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Thread: Drawknife suggestions?

  1. #1

    Drawknife suggestions?

    I am looking to add a drawknife or two to my toolbox, and would appreciate suggestions as to manufacturers I should look for.

    Thanks in advance.

    cheers, Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Laguna Beach , Ca.
    Posts
    7,201
    Paul,

    The best drawknives are the smaller ones which are the newer ones, unless you are doing large work. I have the one show from Lee Valley and it is well balanced and has the "intimate" feel I like in a draw knife. The most important thing is to read the grain and carve from the correct side relative to the grain. I have used this on chairs , lamps and shaped table legs...I like pulling rather than pushing

    http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...at=1,130,43332


    "All great work starts with love .... then it is no longer work"

  3. #3
    The flip side is that I use the knife regularly, and prefer a larger 10 or 12" one for leverage and clearance....it's a roughout tool, finish work being done with the spoke shave or plane.





    I prefer the German-pattern knives with offset handles for versatility of position.



    But the American-pattern knives also work well, and I frequently have both at the horse.

    I like the oldies for quality and economy. Witherby, Swan, Schwieg and countless others. 10 bucks and an hour of work cleaning and sharpening.

    And unless you are a genuine journeyman, the ones with folding handles gain you nothing except something elso to fuss with.
    Last edited by Bob Smalser; 07-05-2005 at 11:11 AM.
    “Perhaps then, you will say, ‘But where can one have a boat like that built today?’ And I will tell you that there are still some honest men who can sharpen a saw, plane, or adze...men (who) live and work in out of the way places, but that is lucky, for they can acquire materials for one third of city prices. Best, some of these gentlemen’s boatshops are in places where nothing but the occasional honk of a wild goose will distract them from their work.” -- L Francis Herreshoff

  4. #4
    Many of the old makers offered a variety of sizes from a 6" wide cutting edge up to over 12". I have always felt most comfortable with a 8" or a 10". I disagree with Mark to the extent that it often is usefully to skew the blade while cutting and hence a longer blade is necessary so that you have adequate room to work between the handles. Skewing the blade is helpful for the beginner in that it helps prevent taking too deep a bite and helps prevent the blade from diving since more of it is laying flat on the surface of the wood.

    Good antique brands are PEXCO (Peck, Stow, & Wilcox), James Swan, Buck Brothers, and ther are of course many more.
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Grand Marais, MN. A transplant from Minneapolis
    Posts
    5,513
    What's the best way to get an edge on those bad boys It just won't squeeze into my sharpening guide.
    TJH
    Live Like You Mean It.



    http://www.northhouse.org/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Posts
    286
    One of my favorite tools is my Austrian Draw Knife that I got from Lee Valley. It happens to be one of the least expensive draw knives you can find and is perfect balanced for fine work. I bought it a few years ago and have had no complaints. LV has it listed for $31.50.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Ernie Hobbs; 07-05-2005 at 11:09 AM.
    Ernie Hobbs
    Winston-Salem, NC

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Howell
    What's the best way to get an edge on those bad boys It just won't squeeze into my sharpening guide.


    Ya have to eventually learn to sharpen without jigs....set a bevel square up on the stone at 20 degrees and give it a try.

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...ight=drawknife
    “Perhaps then, you will say, ‘But where can one have a boat like that built today?’ And I will tell you that there are still some honest men who can sharpen a saw, plane, or adze...men (who) live and work in out of the way places, but that is lucky, for they can acquire materials for one third of city prices. Best, some of these gentlemen’s boatshops are in places where nothing but the occasional honk of a wild goose will distract them from their work.” -- L Francis Herreshoff

  8. #8
    Hi Tyler-Where you been hiding buddy?


    I don't use a jig for drawknives-- big surprise huh? I find it easiest to take a block of hardwood and wrap a piece of sandpaper around it. Clamp the drawknife by one end in a machinists vise and move the block of sandpapeer while the knife remains fixed. Just eyeball the angle and lock your wrists and elbows to maintain the angle. It's just another application of the KISS principal. Bob's system would also work using a stone and still locking the wrists and elbows.
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Benbrook, TX
    Posts
    1,245
    On the sharpening note: should the back be flat, or slightly beveled?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Grand Marais, MN. A transplant from Minneapolis
    Posts
    5,513
    Bob and Dave!

    Thanks Guys!
    Tied up with a mom in failing health here. Sure chews up a lot of time and energy. Family first.

    I've been taking notes and trying to keep up so I can hit the ground running.

    Looking back Bob, I have your tutorial book marked. I'll give them a try and post the results.

    Thanks again.
    TJH
    Live Like You Mean It.



    http://www.northhouse.org/

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Howell
    What's the best way to get an edge on those bad boys It just won't squeeze into my sharpening guide.
    For what it's worth, I don't take my drawknife to the sharpening stone, I do it the other way around. I clamp the drawknife in my bench vise and wield the sharpening stones by hand. Much easier to hold the stone at a precise angle than the tool.

    Mind those fingers though.
    Marc

  12. #12

    Back bevel or not

    Hi James-

    Personally I'm of the school that puts a slight back bevel on their drawknives. It's probably because that is the way I was taught years ago by Mike Dunbar. The rational is that a back bevel alows you to come up out of a cut- steer the cutting edge if you will. I personally find that it makes it easier for me to control the blade. There are just as many folks who feel that there is no way the edge should be back beveled. Kind of reeminds me of pins vs tails.
    Dave Anderson
    Chester Toolworks LLC
    Chester, NH

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Lumberton, MS
    Posts
    20

    Question

    Bob,

    Hate asking in this thread, but did you build your own shaving horse? I'm sure you did. Any plans for one out there. Anyone with experince building one. I want to add draw knives to my WW, but don't I need a horse to make 'em work right?

    Thanks in advance for answers.

  14. #14
    Lee Valley sells a set of plans for two versions of shaving horses: one of the traditional variety and a second "easy to build" version that also folds up for storage. I don't have the plans, but it caught my interest.
    Marc

  15. #15
    The Langsden horse is in my drawknife link above. Plans are there, too.
    “Perhaps then, you will say, ‘But where can one have a boat like that built today?’ And I will tell you that there are still some honest men who can sharpen a saw, plane, or adze...men (who) live and work in out of the way places, but that is lucky, for they can acquire materials for one third of city prices. Best, some of these gentlemen’s boatshops are in places where nothing but the occasional honk of a wild goose will distract them from their work.” -- L Francis Herreshoff

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