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I Forge Iron

"Spike O' The Devil"


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I made this small bladed carving knife for my brother who is carving rubber stamps. He has some problems with arthiritis in his hands and has been using an exacto knife which is causing him some problems. I intend that the long handle will allow him to carve with both hands (assuming that he can secure the work on a benchtop) or as a mini shoulder knife levered against his chest or shoulder. I textured the handle quite a bit as it is mulberry which is very fine grained and might otherwise be slippery. I last made him a knife about ten years ago and he recently broke it when biting off a bit more than it was intended to chew. This one is better steel (recycled power hacksaw blade... quite high carbon I believe) and pretty sturdy despite its spiky profile. He says the rubber is grabby to cut and I am hopeful that the larger handle and spiky tip will ease the work for him.

I love challenges such as this and have a natural propensity for making my tools charming to look upon as well as useful! I thought perhaps sharing this might lead to some interesting discussions of similar solutions/problems and etcetera. Also this way my brother (who lives far away) might be able to join in the discussion. He has not yet seen the knife BTW as I had to shoot pics before sending it. I will send it out soon now.

Please share your thoughts and experience! I have the utmost respect for the collective talent and experience here!




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Very interesting concept.

Let us know how your brother likes it after he has a chance to try it out.

That's always the proof of a tool - "it looks good; but does it work?"

If it goes over well, you might consider making a full set; beveled left, beveled right, V-grove, round groove, etc., etc.


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Thanks BIGGUNDOCTOR, I couldn't polish this one because the polishing equipment is currently out of action. I think I did get the tips cross section as thin as practical though. It is PRETTY smooth though and quite sharp. Don A, I have made some hook knives and it does seem as though one of them might be useful for rubber stamp cutting. I personally find them much more effective than gouges for hollowing work on wood.

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  • 1 month later...

Okay I have heard back from my brother about this knife and I will share what he says about it:

"i have worked with the new knife some late nights... and it cuts really smoothly ---- glides ---- i did shorten the handel ---- as it just didn't balance nicely in one hand with the long handel ---- but i think it was a good idea to leave it long and try it that way ----- this is a very good knife for most of the major work as it cuts clean and smooth and is easy to hold for a long time ----- but i still find myself reaching for the exacto blade when i get to the finest details ---- the difference is the width of the blade ----- the exacto isn't rounded off at the piont and so by cutting shallower i can get to where i am using the needle tip of the blade only to turn superfine corners ----- i wonder if there is a type of metal that is strong enough to make a blade that is like i dream of ---- with a needle tip ---- sharp and smooth with a rounded back so it dos'nt drag in the rubber ---- yeah ---thats what i need most ------- if it is possible ---- a needle knife ----- i have used the finest tip end of the exactos for many years without breaking one so i think they are made of pretty good stuff ---- but they broaden out quickly ---- and the back of the blade is square and creates drag which sometimes causes a ragged cut that i don't want --- not to mention that it takes more pressure to push through and when you are struggeling to focus on the finest details you can't be also forceing the blade at just the proper angle and just the exact depth ----- all this gets more and more difficult as the years go by and the hands and the eyes go bad ------- and so this fantacy of a blade that cuts the finest details in the rubber just like the needle tool cuts in the clay ----- but of course the rubber is harder to cut than the clay and mistakes are irrepairable ---- and the blade would have to be sharpenable ."

I know what he is looking for as a friend makes them for his woodcarving. I will make a much smaller spikier version for him but I would not create such a fragile and specialized knife for anyone less than expert. My friend makes them from old straight razor blades and they are such a tiny sliver of steel that it is hard to imagine carving wood with them. Last I saw he was carving wood spirit faces into #2 pencils with one of them. They are quite a challenge to grind and sharpen as my belt sander would remove ALL of the metal in such a blade in a TINY fraction of a second... so hand work requiring full sunlight and plenty of patience. The width at hilt of such a blade is about 1/16 inch and the length around 5/8 to 3/4 inch... they are pretty much triangular. Maybe my eyes are still good enough to do it under ideal lighting.
I thought that some here might enjoy reading about this after having seen the original posts.


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