Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Handling The Carving Knife

I don't mean "handling" the carving knife I mean Handle of the Carving knife.  Most of the information about a carving knife concerns the blade.  But all most as important as the blade is the handle.  I recently obtained a new carving knife that I like the blade and the manner in which the blade cuts.  The handle however, is not only ugly, but clumsy to hold onto.  Seems I have only two courses of action.
1)  Leave the blade alone and modify the handle,
2)  Remove the blade from the handle and add a new handle.
Not to sure if anyone else has had this problem, but I would think so.  Especially newer wood whittlers and carvers, who start out with a less expensive "Bench Knife".  Then too is the issue of hands that tire easily, and loose their grip.  And what about Arthritis.  There's not much mentioned about carving knife handles.

 Meantime anyone with ideas, lets hear them.....


MackTheKnife said...

If you think you can modify the handle to fit you, that would be the most efficient way (engineer talking here!). Otherwise remove the blade from the handle and start from scratch. I, too, have arthritis issues in my fingers. Oddly enough it's the carving that keeps the pain down. When I haven't carved for a couple of days, my fingers start to get stiff and hurt. I like fat, round handles. The handles on Del Stubbs's knives (Pinewood Forge) are great with Allan Goodman's handles running a close second.

MackTheKnife said...

If you think you can modify the existing handle to fit you, that would be the most efficient way (engineer talking here!). If you don't think you have enough material in the right places, then I would take the blade out and do a handle from scratch. I also have issues with arthritis in my fingers. Oddly enough it is the carving that keeps the pain down. If I go a couple of days without carving, my fingers start to stiffen and get painful, especially when it's cold. I prefer fat, round handles like Del Stubbs (Pinewood Forge) makes with Alan Goodman's handles a close second.


Robert Cahill said...

Good Post Tom, I received two Denny Blades that had been purchased from little shaver for Christmas last year and I made my own handles.I do have arthritis so they are larger than most.I use these for most carving.

Tom H said...

Robert, I like a knife handle that is smooth and does not extend out of my closed hand.

^ l l { l\l said...

A good blade deserves a good handle. This is a great post indeed,as a carver first & knife maker second,I can attest to one thing...make sure it's comfortable,if it does not feel "pleasant" for a few cuts it ain't gonna get any better,lol.
The hardest thing as a knife maker is there is no standard hand size,lol.
Having said this,I believe a knife that is going to be doing a lot of repetitive cuts as well changing positions should "set" well in the hand like a lady you are in love with.
All jokes aside you just know when it feels good.

Bruutmans said...

Hi guys,

I prefer a handle wich is fat too.
Like the FC-knives for instance.
Beceause it`s so fat in the belly and that lies so perfect in the palm of your hand. I have the luck in not having athrithis (yet) in my hands,so i can actually take every handle in my hand. I must say that i prefer the thicker ones. You also have knives with an handle like the knife where the wife cuts potatoes with! Man these are bad. I do work with them,because i`m just tha carver and not the knife maker.
That`s actually a lie. Rephrase that. I`m not into refurbishing (is that word correct?) a knife,take it apart and make a new handle for it. i`m actually so scared that i will break the knife,or not getting it back together in the right way, and then i have no knife at all!
So i`ll get better first,lol! And then i`ll give it a retry.

I must say Tom,verry interesting topic. I was thinking because we are all smart enough to think of a way to hold a knife in a hand with arthritis (sorry for any grammatical errors),but can`t we find a solution for that?
How many of you have arthrithis,that are some people amongst us, isn`t it?
And how many of you guys who have it use a glove? And then a glove for the cutting hand,not the holding hand.
Isn`t there any way we can provide zomething with rubber coating on the handle and that it sticks to the glove in some kind of way,or at least give some friction to it if you guys know what i mean.
There must be something we could do.

Best regards Dries

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