Monday, February 16, 2015

Making The Case for Slicing Cuts

Many self-taught whittlers begin to whittle using the basic "push cut".  After the push cut comes the "paring cut".  For many, a "slicing cut" may not be considered until someone mentions it and demonstrates it.  A slicing cut with a sharp knife is a very efficient cut.  I first heard about the slicing cut when someone explained it by comparing two ways to cut a slice of bread from the unsliced loaf.  The first method used a push cut from the top of the unsliced loaf down to the bottom of the loaf.  No matter how sharp the knife is, the loaf is crushed under the blade as it is pushed into the loaf.  The second, and preferred method, uses a slicing motion with the knife and it cuts through the bread without crushing the loaf.  Master whittler and super instructor, and writer, Donald Mertz, explains and demonstrates the slicing technique by placing a sharp knife blade on his thumb.  While lightly pushing the blade to his thumb, he asks which would be a more efficient "cut", pushing the blade against his thumb or "slicing" the blade across his thumb.  I am not suggesting that anyone try this as an experiment.  The answer to the question should be obvious.

Learn to incorporate a slicing action to your cuts, for a more efficient and controlled removal of wood when whittling.

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