwell rated blade can be bridal and will chip out if to much pressure is put on it. In a soft wood I may go for a deep cut but in a hard wood I will take multible small slicing cuts in the same size area. I have had to regrind some blade becouse I got to aggressive in a hard wood.
                    We live in the land of the free because of the brave!

                    https://www.pinterest.com/carvingbarn0363/

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                    • #11
                      There will be a learning curve to be sure. The only hardwood work I've done has only required longer slicing cuts and that with the stout Mora blade so stop cuts and detailing will need a cautious approach.

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