Hook Knife Build

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Project by Levex posted 10-20-2015 10:31 PM 2535 views 11 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Hook Knife Build
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A large storm recently came through our area and blew down a lot of trees. Hmmm, free green wood for the taking. Good time to learn how to carve bowls. For that you need tools that I wasn’t prepared to buy so I decided to make a few starting with this hook knife.
I started with a used reciprocating saw blade and a small brazing torch.

I sped up the blade making process by grinding the saw teeth off and forming the cutting edge without first annealing the metal. I then used the torch to heat the blade up to bright red hot and bent it over a 2 inch hole saw to form the hook.

To harden the newly formed blade I reheated it to red hot and plunged the cutting edge into a container of automatic transmission fluid. I tempered it in our bbq for an hour at around 400 degrees C.

Once the blade had cooled I added a handle from some oak scraps, brass rod, and 2 part epoxy. When I started to clean up the blade and add a final sharpening I was immediately surprised at how hard the metal was. I ran a file over the blade and it left wear marks on the file teeth. I eventually managed to get a decent edge on it with an oil stone and a lot of work.

So far its been a great tool and holds an edge well even after cutting through hardwood.

One mistake I made during the build was trying to drill holes in the blade for the brass pins after I had heat treated it. I wrecked 3 drill bits drilling those two holes.

All in all it was a fun build. I learned a few things and got a new carving tool to add to my collection.

4 comments so far

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3207 days

#1 posted 10-21-2015 01:13 AM

It’s fun to make your own tools, nice job. I had never seen a hook knife used for carving bowls, only spoons. I guess it’s basically the same thing though. From a google search I see some people doing it and using a bit of cord with a handle to pull the blade with more leverage.

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3625 days

#2 posted 10-21-2015 04:21 AM

Good work on the knife. I’ve made the same mistake with the drill bits.

-- Rick M,

View XrayJay's profile


273 posts in 3224 days

#3 posted 10-21-2015 11:18 AM

I’ve really enjoyed this hook and your draw knife build. Good job!

-- Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might,... because there is no work in the grave...Ecclesiastes 9:10

View ChickenChaser's profile


102 posts in 2326 days

#4 posted 11-15-2015 05:35 PM

Thanks for the great idea.

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