Picture of How to design and make a wood carving knife
I will show you how to make a wood carving knife with a minimum of tools.

This knife is perfect for carving the shrink cup in my last instructable


Step 1: Tools needed

Picture of Tools needed
To make this instrucable you only need simple hand tools that most of you already have.
You need a hammer, a saw, a file, a vice, an ax and a knife.
I also use a froe and a metal ruler that is nice to have but you can do with out them.

If you don't have a froe use a big knife or a ax to split the wood.
And as a substituted for a metal ruler use the backside of a saw.
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vhcl6 years ago
Very Nice!! One of the best Instructables I have read so far. Thanks :-)
81411 month ago

The blades are available on amazon. River birch canbe used where it is native.

ripperman22 years ago
I have also seen blades made from old straight razors. Usually german made steel is the best. I just don't have the time and buy blades from Warren Cutlery in the U.S.
dmdsanchez3 years ago
Where did you get the frosts knifes...
jhnath3 years ago
Excellent how-to. I have never seen anyone so skilled with a hand axe doing carving-impressive.

Ron-Ray5 years ago
Pic #3: "Twin Sisters" :-) ... I like that!

RE: "adjectives" ... THEY know what you mean. Some people just can't stand to just watch, read, listen, learn- and ENJOY. They want to be the main attraction...
They really know that you owned them by making this great series and they could never do what you have done here. They're called "Trolls", because they 'fish' (troll) around comment sections trying to cause mayhem with their wtf, omfg, lmao, and other acrid acronyms and inserting mean and vicious comments. They are the "boils on the backsides of the Internet"!
Kiernan Ron-Ray4 years ago
and you sir are a very very devious troll ^_^

Love the guide I hope to make one of these soon, I have been using a china folder for carving and now that im getting more into it it would be nice to have one of these.
slaitch4 years ago
I believe that my favorite part of this project is that apart from the blade being steel, it could have been done any time in the last quarter of a million years. It's very timeless.
Where did you buy the blades? I couldn't find them on their website?
morfmir (author)  atomicturkey274 years ago
I buy them from here


or here


do they ship to the U.S ?
morfmir (author)  atomicturkey274 years ago
I don't know, but why don't you just ask them.

lorenrad5 years ago
I notice a lot of bouncing of the workbench when you are chopping away at your knife handle. If you can stiffen your bench, your cutting strokes will be more effective and you won't have to worry about tools and other stuff on your bench jumping around and falling off. In regards to the danger of cutting towards your hand, eventually you might slip and do yourself some nasty damage. One thing you can do to make the job safer: thin the sides of the handle before making the undercut. Then you don't have to chop so hard to clear it. I notice that when you cut towards you, you still have some of the handle in the way as a guard, so it's not as dangerous as it seems.
sabr6865 years ago
I love how you just left the camera tilted. You were in the zone, man. I could see it just fine that way anyway. Nice skills.
morfmir (author)  sabr6865 years ago
Hi. I had the camera clamped in my vice :-) And didn't want to break it by tightening it to much. Now I have bought a tripod for future films. /Thomas
peater5 years ago
I've never seen such a shiny, beautiful hammer head!
morfmir (author)  peater5 years ago
Thanks. I made the hammerhead ny self. It was a project in my workshop teacher education.

peater morfmir5 years ago
Nice one! I've never seen a hand forged(?) hammer head before, but why not? People make beautiful yet utilitarian handmade knives, axes and the like. Why not hammers.
I congratulate you sir.
you really shouldn't shape the handle with your "small and sharp hatchet" while you swing it toward you, you could easily lose a finger or worse, just a warning.
goldenbacon5 years ago
 How can I do this without splitting the wood when you hammer the blade in?
morfmir (author)  goldenbacon5 years ago
The trick is to grind the tang like I show in step 5

The tang needs to be straight like nail and flat ind the end.

mista.v5 years ago
 If we haven't got a hatchet, just a large ax, carving it with a knife is still viable, no? Or is it possibly to do with a fullsized ax?
morfmir (author)  mista.v5 years ago
The hatchet just speeds up the process of shaping the handle. It is possible to carve it all with a knife. It just takes a lot longer time.
But if you are interested in making other greenwoodworking a hatchet is a necessary. And it don't need to be expensive.

gunrunner6 years ago
you might try making blades out of saw-zaw or reciprocating saw blades.
Are there any instructables out there for the saw-zaw knife.  i have heard people at my woodcarving shop talk about them.
i have done that, they are very nice and you can make one relatively quickly! :)
red-king5 years ago
 is there a reason why they come in a wedge shape instead of straight?
Caym red-king5 years ago
It has to do with the process of heat treating. If it was straight the metal would have a high chance of cracking thus rendering the blade useless
red-king Caym5 years ago
 oh. okay. that makes sense. thanks.
JavaNut135 years ago
I made this one at school, along with a chisel.
What kind of bark did you use and were did you get it.
morfmir (author)  Don,t try this at home5 years ago
It is birch bark. I bought it from a Danish webshop

If you have access to a suitable tree you can harvest the bark your self.

Birch doesn't grow in southern Colorado, USA. We have Elm, Cottonwood, Aspen, Scrub Oak and various softwoods (evergreens). Any possible substitutes among those?
@ thepelton: Birch grows in several of the north-western states here in the US. I think some even grow in northern Colorado. Check on some of the on-line wood supplies... It should be pretty easy. It definitely doesn't grow here in Alabama, but I can either buy it on-line or substitute something else for it. I believe this guy could make a knife handle from 'news paper', he's so good! :-)
Ron-Ray5 years ago
I can tell that you've used that hatchet a long time. You really know what you're doing! I've been to many sites, looking at many home-made knives and I have to say that you are truly one of the better knife makers! You are a "natural"! Start your own forging and you have a business!
pumaplayr175 years ago
hey so i was thinking about trying this one out, but i dont woodcarve. i was wondering if the same technique of attaching the blade to the handle would work on a bigger scale like a hunting knife? thanks
morfmir (author)  pumaplayr175 years ago
You can do it with all kinds of knifes, You just need to do step 5 it the tang isn't the right shape. /Thomas
fluent5 years ago
That is stinkin' awesome. How long have you been making knives?
morfmir (author)  fluent5 years ago
Thanks, I have been making knifes for some years. My favorites are simple handmade knifes like the ones in this instructable. /Thomas
fluent5 years ago
Indeed. Well done! I think you've inspired a bunch of us out here ;)
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