I made a wooden knife!

Wooden knife in hands

Sound the new hobby klaxon!

I recently dipped a toe in whittling, on a spoon carving workshop at the Making Winter retreat. Guided by Alistair from The Woodlanders, we spent two hours carving spoons with an axe and a knife. After getting over the initial fear of making a wrong move and cutting off a finger or accidentally burying a hatchet in my own leg, something clicked and I wanted to do more.

After Christmas I cut the bottom off the Christmas tree and used it to carve this butter knife. I wish I’d taken more photos of the process but I got carried away and forgot to pick up the camera.

Wood butter knife

Wooden knife blad

Closeup of wooden knife handle

Wooden knife handle

It’s only the second thing I’ve ever made so I’m super pleased with how it turned out. Until I uploaded this photo I hadn’t spotted that line on the very edge of the handle that could have been sanded a bit more. Dammit.

About 70% of the work was done with the hatchet, the other 30% with a Mora 106 carving knife. I carved a blocky looking shape ‘side on’ and then shaped it from the top and bottom. The things I found most difficult were thinking about the overall 3D shape and carving the finger ridges between the blade and the handle.

Carving axe

The process of carving wood is pretty magic. I turned a lump of wood into a roughly shaped knife, covered in blade marks. That part was done with my eyes. When I started sanding I used my fingers to find all the bits I needed to work on. And all of a sudden there were no more areas to sand and my knife was silky smooth. To finish it off I added a couple of layers of my homemade wood butter (walnut oil and beeswax) to finish it off.

There are a few other things I want to make for our kitchen; some wooden spoons and a spatula. I just need to find some wood and then I can get cracking. But first, I need to work on my ‘concentration face’. Far too much pokey out tongue action and starey eyes at the moment. I probably look more like a serial killer than a whittler.

9 Comments

    • A rocking horse — now that’s an idea. I have a niece who would probably love one when she gets older 🙂

    • Thanks Annie — I got the idea from the book you bought me. The one they featured was a bit advanced so I made my own version!

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