Introduction: The Cookie Cutter - a Custom Carving Knife
Two years ago I set my first steps in the making of traditional wooden cups. To make these, most carvers use crooked knives. Since didn't have these specific tools, I searched for a way to do it a lot faster.
That's how I created the Crazy Carver.
Using that device was extremely effective, but also extremely dangerous.
Yes I managed to make my first kuksa anyway, but since I loved my hands more than I loved my kuksa, I decided to limit the use of that wild tool.
What I didn't tell was that I also experimented with another device.
I forgot that story until today.
In one of my old toolboxes I found 'The Thing' wrapped in a piece of cloth.
'The Thing 1.0' was my first attempt to make a crooked knife. Sorry about that name, I really didn't know how to call it...
Like every selfrespected prototype, it appeared to be worthless - I'll explain that later. Besides its uselessness, it was also a thruly beautiful piece of crafmanship. Sorry, my opinion.
Like I said, I found it again today, and I decided to give it the credit it deserved.
By making it work.
Proudly introducing: The Thing 2.0 - aka THE COOKIE CUTTER.
I WANT COOOOOOOOOOKIEEEEEESSS!!!
Step 1: Bend It - Like Beckham If You Want
The concept of The Cookie Cutter was based on the highly performant cutting capability of so called 'clock drills'.
The idea was to use a clock drill as a knife.
Makes sense, right?
So I gathered a 16mm steel rod, a few bolts and an old clock drill.
The rod was bended in the vice - about 20° - to enlarge the workspace of the future blade.
Step 2: The Step You Can Skip, in Fact
To be able to insert the drill, I cut a slot in the upper side of the rod. Then I screw a bolt on it, inserted the clock drill and screw on a second bolt.
You'll see it later, but you can skip the slot. And you can skip that clock drill, also. And the second bolt.
Like I said, the first version was a real prototype.
Step 3: A Few Welds Later
I love welding, and all excuses are good to put that helmet on and go melting some steel.
I wanted to have that first bolt rock solid, and so I welded it.
I wanted a nice guard on the tool, and so I welded a big washer on it.
Some grinding at the end, and The Thing was ready for wood.
Step 4: Cute Curves
At that time, I lived in South France and had unlimited access to olive. And sun. And sea. And snowy peaks.
Whatever. Olive wood is just awesome, and so I used a nice piece of curved weathered wastewood for the handle.
Business as usual: rawcutting, sanding, drilling, filling with bicomp, inserting and sanding again.
Finish with walnut oil and you're done.
What looked like just a piece of firewood turned out into a handle full of personality.
There's a lot of beauty in perfect curves. Always.
Step 5: Plan B
Like I said - The Thing 1.0 didn't work.
I had sharpened the edges of the clock drill, but when I tried to use it as drawknife the curved blade bended apart.
It just wasn't strong enough to cut through solid wood.
It would have been an excellent butter knife, but it appeared to be a terrible carving knife.
And so The Thing 1.0 disappeared in a toolbox. Beautiful, but worthless. I wàs disappointed.
But today, today the light shined on a new episode in my initial design.
Instead of working with a cheap flexible drill, I decided to give this a shot with an expensive, solid, clock drill.
So I sacrified such one, sharpened its teeth off to get it unhumanly sharp, and passed it on version 2.0
Hopes were high.
Step 6: The Thing 2.0
Guess what. It worked.
Extremely well, btw. Exit The Thing, welcome to The Cookie Cutter.
Either mounted as a pulling knife or as a pushing knife, it really doesn't matter since those two ways have their particular advantages.
I did some fine kuksa carving and it behaved fine, I did some raw chiseling and it behaved fine. In all directions, unbelievable.
I'm still getting used to it, but I feel this tool replaces a whole box of chisels.
Make it, you'll see it.
I'd give this a go.
AND GIMME SOME COOKIES!!!