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Kirschen knife for whittling

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    JerseyGirl
    Love to carve

  • JerseyGirl
    replied
    The knives I carve with now are very different from the knives I used when I first started. A year from now I may be using something completely different too. My point is that I think we are constantly evolving as carvers over time and our needs may change. Or maybe I just like buying new shiny things!

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  • Brian T
    Senior Member

  • Brian T
    replied
    Knife handles can be sized like tennis racquet handles. Palm up, fist grip, the tips of your second and third fingers should just touch the fat ball part of your thumb. For me, that's 7/8" diameter. 1" to 3/4" is my range. It applies to the elbow and D adze handles as well. I just thin the part that's the grip area.

    Leave a comment:

  • chuck boris
    Junior Member

  • chuck boris
    replied
    First of all, thank you all for your responses. I have found a local bladesmith and arranged with him to make me 2 helvie lookalike knives, regarding blade measurement and handle. Now I need to search here for some begginer projects.
    I wish you all the best, and hope to post some of my work here... when there is something worth showing

    Leave a comment:

  • Claude
    Super Mod Louisiana

  • Claude
    commented on 's reply
    My Included Angle column has the same meaning as Brian's description below: It is a wedge of the indicated angle at the apex. One side only would be half of the amount shown in my chart.
  • Brian T
    Senior Member

  • Brian T
    replied
    Look around for the small business blade smiths. I think they take a lot of pride in every blade they make. Some will sell blades, some insist on making a complete knife.
    In Washington, I'd look at:
    http://www.kestreltool.com/

    Home for North Bay Forge - Wood Carving Tools and Kitchen Cutlery Knives

    Up here in BC, Jamie has started to sell bare blades. I use a couple of his crooked knives, they sharpened up quite nicely.
    https://www.jamie-sharp.com/

    I have a variety of Mike Komick straight blades that I really like.
    However, Mike died some years ago and his business successor also died recently.

    Cariboo might have blades as well.

    https://www.caribooblades.com/

    Lee Valley sells what they call "Haida-style" wood carving blades, aka a bunch of crooked knives of different sweeps. Made by Crescent Knife Works in Vancouver, BC. I do not know if CKW makes any straight blades at all.
    = = =
    As many of you are discovering, making your own blade isn't impossible.
    Most of the time, you get a really good knife out of the effort.

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  • 4ND3R5
    Western Washington

  • 4ND3R5
    replied
    I was whittling using a utility knife at first then bought that Two Cherries. That two cherries knife is thick and I've never been able to get it sharp. My favorite knives are the ones I've made myself. I'd go with flexcut over those knives. Sorry, like others have said, what works for one person won't for the other. I wonder how much is shipping is from Washington state to you. I wouldn't mind getting that thing out of my house.
    4ND3R5
    Western Washington
    Last edited by 4ND3R5; 05-29-2021, 10:29 AM.

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  • Brian T
    Senior Member

  • Brian T
    replied
    Chuck, I think so. It would be consistent with my knives all having total included bevel angles of
    12 degrees. That is: My carving knives are 12 degree wedges.

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  • chuck boris
    Junior Member

  • chuck boris
    replied
    Originally posted by Claude View Post
    The thickness of a carving knife is a matter of personal preference. My favorite knives are .030 to .033 inch thickness and are quite flexible, which I like. The Flexcut KN13 Detail knife is much thicker than I prefer for most of my carving. I have modified one of these to make it flat all the way from the cutting edge to the back of the blade, and it is much better (for me) for carving. I'd suggest that your first photo knife is pretty much all you'll need to get started. The second one, after you gain a bit of experience, you won't use any more. I have a Flexcut KN12 or KN14 that I never use, as it is too thick of a blade and no fun to use.

    The thinner the blade, the less the included angle and the easier it is to cut the wood (basswood or lime...) The blade is able to cut without having to "push aside" as much wood as it cuts. A thicker blade is better for much harder woods, but I prefer to use gouges or rotary tools on much harder woods. Attached is a chart that may show what I'm saying...
    Claude

    Knife blade thickness.jpg
    Those are some extremely low angles. Just to be sure, because I am not to familiar with English pronunciation, included angle degree means angle for one side?

    Leave a comment:

  • Claude
    Super Mod Louisiana

  • Claude
    replied
    The thickness of a carving knife is a matter of personal preference. My favorite knives are .030 to .033 inch thickness and are quite flexible, which I like. The Flexcut KN13 Detail knife is much thicker than I prefer for most of my carving. I have modified one of these to make it flat all the way from the cutting edge to the back of the blade, and it is much better (for me) for carving. I'd suggest that your first photo knife is pretty much all you'll need to get started. The second one, after you gain a bit of experience, you won't use any more. I have a Flexcut KN12 or KN14 that I never use, as it is too thick of a blade and no fun to use.

    The thinner the blade, the less the included angle and the easier it is to cut the wood (basswood or lime...) The blade is able to cut without having to "push aside" as much wood as it cuts. A thicker blade is better for much harder woods, but I prefer to use gouges or rotary tools on much harder woods. Attached is a chart that may show what I'm saying...
    Claude

    Knife blade thickness.jpg

    Leave a comment:

  • joepaulbutler
    Senior Member

  • joepaulbutler
    replied
    I too have a larger number of different makers' knives, and I'll use them all on occasions. Of the ones I've made, there are 9 that are either on my carving bench or close by. I made each with a specific reason in mind.
    Blade thicknesses from left to right are:
    0.0165, 0.0190,0.0340, 0.0340, 0.0470, 0.0665 and the two small gouges on top are 0.023.

    The first two I use in clean-up work, the third is Sharpe on the nose and side and is used in detail work, the next is used to clean-up larger areas, the next is used for rough out work, the next one was made from a side of a small scissor, and is used to clean out small "V" areas, the next is used to flatten areas out, (rough out area), it was forge from 1095 steel. the two little gouges, made from hacksaw blades, had to be forged to get the slight curvature, are also used for clean-up.

    What I'm trying to say with all the good knives out there it is handy to make your own for a carving style of yours you want a different shape & thickness of the knife


    You do not have permission to view this gallery.
    This gallery has 1 photos.

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  • pallin
    Senior Member - Ventura

  • pallin
    replied
    If you are looking for a "consensus of experts" about carving knives, these responses should convince you there is no such thing. Over time you will find what knives work well for you. That's what you're after

    Leave a comment:

  • Brian T
    Senior Member

  • Brian T
    replied
    Keep going, Chuck. You'll be fine.

    Leave a comment:

  • chuck boris
    Junior Member

  • chuck boris
    replied
    I have wet sendpaper mounted on a glass, so I practice my strokes... i think being string musician helps a little. The thing here is not so price of a knife, just the fact that Two cherries is 12$, while detail flexcut is20$, and I am not sure that the difference in price is backed by qualitie.

    Leave a comment:

  • Tom Ellis
    chipchaptom. Washington

  • Tom Ellis
    replied
    If you learn to sharpen, the first knife will do you just fine. I don’t believe that they come carving sharp though. They are excellent steel. Take you time to learn to sharpen, as it will enhance your carving experience,
    Good luck, and have fun, And carve safe.

    Leave a comment:

  • Just Carving
    WhittleBear Carver

  • Just Carving
    replied
    Just a few thoughts and then I will go back under my wood pile.

    The bench knife on the right will serve as a knife for any carving. The only requirements is for the handle to be comfortable and the blade to be sharp.

    The second thought is if you have a fixed blade utility knife also called a box cutter available to you where you are located, try it. They're not that expensive, the blades can be stropped and/or then thrown away and replaced, and they can be quite useful when roughing (removing excess wood) on a carving. There is a manLynn Doughty, in the USA who is known for carving fantastic caricatures with a utility knife which he calls Ol' Reliable as I do to. Here's a link to his video on Ol' Reliable: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uDchnpdEXU At one time he was quite active here on the WCI forum. https://outwestgallery.com

    Finally, as long as it is safe for you and you are comfortable doing it, do be afraid to break the rules of woodcarving--you know the ones where people say "you should do it this way". I carve with different tools that some would say is not correct or that's not woodcarving. I say if it works for you, do it.

    BobL

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