Need help as a beginning Whittler

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Forum topic by harley3348 posted 08-05-2019 09:10 PM 314 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 72 days

08-05-2019 09:10 PM

Hello! I am just a beginner whittler and purchased a Beaver Craft knife, A level 5 cut glove and some Bass wood. I started to follow a beginner whittler YouTube video and the knife hardly cuts into the wood. Being a beginner and not knowing how sharp the knife should be I contacted the company and they replied their knives are shipped razor sharp. The bass wood is from Hobby Lobby. Am I missing something. The videos I’ve watched show how easy the knives cut into the wood. What is my issue. Thanks in advance for any help.

7 replies so far

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2480 posts in 2305 days

#1 posted 08-05-2019 09:54 PM

Sometimes bass wood can be very dense . If your knife is sharp you will see a nice smooth almost polished looking cut.
Learning how to keep your knife sharp or sharpen a new knife that’s dull is just all part of the craft.
It’s going to take time but if you keep at it you’ll get there.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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Don W

19331 posts in 3075 days

#2 posted 08-09-2019 11:20 AM

I bought a beaver craft. You get what you pay for. I could not for the life of me get it sharp. I wound up making one.

Get a good knife made from high carbon steel. Stay clear of stainless. High carbon is easier to sharpen and you can get it sharper.

Send the beaver craft back if you can.

All my opinion of course. YMMV

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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935 posts in 3403 days

#3 posted 08-09-2019 04:30 PM

You could have a problem with both. A lot of times the basswood you get at hobby stores is poor quality and gives frustrating results. Southern basswood has a brown to reddish tint and is harder to carve than northern basswood which is very white. Heinecke is a good source for northern basswood. I have not been impressed with the Beavercraft tools. I recommend that you get a Helvie knife ( Their economy knives are only $27 and are what I recommend for beginners. It is the same quality hand made knife only the handles aren’t as fancy as the regular knives. The only draw back is that you may have to wait a few weeks for them to make yours. OCCT and Drake are also good quality knives. You will be amazed at the difference between these tools and BeaverCreaft.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

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935 posts in 3403 days

#4 posted 08-09-2019 05:05 PM

Oh, and you need to also consider the skill and experience of the carver. Practice builds up strength in the hands knowing what you are wanting to cut, understanding the grain of the wood and how big a cut to make can make it look so easy on the videos!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View ClaudeF's profile


985 posts in 2214 days

#5 posted 08-09-2019 08:29 PM

Here are links to the businesses Mike mentioned:
I buy my wood from Heinecke and most of my knives from Helvie.

Basswood from the hobby stores is fit for burning…

If at all possible, try to find a carving club within driving distance. Even if it’s a two hour drive, it will be worth it to go one time. You can usually try to use several different knives that belong to the members, and find one that fits your hand. You can see all the different handle styles at the Helvie site – some are great in my hand, some are not.



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1391 posts in 413 days

#6 posted 08-09-2019 09:04 PM

Somethings not right. I buy 8/4 bass at my regular hardwood store, and this stuff I can cut with a pocket knife. Actually my whittling knife is basically a pocket knife, Boker Carvers congress. Maybe you got a different kind of wood in the spot for basswood? Those big stores you can find all kinds of stuff in wrong places.

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2480 posts in 2305 days

#7 posted 08-09-2019 09:18 PM

I’ve had some Bass wood that was very hard to carve. I believe what Mike says about where it’s grown.
I thought the beaver knives looked good the web site says they are high carbon steel.

Razor-sharp wood carving knife is great for whittling, general woodworking, and handicrafts. This whittling knife is perfect tool for different wood carving projects. The knife is hand-made from high carbon steel, hardened and well sharpened. Sharpening the knife allows you to cut both soft and hard wood.
The handle of the knife is made from Ashwood, well-polished and covered with natural linseed oil. It goes both for right- and left-handed.

What more could you ask for.

-- Aj

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