Blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective #7: Pocket drawknife - One for the road

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Blog entry by mafe posted 04-20-2019 09:20 PM 2892 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Froe for splitting wood - Swedish sled runner steel Part 7 of Blacksmithing from a woodworkers perspective series Part 8: Swan neck carving gouge - from tractor rake spring steel »

Pocket drawknife
One for the road

Once again a tool made by your own hands, to be used by your own hands, this time a pocket size drawknife, that will be my tour buddy, when I’m out there with my hammock, playing in nature, as a part of my tool set.

So let’s start making some noise.

A piece of Swedish sled runner steel again, roughed out, with an angle grinder.
(The Swedish did make amazing steel back in the days).

Some heat in the forge.

And banging that baby into shape.
I also used files and sand paper, to shape up the cutting edge.

A round rod in the vice to shape the ends.
I just bend it around.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, I was so much there, that I forgot the camera.

Think you can see it here.

Then slow cooling it, I just left it in the forge to cool down.

After that I can work on the bevel, remove the sharp edges in the finger holes and shape it up.
Sandpaper, files and sweat.

Then re heating to cherry.

Quenching it in oil, by dipping it while cherry red.

Removing the hardness from the handles, so they are more flexible.
Keeping the blade in water, secures the hardening of the cutting edge are not taken out too.

Also made a pair of small handles, so it can be used like that also, think the fingers will be tired quite fast on heavy work – in nature I will just bring the blade and use sticks.

Here we have it, a pocket size draw knife.

Perfect when the handles are set like this, surprisingly nice to hold.

I had something in my girlfriends oven.
200° for an hour.

Dinner is served darling!

Time for some sharpening.

Only have my home kit here, but it will work, diamonds and stones (not pearls).

Testing as we go.
My dear Yeli think I’m mad(s) and I think she is right…

We got a fair edge.

And a flat back.

Now it just need a wrap.
I use suede leather.

Here from last week on a wee hike, we used the boat shelter to store our gear.

Sleeping in twin mood, wonderful to be out there, especially with the one you love.


View on YouTube

Here after sharpening it on my new belt sander sharpener.

Hope this post can inspire others to make their own tools, perhaps even bring then into nature.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

19 comments so far

View pottz's profile


9928 posts in 1763 days

#1 posted 04-20-2019 09:38 PM

man I wish I could do some blacksmithing but the shop is like a jigsaw puzzle to get everything in now so I don’t see that did a killer job on that but yeah I don’t think your girlfriend likes sharing the kitchen with your creations though.and may I suggest I nice pinot noir to go with that steel next time,chardonnay just doesn’t have enough strength-lol.nice work mads.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24806 posts in 3884 days

#2 posted 04-20-2019 10:06 PM

I love it , Mads! Nice to see your girlfriend, too!!

Pleasant dreams…................Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View icemanhank's profile


523 posts in 2935 days

#3 posted 04-20-2019 10:58 PM

Hi Mads, lovely work as usual.

I love seeing the pics of your escapades as well :-)

Using the oven reminded me of when I was re oiling some sintered brass bearings for my turntable in the oven and the look on my wife’s face was the same as your girlfriend! Haha

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View recycle1943's profile


4508 posts in 2401 days

#4 posted 04-21-2019 12:21 AM

Hi Mads,
realy neat handi work and a usable tool

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View mafe's profile


12592 posts in 3868 days

#5 posted 04-21-2019 12:25 AM

Hi guys,
I removed the kitchen picture, it was not fair to Yeli, she would let me put anything in that oven, even my car if I asked for it. She is that kind of woman. :-)
Pottz, thank you, my shop is also growing smaller… or perhaps the tools grow… Champagne might be the answer.
Jim, smiles, yes I’m a lucky man.
David, we do enjoy nature together, I’m lucky to have meet someone to share that part of my life with also – I have a oven in the workshop for the really bad stuff. ;-D
Best of my thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View mafe's profile


12592 posts in 3868 days

#6 posted 04-21-2019 12:28 AM

Thanks recycle1943, it’s a joy to use also, I had it with me on a previous tour, where I used it for some spoon carving.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View tyvekboy's profile


2005 posts in 3792 days

#7 posted 04-21-2019 01:12 AM

Mads – Thatʻs one cool project. I like the design.

Hope you enjoy it for many years to come.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19255 posts in 4455 days

#8 posted 04-21-2019 01:51 AM

Nice project Mads, You always come up with something different.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1343 posts in 2492 days

#9 posted 04-21-2019 07:44 AM

Yet another signature travelf riendly, bodger, camping, outdoor, collapsible tool. Next to planes and knives this is becoming one of your specialities. How is it to use in real life?

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Woodwrecker's profile


4239 posts in 4354 days

#10 posted 04-21-2019 02:37 PM

By far, one of my favorite Lumberjocks!
Your post was inspiring, wonderful and full of great knowledge as usual my friend.
You are a very special person and I am thankful that I found you.
Your work is always top-notch.
That tool will serve you well.
Happy Easter my friend.

View lew's profile


13125 posts in 4534 days

#11 posted 04-21-2019 08:28 PM

Thanks for the pictures, Mads! Really nice little tools.

So that’s what you do with old boats- So Cool!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4113 days

#12 posted 04-21-2019 08:53 PM

Great little tool Mads and a very clever handle arrangement to save the fingers for more delicate work.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Brit's profile


8079 posts in 3621 days

#13 posted 04-21-2019 09:01 PM

Very impressive Mads. I can just imagine you sitting in the woods making shavings with it.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View mafe's profile


12592 posts in 3868 days

#14 posted 04-22-2019 11:25 AM

Brit, smiles, yes that is what it’s all about, but I have to admit, I enjoy making the tool at least as much as using it. ;-)
stefang, smiles, when making it, I could almost feel the pain, if I had to stick my fingers inside the holes… I have seen different versions on bush craft sites, I made this one because I was thinking it could be stored flat, perhaps in a combi sheath shared by a knife…
lew, I also really loved the idea of making that old boat into a shelter, beautiful, functional recycle. Thanks.
Woodwrecker, big smile thanks, big words for Easter here. Happy easter to you and yours also.
Ty, it works surprisingly well, the only downside would be to flatten larger areas, but how often do we do that… In fact I almost always use one or two inches of my large drawknifes. So a great little tool for many tasks in green woodworking. When putting outward pressure on the handles it becomes a rigid tool and so you have full control and can work quite detailed. Yes I have long ago realized I’m a tool maker more than a cabinet maker, I love solving and making things by far the most. ;-D
TopamaxSurvivor, thank you, thinking out of the woods… with an open mind. ;-)
tyvekboy, ‘less is plenty’ I try to keep that approach, while the tools, jigs and other pile up. :-D Thank you.
Thank you all for the comments, it do make me smile from my heart,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10923 posts in 4831 days

#15 posted 04-22-2019 08:45 PM

COOL… Very unique… interesting…

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

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