Woodsmith

Crooked Knives

Inspired by traditiona­l knife styles, these unique knives offer a sweet addition to your carving kit.

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Spoon carving occupies a curious corner of our craft. Within the last five years, I’ve seen more and more woodworker­s make at least one. Some are hooked ... and one of those would be me. Carving a spoon or small bowl forms an interestin­g diversion from my typical straight, flat, and square projects.

You can carve a spoon with just about any sharp knife. My first very first were shaped with my trusty Swiss Army Tinker. The only tool-related obstacle is forming the bowl. A straight-bladed knife gets you only so far. What you need is a knife made for diving in. Crooked (or hook) knives feature blades with varying degrees of sweep along the length. The versions with a gentle curve excavate material easily. Sharply curved blades extend your reach to deep recesses and tighter forms.

Thankfully, Creative Director Chris Fitch serves as both our resident carving expert and blacksmith. The knife concept quickly sparked his curiosity.

There are really two mini projects inside each knife: making the curved blade and then the handle. Chris found a simple blademakin­g solution for those of us who don’t have a full blacksmith shop.

The wood handle offers up some solid carving practice on its own. There are three handle patterns shown here that you can choose from. The key is to spend a little time whittling, filing, or sanding the handle to suit your hand and comfort.

 ??  ?? The handle is where you turn this carving tool into a custom creation. We show three styles to get the ball rolling: horned, oval, and whale shaped. Even the handle material is up to you.
The handle is where you turn this carving tool into a custom creation. We show three styles to get the ball rolling: horned, oval, and whale shaped. Even the handle material is up to you.
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