Twin Dragonscale Drawknives

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Project by bobasaurus posted 01-14-2017 10:58 PM 3010 views 10 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After seeing the beautiful hand saws Brian of BearKat Wood creates, I offered him a trade for some forging. He took me up on the offer and I set out to make him a fancy drawknife. I initially forged a tiny one just to learn the process, then moved on to making these two. I sent the larger one to Brian and kept the smaller for myself.

I made these drawknives from bicycle chain forge welded to good tool steel backers for the cutting edge and extra strength. This is known as “chain damascus” in the knifemaking community. The smaller one has an antique file as the backer (W1 steel most likely), while the bigger one has a 1080 steel backer. It’s all hand hammered by my feeble arms on an anvil, as I don’t have a power hammer or press. I heat treated the blades by heating to non-magnetic (about 1500 deg F) and quenching in warm oil, then tempered at 425 deg F in the kitchen oven, followed by softening the tangs in the forge. I acid etched the blades after polishing to bring out the link and rivet patterns.

The handles are turned out of redheart with copper ferrules, finished with amber shellac and renaissance wax. I drilled them out on the lathe most of the way through, then continued the hole from the other end freehand. On the smaller drawknife I chiseled out the remaining area to insert the tangs (which didn’t fully work, one of the handles cracked and needed repair), while on the bigger one I burned them to fit by heating the tangs in the forge and inserting repeatedly (being careful not to damage the temper on the main knife body). The tangs pass clear through the handles and are peened over washers to clinch the handles in place. I also used medium CA glue in the hole to keep them extra secure.

In exchange, Brian sent me a beautiful 13 ppi tenon/carcass rip saw with a goncalo alves handle custom fit to my hand. It is incredible, I admire it every time I enter the shop. Thanks a lot, tool brother.

Full build photos can be found here: . Here are a few of my favorite:

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

32 comments so far

View bearkatwood's profile


1747 posts in 1339 days

#1 posted 01-14-2017 11:10 PM

The only bad thing about this build is now the kid down the street will have to walk to school. ;)
Beautiful work, thank you so much for my new favorite tool.

-- Brian Noel

View tyvekboy's profile


1875 posts in 3340 days

#2 posted 01-14-2017 11:23 PM

Absolutely awesome! I’ve never heard of this process but it makes sense. Your build photos were also good. Thanks for sharing.

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

View oldrivers's profile


1635 posts in 1894 days

#3 posted 01-14-2017 11:54 PM

Beautiful multi-craft work takes my mind back to my old fab shop days, Great work you did here.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 1956 days

#4 posted 01-15-2017 12:19 AM


I wouldn’t have believed the part about the bicycle chain without the proof.


-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View summerfi's profile


4193 posts in 2014 days

#5 posted 01-15-2017 01:16 AM

Allen, those are jaw dropping gorgeous. Incredible work.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works -- ~Non multa sed multum~

View swirt's profile


3788 posts in 3299 days

#6 posted 01-15-2017 02:26 AM

Quite amazing. They are a functional work of art.

-- Galootish log blog,

View JADobson's profile


1392 posts in 2438 days

#7 posted 01-15-2017 03:32 AM

Makes me want to start blacksmithing. Woodworking is taking up all of my free time already.

Beautiful work.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View Combo Prof's profile

Combo Prof

3807 posts in 1604 days

#8 posted 01-15-2017 03:58 AM

They are very cool. Do you think you can bring yourself to use one?

-- Don K, (Holland, Michigan)

View Steve Preslar's profile

Steve Preslar

201 posts in 862 days

#9 posted 01-15-2017 04:00 AM

These are absolutely beautiful tools great work!

-- Live, lathe, and prosper. - William Gwin

View woodcox's profile


2263 posts in 2339 days

#10 posted 01-15-2017 05:17 AM

Amazing work Allen. That was a good trade you guys.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1169 posts in 2858 days

#11 posted 01-15-2017 06:21 AM

Fabulous fabrication!

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1080 posts in 2639 days

#12 posted 01-15-2017 09:57 AM

Exquisite pieces of craftsmanship.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View majuvla's profile


14156 posts in 3194 days

#13 posted 01-15-2017 01:38 PM

Awesome idea with that bike chain. Extraordinary work and looks realy interesting. Turning part of project is also very well made.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3194 days

#14 posted 01-15-2017 01:47 PM

These are beautiful tools and you’ve done a fine job on them. The handles look great.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View bondogaposis's profile


5323 posts in 2678 days

#15 posted 01-15-2017 02:10 PM

Stunning work. You’re really forging ahead aren’t you?

-- Bondo Gaposis

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