Carving tools #6: Carving knifes from old plane iron - spoon knife from jig saw blade

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Blog entry by mafe posted 02-21-2016 09:05 PM 6596 reads 4 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Spoon knife or scorp leather sheaths another version Part 6 of Carving tools series Part 7: Wood cup / Kuksa - or just a wonderful way to drink a cappuccino in nature... »

Carving knifes from old plane iron
spoon knife from jig saw blade

With a soft spot for tool making and beauty, I decided it was time to make my own carving knifes, found a wonderful old Chinese hand forged plane iron in a drawer of junk in my workshop and decided to give it a go.

This is what we will end up with, two carving knifes and a long blade spoon knife.
(This sketch was made after they had come to life).

Started up with no real plan, just that I wanted two blades, one flat and one curved cutting edge.
Made a rough sketch on the blade and Just went on with a Dremmel cutter.

Here you see the drawing clearly.

Curved blade is roughly there.

On the sander it got a bevel, just roughly there, free hand and spirit. ;-)
Remember to dip in cold water often so you don’t burn the metal and destroy the hardening.

I think this is fine.
Love the hand forged finish on the iron.

Both blades are shaped now.

For handles I find some scrap.
A piece of old furniture and a wonderful piece of flamed birch.
Both gifts from my friend Flemming, thanks.

I never did the two half version of a handle, so this will be tested here, just to see if it’s quick and the result are fair. So the wood are cut in half, one part the thickness of the blade wider.

Sketching where the blade will be.

Then the shape I want.

Next step is to inlay the blade into the thicker half of the handle.
This takes no time, so yes this is a quick way of making a tool knife.

Blade in place.

Same for the other one.

Sharp chisels and a holdfast make it a joy.

As I was working on the knifes I got the idea to see if I could make a spoon knife from a jig saw blade.
So the teeth’s were sanded of, bevel formed and I try gently to shape the blade here.
It was possible and it held it’s flex really well after.

New wood, this time from my Norwegian uncle Terje, thanks, he brought me different wood pieces and some iron on his last visit in Denmark.

Two half’s again.

Blade fitted in.

Before gluing the blades get some rough edges, like this the glue will have places to stick.

Both sides.

Time to mix some epoxy.

The full side.

Used the 5 min. version so I had to be fast, usually don’t use this for knifes.

Strong clamps lots of pressure.

Ohhh yes the blade have to go in.

And glue on top of it.

Again clamps and pressure.
Left them for an hour, just to be sure.

Can you handle this?
Ok no bad jokes MaFe, just move on.

Rough cutting on the band saw.

Lovely piece of wood, the sap wood makes a beautiful contrast.

Now the sides are also rough cut.

Like this the shaping and sanding will take less effort.

New knife, same song.

Sweet, I kind of like the slim curve here.

Marking the center and then the side curves.

Ok we will leave it with that…

Sanding on the spindle sander, this is a wonderful intuitive tool when used for this free hand shaping.

Some details just for pleasure.

Here they are before the sanding.
In fact we could stop here, they are tools after all, but…
So a light sanding, not trying to get rid of the dings and marks, I like this on a tool, like it is born with a life of it’s own.

Raw linseed oil in a jar.

Leaving them there overnight.
Then wipe of the oil and give it a wee wax.

We got knifes.

That’s what it’s all about, a knife that is perfectly fitted to your hand.

Yeps perfect grip for those small details.

The little fishy experiment also seems to be possible, now I can make whatever size I need when I need it.
(Actually I am soon going on a forging class so I will be able to go to next level, but I do love to make tools of what’s at hand and that everyone can do after, it does have a special charm).

The end.
(Another small blog might follow up on the spoon and fork).

Hope it can inspire, perhaps even make some old blades get a new life.

The best of my thoughts,

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

17 comments so far

View lew's profile


13442 posts in 5035 days

#1 posted 02-21-2016 09:22 PM

Awesome, Mads!

I see why you like the old hand forged metal. It has a really nice old “look”.

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

View Druid's profile


2205 posts in 4075 days

#2 posted 02-21-2016 09:25 PM

Really interesting blog, and very well presented. I’m interested in hearing how well the jigsaw blade holds up as you start using it. Thanks for sharing.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Schwieb's profile


1921 posts in 4741 days

#3 posted 02-21-2016 09:38 PM

Well done blog as always Mads. Your patience with doing the photography and setting up the post is amazing to me. I just feel like it takes so long to do it, I’d rather work in the shop and leave it at that.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View thecarpentershands's profile


80 posts in 3477 days

#4 posted 02-21-2016 09:57 PM

You’ve done it again! Never cease to amaze me. Great work, well done! Very inspiring!

View Sodabowski's profile


2401 posts in 4113 days

#5 posted 02-21-2016 10:26 PM

What Ken said ;)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View CampD's profile


1833 posts in 4766 days

#6 posted 02-21-2016 10:43 PM

Awesome, thanks for posting and the inspiration

-- Doug...

View pbyrne's profile


81 posts in 3972 days

#7 posted 02-21-2016 11:00 PM

I have an old plane iron in mind for this project.

Very inspiring, thank you for going to the effort of making beautiful instructional blogs like this one.

View Don W's profile

Don W

20240 posts in 3847 days

#8 posted 02-21-2016 11:35 PM

Excellent reuse Mads!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View GerardoArg1's profile


1016 posts in 3274 days

#9 posted 02-22-2016 12:23 AM

Beatiful Mads. Is a very well explained work. Thank and congratulations for that toys.

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22783 posts in 4956 days

#10 posted 02-22-2016 12:34 AM

Awesome blog and recycling ;-)

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

View dalethewhale's profile


19 posts in 3103 days

#11 posted 02-22-2016 05:19 AM

Some posts are a joy to read and look at.
This is one of them!
Thank you.

-- Merrily, Merrily, is but a dream - Whale, Coffs Harbour, Australia

View murch's profile


1380 posts in 3904 days

#12 posted 02-22-2016 10:44 AM

Cool looking knives. You took a lot of time to document the whole process (as usual) and
it is very much appreciated. I really like the small anvil as well. I’m a son of a son of a blacksmith
and enjoy a bit of tinkering.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4084 days

#13 posted 02-22-2016 05:15 PM

Thnx for the ride Mads. Well done. What in the world did you use to cut up that plane iron? That’s some hardened steel. Thnx in advance.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Brit's profile


8457 posts in 4123 days

#14 posted 02-22-2016 08:09 PM

Nice work Mads. You’ve got to think of something to make with them now.

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

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3819 days

#15 posted 02-24-2016 03:15 AM

They turned out great. Nice work

-- I never finish anyth

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