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  • Drawknives

    How many of you out there use a drawknife to rough out a carving? As many of you already know, I also enjoy Blacksmithing when I am not carving. Just for grins, I cut one turn off of a large railroad car spring and forged it into a draw knife. Hardened it to Rc 57 at work and today I ground the edge on it. To my astonishment, it worked extremely well! I am amazed at how this simple tool can precisely rough out a carving almost as fast as a band saw! The one I made has a blade that is 3/4' wide and about 5' long. The handles look like a handlebar mustache with no wood grips. It is all iron but extremely controlable. If you haven't already tried a drawknife, you might find it very useful.

  • #2
    Re: Drawknives

    I've been using a drawknife for about 8 years. First a large one (10') and just recently picked up a 5' one from Lee Valley.They can really trim down the time used in roughing out carvings.

    Al

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    • #3
      Re: Drawknives

      I'd never thought of using it on carvings ... use it a lot roughting out bows ... guess I'll have to sharpen her up and give it a go. Thanks for the idea.

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      • #4
        Re: Drawknives

        Hi Gang,
        I purchased a draw knife from Flexcut a beautiful little tool. This one is like their other tools in that it does flex and it is extreamly sharp just like a straight razor. It is also very small and light I wouldnt be with out mine. I have three of them the other two are larger and heavy duty but on large carving they are the cats behind.
        Colin

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        • #5
          Re: Drawknives

          Hi

          I have in mind to buy a Drawknive for my roughing out works.
          I need one.
          Have you any recommendation to buy?

          Flexcut, PFEIL, Other....

          Saturno.
          Saturno&&-----------------------&&Regards from the Galaxy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Drawknives

            A friend uses one a lot for fish. Since you mentioned black smith work another friend said his old group made tools from lawn mower blades by annealing them in a log fire. Hack saw out the shape then re-tempering it. Any thoughts on this? Thanks.

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            • #7
              Re: Drawknives

              Bob, I use mine mostly for fish, too, but also for removing bark from small logs. that dulls them pretty fast, though, so I keep one specifically for 'debarking'. They seem to offer a lot of control for roughing and at the same time remove stock quickly.

              For Saturno, I'd bet the Flexcut is a fine tool, but small. A Larger one, either straight or curved can be found at www.lehmans.com, under the tool section. I picked up a real beauty of a small drawknife from www.leevalley.com This one is NOT flexible, but it is razor sharp, and a dream to work with. . It's about 3/16' thick (about 5 or 6 mm), and 6' long (5' cutting edge) that's 125mm with 120 mm cutting edge, I think, if my conversions are correct!

              Al

              Al

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              • #8
                Re: Drawknives

                Al, You say a drawknife for removing bark and another for nomal roughout, but at this time I have only money for one drawknife. :-/

                I can get a PFEIL drawknife for 30$ here in Spain, cheaper than 45$ in Woodcraft.com

                (A) Straight Drawknife. Blade 5' long x 7/8' wide, overall length 12-1/2'.
                (B) Carver's Drawknife. Blade 4-1/2' long x 7/8' wide.


                Is these drawknifes a good choice for roughout and also for 'debarking'?

                Thanks
                Saturno.
                Saturno&&-----------------------&&Regards from the Galaxy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Drawknives

                  I too love blacksmithing, and enjoy making my own tools.
                  Its a great high to carve somthing from a block of wood, but to carve it from a tool you made yourself is a high only a few of us really know. The draw knives I make come from old files and springs from the flea market. All of my hardening is done by the seat of my pants. Most people don't know the toil and trouble to forge such a piece. People only want to pay $5 to $10 bucks for your tools, it really hurts. Kind of like having vise grips pop open in your pocket!!! :

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                  • #10
                    Re: Drawknives

                    Saturno, that lower picture of the drawknife on your last post looks to be the same one that Lee Valley markets for 42 US dollars. I'd get that one in Spain if available for the $30 price. It is a very fine carving tool, and I would not use it for debarking.

                    Might I suggest you try to grind your own drawblade from an old lawn mower blade? For debarking purposes you don't need a real good blade; just make the handles comfortable. You should be able to pick a new lawn mower blade up for a few dollars in any decent hardware or implement store.

                    Al

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                    • #11
                      http://www.anvilfire.com or http://keenjunk.com?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Drawknives

                        Captain, I like your website, your carvings and your Blacksmithing section is really amazing!!
                        I love knives, I'm a amaterur collector of knives ans tools, and your custom knives are very interesting.

                        About drawknives, now I have a spokeshave to roughout and debarking, but it is not easy to work with it.
                        [img]http://shop.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/assets/product_images/01H10.jpg
                        [/img]


                        I thing that PFEIL tools are very good tools for woodworking, and form me here in Europe have good prices.

                        Are 5 inches of blade enough for a drawknive?
                        or is a bigger one better?


                        Saturno.
                        Saturno&&-----------------------&&Regards from the Galaxy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Drawknives

                          Most of the roughout work on , my whale was done with the 5' drawknife. If doing much larger pieces or debarking, I like the larger 10' size.

                          Taking the bark off most trunks will dull up a blade pretty quickly. There is another tool, a 'bark spud', that is specifically made for debarking, but they run around 30-40 dollars and are not good for much else but debarking. One of these can also be made by sharpening the end of a broken auto leaf spring, but these arse a lot smallr tha a regular spud.

                          The spoke shaves and draw shaves are actually small planes with side handles, and depth of cut is set just like on hand planes, by changing the extension of the blade through the plate. They are not made for removal of large quantities of wood, but rather are a finishing tool used for furniture, tool handles and amazingly, spokes!

                          Al

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                          • #14
                            Re: Drawknives

                            Saturno, thank you for your kind words. I like a drawknife blade to be 3'-5' (75mm-125mm) for shaping up a roughout. A smaller blade seems to be easier to control. A spokeshave is not as practical for shaping a roughout because you are limited by the gap between the blade and the body. It is intended for taking thin shavings off to achieve a final shape. The drawknife can easily whack off 1/2' (12mm) at a stroke. When using a drawknife, always cut with the grain, as in carving. Because of the muscle you can put behind the cut, you can quickly ruin a piece of wood if it splits.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Drawknives

                              In regards to splitting - Have two drawknives handy one sharp one and one dull one. For some odd reason some woods like a dull knife better, Osage Orange for one. Go figure.

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