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How would you fettle/sharpen this scorp (hook knife)?

3908 Views 35 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  DLK
I am in tool handle making mode these days. I remembered I had found early last summer this scorp that was in need of a handle. So I cleaned off the rust and will make a handle for it this week end. How do I sharpen or fettle it?
My guess is that you sharpen it like a knife, because there is no bevel. What confuses me is that the back is not flat.

Also it has a very long tang. So do I run it all the way through the handle and bend over the end or can I just drive it deep into a handle? I'd prefer the latter.

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That's a nice looking blade Don. I would just fit the tang in a hole with some 5 minute epoxy. As for sharpening, I don't have one just that shape but I use a Dremel with the biggest wheel I can find and finish it off with some round slip stones.
Save Jims' idea and you can also wrap some leather around a dowel a strop

with some green compound, takes a while but it's sharp.
Don, I looked into buying one of these to carve spoons. Technically it is called a Twca Cam. Typically they have a very long handle so you can get a good deal of leverage when carving. They can be a dangerous tool to use if you don't think ahead about where the blade will be if it slips out of the wood.

This is a link to Nic Clestermann, a guy in England who forges these blades. This is the handle he suggests making for his blades. He also recommends sharpening ideas if you look around his web site.
I agree with Al, Nic Westermann's handle is what you want Don.
Thanks for all the input. In particular the Nic Westermann link was very informative and I never would have found it nor left to my own devices would I have made the handle that long. (I did not find the sharpening advice.) I have some dry hop hornbeam I think I'll use for the handle. I bet Twca cam is a Celtic name, for otherwise I can no' pronounce it. :-] It is definitely hand forged. Their are some chips in the blade near the tip I should grind out and will use a dremal or grit on a dowel as suggested, I also do have a slip stone wedge that is round on the wide end. After looking at the Nic Westermann link I bet this tool is for green wood and may be mostly sharpe enough for that already. I would like to see one in use. I'll post updated pictures when finished this weekend.

Does anyone know the reason for the odd curvature to the blade back? Everyone I have seen is dead flat.

By the way. It was in my friends uncles Bills bench who collected many of the hand tools I now own. This makes it WWII era or earlier. My friends father was the towns blacksmith so it is probably hand forged by him. All Finnish descendants as is the majority of the population living here.
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Guys - It is Nic Westermann not Clestermann. It is just the font that makes the 'W' look like 'CL'.
Yes. Thanks. I just copied and pasted. But you caught me in time to fix it in the post above.
Google translate says "Twca cam" is Welsh and translate to "machete Step". But poking around I see it translates to "hook knife".
Don, in the blog he mentioned doing a video on sharpening the blade. Have you been able to find that? I found several just doing a Google search for Nic Westermann twca cam and clicking on Video. Most seem to be reviews on the knife by folks that have purchased them.
Thanks Candy. I did find this video spooncarving with big hook knife that was filmed at Saterglantan the national folk craft school in Sweden during Taljfest.

I did not find the video he mentions.

Here is another video The Nic Westermann Twca-Cam Hook Knife . After a "short" review the author shows how he uses it.

Now that I know what its called and the name of a popular maker it is easy to find such videos.

It is still a mystery to me why the one I have has the back concave ground (hollow ground) and the inside is convex ground. This is opposite to the Nic Westermann grinding.
Interesting how he seems to be using the strap around his neck as a pivot point. In the video below, a woman shows using the long handled knife like an oar for more leverage (about 3:20-ish if you want to skip ahead).

View on YouTube
Candy your link is not working.

I think its is minute 3:20 of The Woodcraft Series - Spoon Carving, Anna Casserley

You fixed it.
Excellent link for handle making! Don, always make a prototype handle longer than you want it. Easy to cut short.

Jealous of your find without a handle! My shop needs a scorp badly.

Did you guys find a video on sharpening yet? I would polish the back, and dremel the front bevels.
Terry the tool I have is more like a knife bent into a hoop and is not beveled like a chisel. I wish I could put it into your hands and you would see what I am talking about. I only have "good" green and yellow honing compound. Should I get some white. Because of the way tool I have has been ground I suppose I will have to put the bevel on the inside.

Very nice videos Candy.
This guy seems pretty knowledgeable!

Looks like a good video Terry. But I have to prepare lectures now. So I will watch the rest later.
I spent a half hour or so and rough out a handle:

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Stuck in the hook knife with no glue and gave it a try. Here is a spoon (sort of) carved in hemlock.

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It may work even better after sharpening. I must say the long handle sure helps this tool. (I may make a longer one. or add a knob to the end.) Thanks so much for the Nic Westerman links. I never would have put a long handle on it if I hand not seen it. This has been one of the most useful LJ interactions. (There have been others too.)


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