re-using, recycling, and redeeming old wood

Tools of the Trade

The common bench knife.

Here is an example of the most basic wood carving tool.  There are hundreds of different models and makes to choose from.  The one shown here is very plain.  Others come with handles of various shapes and multiple colors.  Each carver chooses their own style of knife, but every knife has to have a sharp cutting edge that takes off wood.

useless carving tools

Useless carving tools:

To the left is an example of a useless carving tool.   Note the little weight handle on the tool.  Check the quality of the wood used in the handle.  It must be sturdy to withstand hours of pressing and pushing.  Next, not the collar which holds the bland on to the handle.  It is a simple, cheap piece of light metal which will not stand up to the heavy work of removing wood.  And finally, the worst problem of all, the blade itself.  One can not see it in the picture, but the metal of the blade in such a tool is of the lowest quality.  It may be possible to sharpen such a tool, but even if it does sharpen the edge will never hold for very long.  Sharpening such a tool is a waste of time.  Using this tool on any solid wood will immediately dull the blade resulting in poor cutting, damaged carvings, and great dissatisfaction for the carver.



8 responses

  1. Jeff Postma

    the best thing a starting carver can do is buy the best quality tools they can afford!!!!!!!!

    October 7, 2010 at 6:28 am

    • You make my point Jeff. Most carvers started with something “cheap” in case they didn’t like the hobby. Those cheap tools hit the bottom of the drawer, tool bag or back of the work bench, if not the garbage can, very quickly. As you say, buy the best. I have to admit I still have too many of those cheap tools laying around. Hey, Jeff, do you need any new tools? I sell some to you cheap.

      October 7, 2010 at 7:02 am

      • Jeff Postma

        I have enough low budget tools myself. But if the Denny tools are cheap I’m game :)

        October 8, 2010 at 6:28 am

      • Nice try Jeff. Come on over some time and we can dicker. :) Looks like we will have a great day on Sat. By the way – remind me to talk about your dad’s house and you driving all the way here to check on it. Perhaps I could help once in a while.

        October 8, 2010 at 6:54 am

  2. Excellent information for the beginner! I plan on giving this hobby a go, so I’m glad I read this before buying anything!! ~Jean

    November 24, 2010 at 5:52 am

    • Glad you have found something useful here, Jean. Please do ask questions and share what you are learning. Will look forward to seeing your work.

      November 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

      • I know that some of these posts are old but if you still have any tools laying around and your selling them cheap I might like them (if they’re cheap).Notice if they are cheap.

        January 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      • Hi J. Notice that this reply is a little old, no, wait, the reply is new, but to a very old post. Sorry, still in China. Nothing to get rid of yet. How are things going for you?

        May 23, 2016 at 7:01 am

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