More Netsuke Type Carving Knives.

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Project by RusticJohn posted 10-03-2012 09:12 PM 6222 views 5 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Still making knives that suit the type of carving I do. I have been working on a walking stick, covered in Nesuke like faces, since May. It has been necessary to develop new knives as I have progressed to cope with the very fine work. The old ladies face and the tiny one above in Photo 5 are cases in point. The little face is smaller than a thumb nail.

The first two knives from the left have very thin blades, about 0.5 mm, and are made from an old tenon saw. Had to harden and stiffen the steel all without cracking it. The next two are made from an old cut throat razor. The steel needs to be softened a bit to reduce the brittleness. No 5 is sharpened on both faces and is a tidying up tool. Made from an old hand saw blade. The next is a curved knife similar to that found in Canada. Then there is a Japanese style carving chisel made from a file and a tiny scraper made from a concrete nail.

I have made lots of chisels. The ones in the roll are just a few.

The last two photos show parts of the walking stick. Maybe six weeks work left to finish it. I will post the stick when the time comes.

I still have to finish most of the handles but it takes me a while to decide if the tool is good enough for what I need to do. New knives can sometimes need quite a bit of tuning and shaping to get the best from them. They can be too long, not sharp enough, strangely too sharp or an inefficient shape to mention a few problems.

-- RusticJohn

6 comments so far

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 2979 days

#1 posted 10-03-2012 11:12 PM

that is some outstanding work, I am amazed by the detail. I try to do a little carving, but side of you, I should smash my tools to pieces and leave the heavy lifting to you.. wow… very well done… Papa

-- Papa...

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 4369 days

#2 posted 10-04-2012 12:33 AM

The secret is to put on reading glasses with a magnification of 3.5 x and then head band mounted lens over that of 1.75 x. Even the smallest detail becomes easy to see. Mind you it wrecks my eyes after about an hour.

-- RusticJohn

View basie's profile


47 posts in 2843 days

#3 posted 10-04-2012 12:54 PM

Great stuff….... on my Favourites list!!

View mafe's profile


12592 posts in 3867 days

#4 posted 10-04-2012 01:13 PM

I cant stop loving your knifes.
Best thoughts,

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

View RusticJohn's profile


219 posts in 4369 days

#5 posted 10-04-2012 07:49 PM

Thanks Guys. I actually prefer making tools to doing the woodwork but there is only some many knives etc you can use. Sometimes I make them to sell but then I like the results so much that I can’t bring myself to let them go. Bit of a problem.

-- RusticJohn

View Mauricio's profile


7165 posts in 3929 days

#6 posted 10-05-2012 06:56 PM

Great work John!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

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