Padauk Dovetail Marking Knife

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Project by Brian S posted 10-27-2011 06:57 AM 3396 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a nice, simple project. A small dovetail marking knife made from scrap padauk and a used up jigsaw blade. Finished with several coats of wipe-on poly. The design is based on Derek Cohen's design.

This particular one was my first ever marking knife, and just about the first turning project I’ve ever done. I made it as a thank-you gift for a friend who sent me a beautiful bowl.

I think that I will be making several more of these, from various woods and in various shapes, both to give away and to keep for myself. It’s a good practice project for spindle turning.

Thanks for looking.

-- Brian

10 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


17742 posts in 3698 days

#1 posted 10-27-2011 11:06 AM

Wow, that is very nice and I’m sure a pleasure to use. I really love working with Paduak.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 3277 days

#2 posted 10-27-2011 12:31 PM

Very nice Brian. Did you make the Ferrel?

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View Brian S's profile

Brian S

108 posts in 3102 days

#3 posted 10-27-2011 01:09 PM

Dan, that depends on how liberally I can interpret the word “make”. It’s just a piece of brass pipe cut to length. But I cut it myself :-)

-- Brian

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4577 days

#4 posted 10-27-2011 04:33 PM

I’ve had this on my short-list (which proves anything but short) for too long. I don’t believe I’ve tried to turn Paduak yet. Looks to turn very cleanly with a nice grain. It looks like your jig saw blades are more heavy duty than mine. I’m thinking if the photo isn’t playing tricks, mine are about half as thick. I have some old 6” jointer and 12” planer blades set aside for something like this. Thanks for the link to Derek’s. I’ll keep that as a reference.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3202 days

#5 posted 10-27-2011 04:52 PM

Outstandingly gorgeous.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Brian S's profile

Brian S

108 posts in 3102 days

#6 posted 10-27-2011 06:13 PM

Thank you both very much, that’s high praise.

Jeff, I liked the way the padauk turned. I don’t have a lot of experience to compare it to, but it made a nice, smooth finish without a lot of work. It is an open-grained wood, so the pores are visible (and tangible when you hold the knife). I made no effort to change this, as I like the feel of it a lot, but it is worth noting.

The picture may be playing some tricks. I have several jigsaw blades from different manufacturers, and none of them any bigger than any others I find in the stores – so I assume they are more-or-less standard. But I’m sure some jointer or planer blades would work wonderfully. A thicker blade would also be easier to sharpen – it took several tries before I was satisfied with the edge on this one since it is hard to feel the tiny bevel.

-- Brian

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3164 days

#7 posted 10-27-2011 08:39 PM

You are starting one heck of a beautiful collections on tools. Nothing like having something that is shaped just for your own hands. I am excited, I finally figured out how to fit a Lathe in my shop, now I just need to make the darn thing.

Thanks for more inspiration to get back into turning.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Michael1's profile


403 posts in 3169 days

#8 posted 10-28-2011 04:22 AM

Thats a really nice marking knife. I made one very similar and use Dereks design as well and love the feel of it in my hand. For a first turning on the lathe, you did a wonderful job. Great work

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina,

View USCJeff's profile


1065 posts in 4577 days

#9 posted 11-02-2011 03:50 PM

Finally decided to give this one a go. Your’s bumped it up my to-do list. I like the Paduak a little better than the Mahogany I used, but it was fun none-the-less. More or less used the same procedure other than the ferrule. Again, well done.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View JuanGatico's profile


72 posts in 2695 days

#10 posted 10-24-2012 03:18 AM

Please don’t forget me when you make the others! HA HA!

Seriously, good job.

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