Yew Letter Opener

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Project by Waldschrat posted 01-14-2009 06:17 PM 1582 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a small project that I made out of scraps of European Yew wood and Wenge… I think I must admitt that aside from maple and Zirbelkiefer, Yew wood is probably my favorite wood! Its hard, unbelievably flexible, finegrained, pretty color… well, too bad its very expensive and protected (at least here in Germany).

Using a “boule” style technique, my a collegue of mine built one exactly the same but opposite, the wenge on his is the main wood and has just stripes of the Euro. Yew… I do not have a pic of it though.

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

5 comments so far

View lew's profile


13273 posts in 4730 days

#1 posted 01-14-2009 06:28 PM


Be interested in knowing how you created the slots for the blade. Did you also make the blade?

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

View Waldschrat's profile


505 posts in 4410 days

#2 posted 01-14-2009 06:46 PM

Yes, I forgot to add that, I made the blade myself from an old plane iron/cutter/blade. So the steel is good quality, even if it is only really good for opening letters!

The slots are very easy, I measured the thickness of the blade and the design actually has a function the “cross” out of wenge (the darker wood) is the exact same thickness as the blade so I pretty much put it together like a sandwich… just measured the blade thickness and planed out the dark wood to match and glued it all together, I traced though the blade shape for the sheath out after planing and cut out the shape.

The cross on the face (the one facing us in the pic) is just for design…. I guess you can not see it but there is the same cross on the side too as well as both ends so it looks like it is going through the whole piece.

I hope that answered the question!

-- Nicholas, Cabinet/Furniture Maker, Blue Hill, Maine

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4502 days

#3 posted 01-14-2009 07:30 PM

Very nice project. Well done! Beautiful too.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View whitedog's profile


652 posts in 4432 days

#4 posted 01-15-2009 02:18 AM

very nice … i like it a lot. i may try one.

-- Paul , Calfornia

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4761 days

#5 posted 01-15-2009 05:37 AM

Excellent project! You do nice work. Nice style and execution.

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