Making Wood Carving Knives

Sometimes making wood carving knives is the only way to find that perfect weight, balance and style that you're looking for, for your hobby. For many people, especially those who have been carving wood for a long time now, the requirements become extremely specific and since the manufacturing process is aimed at regular versions of the knife. Sometimes, as a result, hobbyists are left with no choice but to get into the process of making wood carving knives of their own. If you don't have a forgery or a blacksmith living around you, somewhere, then you might want to try these steps and get your own, custom-made, forging knife.

Making Hand-Razor Knives

Whether you talk about whittling or wood carvers in general, everyone has a soft spot for a razor knife. Since the mid-20th century, hobbyists and professionals have always been using razor knives because they are, in many ways, a cheap and effective alternative, and one that can be shaped into the size, weight and dimensions you need. Making a razor knife is simply about finding a good razor, a good abrasive belt and a large bucket of patience. The idea is to keep removing the material, on the razor, and work it into the shape you want and you'll have your very own knife.

Just keep a little water beside you because the razor will heat up and you don't want it changing colour, which it will if temperatures reach beyond a desirable mark. So if you end up with a dark brown colour, then you might want to put that razor away and start afresh.

Picking & Preparing the Razor

The first step in making wood carving knives is to remove the handle of the razor but make sure that you have a razor that's not in the "collectible category", because you might just be turning a $1,000 collectible razor into a $30 carving knife. Try and find a razor that's not too thick or thin to begin with and if you can find a straight razor, not a curved version, then nothing like it!

German or English razors, traditionally, seem to be the best variety and you can find them all over the place, on the Internet, in antique stores and even in flea markets. If you buy one of those cheaper, newer models that are available in stores today, you'll find that the quality of the steel is just not good enough to hold or maintain an edge. Just make sure that there is enough steel to work with and make into a good knife, and you can do that by looking for a wedge shape that starts on the thicker edge, and works its way towards the sharp bit.

Once you have your razor, using the abrasive belt and while wearing safety goggles and a dust mask, you need to remove the sharp edge. Thin edges are too weak against wood and can be dangerous even. Us a cut-off wheel or edge to score the length of the blade at its thinnest portion and slowly use a vice to break it off. If you score it well, you won't make a mistake here! Every razor blade has a finger hook at the end, which will be removed eventually once you are done making wood carving knives out of it, so don't worry about it now. What you have, effectively, done by now is cut the blade to a rough length and depth that you need.

A lot of Grinding and Shaping

Then comes the part where you need to shape the blade and this is where you need to prepare for a lot of grinding, so pull out your dust mask. First, grab a permanent marker and slowly make the shape of the blade, which you want, on the actual blade. Start grinding around the marking without letting the blade become too hot - dip it into water if it does start changing colour. You also need to make sure that you account for the point where the knife will meet the handle, and this will also be important when sharpening the knife.

Then you begin grinding the bevels and the tang into shape, without rushing it or letting the metal overheat. Once you have got the shape right, you need to refine the blade's shape, bevel and fit for the handle, and polish the blade before removing the finger-hook to finish it up. The final thing that you need to do is find the kind of wood you want for the handle, choose its thickness and shape, before marking it out onto the wood and cutting it.

Drill the holes for the handles and put it into place, around the blade, and attach the blade to the handle to complete your project! Whether you are making wood carving knives for yourself or to sell them to other hobbyists, you will find that it is an extremely fascinating job in itself and gives you a lot of pleasure as you go about it. Make sure you have all the right tools, follow the safety measures and have that all-important patience needed when making wood carving knives.

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