Step 8: Shaping the Handle

Before you start for shape the handle you shall cover the blade with tape. To protect the blade and your fingers. I use masking tape that is easy to get of when the knife is finished.

Now start cutting away the wood outside the drawing. If your skilled enough you can start with an ax to do the rough shaping, and then using the knife for the final carving.
When your have cut all the way to the line of your drawing start to round the edges. When your cutting away, specially when rounding the edges you still have to think about a fish. The handle needs to be round and smooth like a small trout in the water.

Here is a film showing how to shape the handle with the ax. Sorry about the camera angle, maybe I need a tripod :-)

Very Nice!! One of the best Instructables I have read so far. Thanks :-)
<p>Inspired me to make a knife:</p>
<p>very good, looks like a good carving knife.</p><p>/Thomas</p>
<p>The blades are available on amazon. River birch canbe used where it is native.</p>
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.
Where did you get the frosts knifes...
Excellent how-to. I have never seen anyone so skilled with a hand axe doing carving-impressive.<br><br>
Pic #3: &quot;Twin Sisters&quot; :-) ... I like that!<br/><hr/><em>RE: &quot;adjectives&quot;</em> ... 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... <br/>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 &quot;Trolls&quot;, because they 'fish' (troll) around comment sections trying to cause mayhem with their <strong>wtf</strong>, <strong>omfg</strong>, <strong>lmao</strong>, and other acrid acronyms and inserting mean and vicious comments. They are the &quot;boils on the backsides of the Internet&quot;!<br/>
and you sir are a very very devious troll ^_^<br><br>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.
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?
I buy them from here<br><br>https://www.brisa.fi/portal/index.php?option=com_oscommerce&amp;osMod=index&amp;cPath=94_32<br><br>or here<br><br>http://www.laederiet.dk/Produkter/Vistyper_engelsk.asp?id=28&amp;Uid=51<br><br>/Thomas
do they ship to the U.S ?
I don't know, but why don't you just ask them.<br><br>/Thomas
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.
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.
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
I've never seen such a shiny, beautiful hammer head!<br />
Thanks. I made the hammerhead ny self. It was a project in my workshop teacher education.<br /> <br /> /Thomas<br />
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.<br /> I congratulate you sir.<br />
you really shouldn't shape the handle with your &quot;small and sharp hatchet&quot; while you swing it toward you, you could easily lose a finger or worse, just a warning.
&nbsp;How can I do this without splitting the wood when you hammer the blade in?
The trick is to grind the tang like I show in step 5<br /> https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-design-and-make-a-perfect-carving-knife/step5/Prepering-the-knifeblade/<br /> <br /> The tang needs to be straight like nail and flat ind the end.<br /> <br /> /Thomas<br />
&nbsp;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?
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.<br /> But if you are interested in making other greenwoodworking a hatchet is a<span class="short_text" id="result_box"><span style="background-color: rgb(235,239,249);" title="min &oslash;kse er n&oslash;dvendig"> necessary. And it don't need to be expensive.<br /> <br /> /Thomas<br /> </span></span>
you might try making blades out of saw-zaw or reciprocating saw blades.
Are there any instructables out there for the saw-zaw knife.&nbsp; i have heard people at my woodcarving shop talk about them.<br />
i have done that, they are very nice and you can make one relatively quickly! :)<br />
&nbsp;is there a reason why they come in a wedge shape instead of straight?
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<br />
&nbsp;oh. okay. that makes sense. thanks.
I made this one at school, along with a chisel.<br />
What kind of bark did you use and were did you get it.
It is birch bark. I bought it from a Danish webshop<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://linaa.dk/shop/birkebark-tynd-til-293p.html">http://linaa.dk/shop/birkebark-tynd-til-293p.html</a><br/><br/>If you have access to a suitable tree you can harvest the bark your self. <br/><br/>/Thomas<br/>
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! :-)
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!
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
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
That is stinkin' awesome. How long have you been making knives?
Thanks, I have been making knifes for some years. My favorites are simple handmade knifes like the ones in this instructable. /Thomas
Indeed. Well done! I think you've inspired a bunch of us out here ;)
I totally agree
wow the handles look really nice
I read here, <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.ragweedforge.com/mount.html">http://www.ragweedforge.com/mount.html</a> , that if you use antler you can soak it in vinegar for 6-12 weeks, then it will be soft enough to just push the tang right in. <br/>
Great instructable. I'm especially curious to get home out my work's firewall and watch the axe shaping video.
I wanted to like this, but I'm not sure. I have to consider some issues because of the nature of the blades. See, I have one of those interchangeable carving knifes, and I'm not sure what the benefits are. Good work though.
There are a lot of different techniques involving carving. Some techniques you use very small knifes in different shapes. I guess that is tha one you have. And some uses different chisels. This knifes are the ones I use when carving things like spoons, buttering knifes, shrink cups and other wooden things. /Thomas
I know that www.woodcraft.com has blades for home knifemakers. Not sure if they have them for carving tools, but it sounds logical, since they sell the finished tools.
Very nice. I love the techniques that you put on here.

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