Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bigger or Bent Blades

I've been thinking about a few crafting projects to play with other the summer recently. Things like a quick bow, rabbit sticks and some carving. One common feature in many of these projects is that it would be useful to have a long blade for planing and scraping work. I was looking at knives such as the RAT-7 which looks to be a good all round knife - small enough to carve but big enough for scraping. I'm definitely going to have a look in Swiat Nozy when I'm in Warsaw next week and see if there is anything suitable in stock.
However, bigger isn't necessarily the only way to tackle this problem. One traditional approach to this type of usage is the crook knife. These are not the little curled blades used for hollowing out spoons or bowls - they are longer blades intended to be used as a 1 handed draw knife. Check out the Ray Mears episode where they make a birch bark canoe to see one in action.
I've tried converting a hoof knife (trimming cattle's feet) into a crook knife before and was quite impressed. I think I'll have another go sooner or later as they usually cost very little. The only problem with the one I obtained was that rather than being a gentle curve there was a sudden kink in the middle of the blade. I don't really no enough to go about improving this.
I'll update you on this one when I'm back in England.