Wood Carving Knives
Wood Carving Knives and Gouges
Knowing the best knife to acquire, and how to use one is vital to the final look of your final piece.
The right carving knifes used in whittling, or any other carving methods will define your carving style.
This is a short article on carving knives. It is not meant to be a comprehensive thesis, rather my thoughts on the knives I own and the way I use them in carving. The first thing to note about any carving tool is that the tool needs to be razor-sharp. A dull tool will just frustrate you and is dangerous, to my way of thinking.
Abegglen Detail KnifeFor roughly one year, maybe longer, I have seen the photo in the Woodcraft catalog of a carving tool named “Abegglen Detail Knife.” The knife has looked interesting and when my wife asked what I wanted for Christmas, I pointed to this knife. Before I get into my comments about the knife I have reprinted text from both the Woodcraft catalog and from Pfeil’s web site about the knife so you have that information. Uncommon Wood carving KnivesThe title of this column could have just as easily been “Unusual” Woodcarving Knives. In my years of wood carving and whittling I have come across a few knives that I find to have great worth and that most carvers at large simply do not use nor even know about. In this article, I will discuss two such wonders and provide you with a few thoughts on them.
Many beginning carvers think that all knives are created equal. Unfortunately this is not true. Pocket knives are not a good choice for a wood carving knife. While you can ‘whittle’ all day with one they are not designed for serious carving. That leaves us with the large selection of knives designed just for carving. I put them into three categories: the bench knife, the detail knife and the wood-hog (roughing knife).
While I am not an avid carver, I enjoy dabbling in it occasionally, and on a whim, I recently made a first attempt at carving a spoon. While I was reasonably pleased by the results, I was frustrated by the challenge of getting a consistent shape and smooth bottom to the bowl of the spoon.
We’ve already talked about knives. They are the number one tool in your tool box. Today we shall discuss gouges. I believe gouges are the real work horses in any woodcarver’s arsenal. As you go deeper into this pursuit you will definitely want to add some gouges to your toolbox.
You have an array of wood carving chisels to choose from, and the number might overwhelm a beginning carver. When investing in tools, first consider the type of carving projects you like to do.