Saturday, February 11, 2012

Knives For Whittling/Carving

Questions are asked about the length and shape of the knife blade.  There's lots to choose from.  As far as the length of the blade is concerned, the size of your carving will set some basic limits.  If you're carving small you won't want a real long blade.  If you're carving larger objects you may want a longer blade.  I generally like a blade that is between 1 inch and 1 1/2 inches in length.  The following are examples of knives that I think are good knives for the smaller to medium sized carvings.
1 1/4 inch blade

1 1/2 inch blade

1 1/2 inch blade
 The next knife is a speciality knife.  This is often referred to as a "stop cut" knife.  It's a very useful knife, especially when making stop cuts on a rounded surface, like walking sticks.

This knife is a custom made knife by Brandant Robinson.  It is a 1 1/8 inch hybrid.  That is to say, it is half way between a straight blade and a curved blade.  This hybrid has a slight curve, that makes it easier to make a slicing cut.  Note the handle.  It is extremely comfortable in the hand.

There are other considerations when choosing a carving knife, besides the blade length.  The knife handle must be comfortable in the hand.  I don't like a handle that is so long, that it sticks out of my hand when I grip it.  I also like the handle to be thin at the blade end, and taper to the blade, so it does not get in the way when carving.   I don't like a real "shiny and slick" finish on the handle.  It can slip in your hand.

Next post will focus on making the straight stop cuts necessary to carve the face, as illustrated here:

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