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Whittling knife and axe advice

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Chris152

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I'm looking to buy a folding pocket knife for whittling. I'd prefer a regular pocket knife to a dedicated whittling knife, so it's good for other things too.
Any advice on a good pocket knife for this?
I'd also like to get an axe for larger bits of wood - from what I've seen the Robin Wood ones are good but you can't buy them at the moment. Any thoughts on not-too-expensive alternatives?
Finally, a sharpening question - is it easiest to have a knife with a longer transition from the blade to the edge (if that makes sense - bevel?)? I've tried on my cheap pocket knife and struggle to figure what angle I need to hold it at.
Thanks for any thoughts
Chris

ps I have a sorby proedge but don't want to spend another £70 on a knife jig - can you use them hand held to sharpen a knife repeatedly and accurately, or am I likely to lose the shape of the edge?
 

Trainee neophyte

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Shouldn't you be building a boat? No time for carving!

I use the French Opinel lock knives - sharp, durable, hold an edge reasonably well, and come in all sizes up to a foot long. Probably illegal in the UK. I also don't carve, so ymmv.

That may have been less helpful than it could have been. Sorry.
 

adrspach

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I am not a carver or whittler however do quite a bit around old tools and sharpening.
What you what is very personal and VERY dependent on keeping them sharp.
I have spoken to few carvers and again each have their own method often dependent on what wood they use. The prevalent way is to sharpen by hand.
There are plenty of books about whittling available on the market.
Opinel and Swiss army knife are well recommended and relatively cheap on the market.
If you looking for decent axe and relatively cheap this is again very personal choice and I would try something like old Kent or thin German pattern. Kent patterns going around cheaper than German with additional advantage in my opinion they are lighter and more available from decent brands. If you live anywhere near Luton or Chesham in I could possibly hook you up with one.
The old best way was to go to a wood working shows/festivals or museums like Amberley and try to ask if you could hold the tool how it would feel in your hand and speak to craftsmen which would allow you to make your own at least partially educated opinion. Unfortunately this at present is a bit more difficult due to contact restrictions.
Good luck and sharp tools.
 

--Tom--

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If you want a scandi grind, a TBS Boar gives you that in a folder
 

Chris152

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Thanks chaps. Ok, so single bevel on both the knife and axe looks like it'll make sharpening easier and narrows things down a bit. But still a bit tricky when you don't know what you're doing - the Opinels look fine and cheap-ish, but can't do the single grind. TBS Boar looks lovely but expensive (and stainless), I'll keep looking for a cheaper carbon version.
I don't seem to get much on ebay when I search for carving axe - apart from really expensive ones. Again, I'll keep hunting.
I guess as you say adrspach, it'd be nice to be able to handle the things before making a decision.
Really helpful replies.

ps Tn, procrastination is the name of the game - I bought the plans which I can sort of make sense of, now dithering about what wood to use. Could go on a long while...
 

Sheffield Tony

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I know you said you wanted an ordinary knife, but I'll just mention the Flexcut carving knife as being useful for small things. And locking. Which is safest for your fingers but use some sense where you carry it.

Robin Wood used to recommend a smaller Gransfors axe before he started peddaling his own far-eastern axe that looks for all the world like a tarted up Bahco. The Gransfors is in a different league. I use their carpenters axe, and it takes an amazing edge.
 

Chris152

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Thanks Tony - £150 is expensive for me, especially since I've hardly ever used an axe except for splitting logs etc.
Out of interest, could either of these be salvaged and made to work in the short term while I get going? Cheap old hatchets I've had laying around in the garden for years.
IMG_20200731_104616.jpg
 

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novocaine

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Seems like an opportunity to learn chris.

Make your own.
Uk legal
uk legal

Smaller, not legal but a lovely little thing

not legal.

Both are ok. Both are stainless which is a down side but hay for the price of both its a fun way to spend an hour or 2. Buy a stone while your there and learn to sharpen. Its easy really. Hold blade at 15 ish degrees and move it about. Flip it and do it again.

For craving id rather have the smaller locking blade.
 

dannyr

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I'd definitely go with the old Kent (or Yorkshire) small axe /hatchet - used to be very common for about 5% of the price of an undoubtedly fine new Swedish axe - in flea-markets etc.

I think the flexcuts were, at least initially, made from hacksaw blade material - it used to be very common in workplaces doing lots of metal cutting for everyone to have a knife made from broken/worn hacksaw blades (but be there are many kinds of blade - I have used some old carbon steel and HSS flexible hacksaw blades (broken, not too thin a type) with good results (the HSS may in theory give a less good edge, but I've not found it so, they also can be ground with no worries about losing the steel's temper)).

First two green wood jobs - borrow an axe and knife and make new handles for yours. (If going the hacksaw blade route, just temporarily wrap the handle part in tape)
 

marcros

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it isnt folding but I have a spare mora knife if you want to borrow it for a while. I am 90% sure it is a 106.

it may help you decide whether you want something bigger, smaller, heavier etc.
 

Chris152

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Danny - do you mean to have a go at sorting the axe to the right in my photo or am I completely misunderstanding? Not sure what a old Kent (or Yorkshire) small axe is! Had a quick go at cleaning the other one, seems to cut little slivers of the edge of birch ok but clearly it's nothing like a nice axe.
116264528_1435231263327023_3671015018894902451_n.jpg

Searching to find out what a Kent one is, I saw the same metal shaft axe on ebay for 99p (buy it now). I guess that suggests something about the quality of the thing.
I'll have a play with a hacksaw blade tomorrow, sounds like a canny alternative.

Marcros - that's really kind of you to offer - I checked Mora and realised a friend sells them! Are they good knives? I'll ask if I can have a play with one next time I'm up there (5 mins walk). Really appreciate the offer.

ps novocaine, the links don't work for me :?
 

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El Barto

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The Hultafors hatchets aren't dissimilar in shape to the Robin Wood carving axe, I imagine carving with one would be very doable.

This is what is meant by a Kent pattern axe. They are very common and can be had for pretty cheap. In fact, there are two on the farm I live on sitting outside, covered in rust. If you felt like refurbishing one I'd be happy to post it to you. I don't doubt it'd make a fine axe with a bit of care.

 

Chris152

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El Barto":k2izigp6 said:
The Hultafors hatchets aren't dissimilar in shape to the Robin Wood carving axe, I imagine carving with one would be very doable.

This is what is meant by a Kent pattern axe. They are very common and can be had for pretty cheap. In fact, there are two on the farm I live on sitting outside, covered in rust. If you felt like refurbishing one I'd be happy to post it to you. I don't doubt it'd make a fine axe with a bit of care.

Would that make a good axe for carving, Barto? Might it be heavy to handle for any length of time? I really don't know, just seeing the 5" edge made me wonder. If it'd be good, I'd really like to take you up on the offer.
 

El Barto

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That was just one I got off the web as an example. They come in all sorts of sizes and I believe do make good carving axes but yes, a heavy one would be a pain. I will go and find the ones on the farm and report back.

I just saw this incidentally which might be a good option too, looks identical to the Wood Tools carving axe: https://www.tftools.co.uk/collections/a ... e-hand-axe
 

Chris152

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That'd be great - let me know when you get a chance?

Out of interest, what's the little 'tooth' for on the back of the one you linked to? Looks like it could get pretty painful as you handle the axe near the head? :)
 

El Barto

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Chris152":8cm88aq7 said:
That'd be great - let me know when you get a chance?

Out of interest, what's the little 'tooth' for on the back of the one you linked to? Looks like it could get pretty painful as you handle the axe near the head? :)
It's a nail puller. I'd just grind it off!
 
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