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I Forge Iron

2 hook knives and an adze

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My weekend output. These will go to my cousin for spoon and Bowl carving. Larger hook was a file. Smaller hook was a toasted drill bit. Drill must have been a2 as it was hard as heck without quench. Adze was a ball pien hammer. My method for the hook is after forging, polish back and sharpen fully, back to forge and gently curve on horn. Re heat and quench, when you wash off the oil the hook is sharp and ready to go, just a quick leather stropping. Anyone who has tried to sharpen a hook will see the benefit.


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I have made a few hook knives for my own use and I find that they are way more efficient than gouges for hollowing spoons and small bowls!  You can get a much better finish off the tool as well!  I have found that the carving techniques are pretty different than I expected though and fairly complex!  I make considerable use of the leverage generated by twisting the handle so that the back of the blade pushes the cutting edge away from the sides of the hollow... this is only really useful when using a single edged blade... so IME single edged blades are much safer and faster too than double edged blades (which I also have).  I do not usually need a left and right handed hook though... I just cut one way on one side of the hollow and cut the other way on the other side... or use the opposite edge of the hook to follow the grain.  My hooks are mostly quite a bit more pronounced curves than yours with full U bends.  I can imagine uses for those long bends but most of my small hollowing is done using hooks with about 1/2" to 3/4" diameters and then I sometimes make a longer bend in the blade above the hook as well.  

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