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The Whittling Corner

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by WhittlinAway, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. WhittlinAway

    WhittlinAway Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    It's been a few months since we've had active whittling discussion on The Porch, so I thought I'd kick off a new thread and see what folks have been up to.

    Rather than give this thread a more specific theme, I thought I'd throw it wide open and see where it takes us. Imagine this as the corner of The Porch that's covered in fresh wood shavings. Some folks are sitting, making quiet progress on a project, taking a break every so often to see what everyone else is up to. Others are showing their most recently completed creation to their friends. And, of course, there are those discussing their favorite whittling knives and swapping tips and techniques. In short, if it's about whittling with a traditional knife, it's welcome here.

    Like The Porch as a whole, this corner is an inviting spot, welcoming beginners and old hands alike. Pull up a stool, grab a hunk of wood, sharpen up your knife, and join us in a little whittlin'.
     
    Getting older likes this.
  2. WhittlinAway

    WhittlinAway Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    From Mateo (lutejones), I learned about Don Mertz, a.k.a. the Wood Bee Carver, and have spent a good deal of time reading his tutorials and studying the in-progress photos he posts along with his works. As you'll learn if you spend much time on his website, he prefers scimitar-shaped blades for carving.

    Since I began whittling with my Camillus 72 over Labor Day weekend this year, its small clip blade has been my favorite whittling blade. The more experience I gain with it, the less I find myself opening the 72's coping blade. In fact, I don't think I used the coping blade at all on my last project.

    That got me to wondering what it would be like to whittle with a blade that is even closer to the scimitar shape favored by Don Mertz. I have a Case 6383 that I've been wanting to experiment with and its small clip looked like it would be a good starting point for a modification. So I broke out my files and went to work.

    Here's the result:

    [​IMG]

    Here is a close-up of the blade alongside the small clip blade of an older Case 6383. It has a similar shape to what this one started with.

    [​IMG]

    I've only just begun to whittle with it, but initial impressions are positive. I'm using it on my first ball in cage and I'm happy with how it's reaching into the area that I'm clearing beside where the ball will be:

    [​IMG]

    I'll report back periodically with progress updates on the project and how I'm liking working with the blade.

    In the meantime, anyone else use a scimitar-shaped blade for whittling? If so, were you able to find one on a production knife, or did you make your own?
     
    HWF likes this.
  3. zolthar

    zolthar Basic Member Basic Member

    453
    Feb 9, 2015
    Great idea for a tread! I'll be following it closely. This is a pic of the two projects I've been working on the last half year. As you can see I don't whittle a lot, but once in a while I grab my "whittlebag" and continue where I stopped the last time.
    [​IMG]

    Mark
     
    HWF likes this.
  4. Jeff_R

    Jeff_R

    228
    Aug 12, 2015
    Very interesting, Greg; thank you for sharing your experiment with making and using the scimitar-shaped blade! I was gifted a CRKT whittler with a clip blade that IIRC has some curve like that. I'll go and take a closer look.

    Last week after some rain and high winds a large branch broke off a tree next to our house. I recovered it and put it in the garage to dry out. It should provide lots of material for whittling projects. :)

    Jeff

    Edit: Checked the whittler, and found that the small clip blade isn't as scimitar-like as I thought... but put it in my pocket anyway. :D

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
    HWF likes this.
  5. yablanowitz

    yablanowitz

    Apr 14, 2006
    I've not bothered modifying anything to that shape since I do about 90% of my whittling with the first half inch at the tip. I can't see that it would make any difference to me. Be warned, if you don't keep it about the knives, this thread may be deported to the Workshop. My old thread "Whatcha whittlin' these days?" is still on the first page after five years. Wait a minute...FIVE YEARS!? Man, I'm getting old.
     
    scrteened porch likes this.
  6. BenHarris

    BenHarris

    500
    Apr 30, 2014
    Most of my whittling s relegated to spoons.

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  7. Mr. Chips

    Mr. Chips

    298
    Apr 3, 2012
    Hi Zolthar!

    I am encouraged to see that my book has made it to The Netherlands.

    I saw your pic and said "that looks exactly like a carving that one of my better students would do under my instruction." And then I saw the book.

    You are doing good work. Keep at it!

    Rick
     
  8. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    That was a good thread you started -

    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/838442-Whatcha-whittlin-these-days

    Just the place for whittlin discussions. As you said in your thread, Spark was good enough to give us a place to discuss whittlin and other Workshop topics.

    As to getting old, nothing we can do about that.
     
  9. zolthar

    zolthar Basic Member Basic Member

    453
    Feb 9, 2015
    Wow I never realized it was your book [emoji4][emoji33] Thanks for the compliment and great book!
     
  10. JSCHENK

    JSCHENK

    471
    Aug 2, 2013
    [​IMG]
    This is a crouching guy I have roughed out...Not sure how it'll look but time will tell

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
     
    cthorness likes this.
  11. JSCHENK

    JSCHENK

    471
    Aug 2, 2013
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    My first spoon. Got the spoon and sloyd knife from pinewood forge. I accidently ran the spoon over with my car right after I finished it. As you can see there are still a few dents in the weave pattern.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
     
    SV-97, HWF, cthorness and 1 other person like this.
  12. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    Getting old beats the alternative.
    Just sayin'
     
    Guitarist7.62 likes this.
  13. Mr. Chips

    Mr. Chips

    298
    Apr 3, 2012
    Here are a couple of recent whittlins out of cottonwood bark.

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    I used some carving tools, and a wood burner but mostly, as usual, whatever pocket knife I had on me at the time. These days, this one (GEC 38) is always with me:

    [​IMG][/IMG]
     
  14. kamagong

    kamagong Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 13, 2001
    I find that working wood helps me to relax, so I sometimes do it at the end of the day at home. I'm not degenerate enough (;))to whittle anywhere and everywhere, so I don't need the convenient portability of a pocketknife. It's fixed blades for me, I find them infinitely more comfortable to use.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    SV-97 likes this.
  15. 1 ADAM12

    1 ADAM12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 22, 2013
    Nice work, man I've been hunting for that Ebony 38 Grinling and can't find one no where..
     
  16. fishcakes

    fishcakes

    313
    Apr 18, 2015
    Ive always wanted to get into whitling. Unfortunately ive done quite a bit of damage to my hands in my 27 years of life. Has anyone with hand issues been able to learn to whittle even fairly successfully?
     
  17. WhittlinAway

    WhittlinAway Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    Thanks for the posts so far, everyone. In a short time we've already had a nice mix of finished and in-progress projects and fixed and folders. :thumbup:

    BenHarris, JSCHENK, and kamagong those are great looking spoons. I'd like to try making one some day. I looks like all three of you have special knives for cutting the concave part of the bowl. Is such a knife a must, or can a reasonable spoon be achieved using a standard curved edge blade like a clip or pen blade?

    Mr. Chips I like those cottonwood bark figures. Is carving bark much different than carving wood? How thick was the bark before you start whittling it?

    BTW, I was happy to see a copy of your book in Zolthar's photo. I also own a copy and would recommend it to others. The introductory material on knives, sharpening, and basic cuts is much better than in the other books I've seen and there is a wide variety of projects to try. I'm hoping to try my hand at one of your hummingbirds soon in the New Year.

    Zolthar and JSHENK, I'm looking forward to seeing more of your in-progress projects as they continue to take shape.
     
  18. Mr. Chips

    Mr. Chips

    298
    Apr 3, 2012
    Greg:

    Cottonwood bark is quite soft but does not crush like some soft woods do, and it takes detail well.

    Quality varies widely, depending on the particular tree, and how long the dead bark has been lying around in the weather etc. Conventional wisdom says that the further north one goes, the better the cottonwood bark gets. I am not so sure about that, because some of the best bark that I have carved comes from Southern BC, which I know is way north for y'all in Mississippi (where I have spent some time and carved too), but there is a whole lot more north to go from here!

    The bark I am using these days was about 5 inches thick when it came off the tree (dead tree of course), and was harvested near Peachland BC - about 4 hours drive straight north of Wenachee WA. There is a lot more where that came from. I wish I could bring/ship it to the US, but US customs people say there is no way I can do it.

    I plan on teaching a course on bark carving called "Carving Cottonwood Characters and Other People" (or some such title - final working is not worked out yet), at the Doane Experience in Crete Nebraska this coming July, and I would love to bring my own bark for that, but since I can't, I will be getting it from US Sources.

    Most of the learning experience will involve the use of knives, and mostly regular and modified traditional pocket knives.
     
  19. Trout Hound

    Trout Hound

    671
    Sep 28, 2014
    Well, this thread got me inspired to pull out the Congress Carver this evening. I only had really small basswood blanks, so I worked on this little guy. I might decide to paint him up and turn him into a tree ornament.
    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Trout Hound

    Trout Hound

    671
    Sep 28, 2014
    Here's something I did awhile back, and the wife said it was good enough for the tree. [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Mike C. likes this.

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