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Making and Using Tools - Chisels, Gouges, and Carving Tools


 
  Bent Knives and Their Uses by Michael Komick

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It is hard to really track down where bent knives started out.  Many carvers have found them to be very useful.  You are able to get into places where chisels can't reach.  If you read on you will see what I mean.

Why a Bent Knife

Carving Illustrated wrote of world famous carver Chris Pye: Although Chris Pye is a traditional carver and not known as a user of knives as such, he does see carving gouges as essentially "glamorous, curved knives with the handle moved around to the side".

 

The hook knives proved perfect for the particular work in hand and elsewhere.   It was also obvious that other carvers, particularly knife carvers, would find them a very useful part of their kit of tools as well.  The hook knives proved perfect for the particular work in hand and elsewhere.

It was also obvious that other carvers, particularly knife carvers, would find them a very useful part of their kit of tools as well.  The blades of these knives are mounted close to the surface of the back of the handle which makes it easier to work close to the surface of the wood.

A benefit of the double edge bent knife is: when you are carving and the grain in the wood starts to travel in another direction all you have to do is use the other side of the knife to bring the cut in the opposite direction. All you are doing is cutting in the opposite direction instead of having to turn the whole carving around.

To understand how and where the certain curved knives are used I will try and explain the other benefits.  I am sure when you try them you find the areas where these knives will benefit you as a carver.  Bent knives can be used in many different areas of carving. These knives can be used in concave areas and for the relief cuts in the background of a relief carving.

The blades on these knives can be used to the very tip making it very easy to cut right into a stop cut. A Preferred Edge sharpened bent knife can cut across the grain on red cedar with out tiring the wood.  It also helps if you use a slicing action for this cut.

Blade Steel

The blades is made from a high grade tool steel. The steel code is L6.  L6 was engineered for wood cutting saw blades and related tools. The Rockwell hardness on these bent blades after they have been heat treated by Preferred Edge are RC 57+. At this hardness these tools are easy to sharpen and stay sharp for a long time.

Blade Bevels

Bent knives can have a bevel on the inside or the backside. There are benefits to both bevels. Each one will have to be sharpened differently.

Inside Bevel

With the bevel on the inside the dig can have a more aggressive dig.  This blade wants to dig into the would because the bevel is on the inside. When this blade wants to dig too much all you have to do is use the opposite side of the blade and cut in the opposite direction.

Backside Bevel

In most cases when the bevel is on the back or bottom side you have better control of the digging. The cut with this blade wants to stay toward the top of the wood. With this tool there is less chatter when you are cutting in a tighter radius.


 
Learn how. Discover why. Build better.

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