Introduction: The Life & Times of Hobby Knives

About: KanPo Studios is a mixed media studio where its foundation is to experiment new ideas in techniques applications and promote and encourage others to create art with their hands, minds, and hearts !

Hello Everyone.

In this instructable we are going to explain how we at KanPo Studios use certain hand tools, specifically knives and blades in our crafting of custom made canes and staves.

It's a quick tutorial to get you started handling this type of hand tool.

We will not covered expensive carving knives like the major league type originating from Germany, England, Japan and the United States. Excellent tools in themselves.
AND super super expensive ! ! !
One single carving tool could burn a hole in your pocket from 20 to 80 bucks depending on its use for certain designs in 3D sculptures, relief carvings in its three levels of sophistication.

This are knives you'll find in pet shops, department stores, remote control hobby shops, office and drafting supplies, local hardware stores and the big boys like Home Depot and Lowe's. My mom bought me my first set in '67. Damn, how time files !

Hobby knives are perfect for Instructable makers like you and me who are not millionaires !

Hobby knives and blades manufacturers are located in many different parts of the world. You might have a local craftsman that might design them for his/her community. I grew up in northern New Jersey where we were fortunate to have Excel within city limits. Another major league brand is the old time favorite : XActo.

Photo : Gwaihir, the wind Lord from Lord of The Rings who carry Gandalf to safety from Saruman clutches . The eagle's head is guava wood and the stem is in mahogany. The base is walnut. This is my personal cane. The one I show off to friends and walk with at the local mall with pride as wide as a peacock fan tail feathers.

Step 1: Safety Is Our #1 Priority !

Hobby knives are extremely sharp !

Always seek professional advice and training before using any tool.

If you have any uncertainty before performing any woodworking, procedure, stop and learn a safer method.

Don't attempt anything simply because you saw it in one of my presentations : Be smart, use common sense and respect all knives, power and hand tools.

Photo : #2 medium weight aluminum knife with #10 large blade heavily used on the Nagini Cane from the Harry Potter films.

Step 2: For Generations Millions of Hobby Enthusiasts Haves Used Hobby Knives in a Wide Field of Disciplines . Such As : Crafts - Education - Industrial - Model Making - Woodworking - Fine Arts - Jewelry - Office, Etc.

The forest spirits staff was carved with the #11, 12 blades with the #1 and #2 handles and with some help from the Dremel rotary tool with the accessory bits.

It's 6 feet and 3 inches tall from three types of wood : The crown with the wood spirits is from driftwood and the lower part from mahogany. The base is walnut with the four seasons of the year relief carved on it.

My uncle is a church pastor. When he was remodeling his church with modern furniture, he gave me two 10 feet long mahogany pews. How lucky can I get, right. He bought the church pews about 50 years ago ! This staff is made from one of those pews

This staff is our Family Coat of Arms.
It has 17 endemic bird names on it, the majority of the names of the mountains in PR, taino indians motifs, state and county flags, geckos, garden flowers, butterflies, dragonflies and our names on top right below the white band you see in the photo. It's titled : "Who Cries For Us In The Woods".

Step 3: I Used Them for My Canes and Stave Commissions.

This display here is part of my showroom where I greet new clients to discuss their custom made commissions .

Step 4: For My Wooden Sculptures.

Here's one of my personal favorites. It's the Battlestar Galactica Cane and it belong to Admiral "Husker" Adama. After the cylons wiped the colonies to kingdom come, The battlestar set its course toward that region in space where they think Earth is.

The Galactica came is 36 inches tall and made from an oak dowel you'll find at Home Depot. The handle is a replica of a Smith and Weson .45 pistol. That handle you'll find them on Auto Zone auto parts for $15 bucks or online. Has the majority of the celestial constellations as view from earth carved with a large #10 and shallow relief with a Dremel.

The quote underneath the handle says "Earth Will Become Our New Home".

Step 5: And for My Miniature Wooden Boxes.

Here is a tribute to the first film of the Twilight film trilogy. It's where we see Bella and Jacob walking at the beach's shore. You see all the driftwood around them. Their friendship is so unique that I decided to make my wife a little box for our wedding rings.

The little tree was part of a root of an orange tree. It was trimmed with a #11 fine point knife and #16 scoring blade.

The mahogany box was carved with a large #10 and routed and with a Dremel rotary tool using a 1/4 inch router bit and a 1/16 inch diamond point.

The wedding rings are made from palm oil seeds. They were crafted by another local artisan so I can't take credit for them. We bought then at a gift shop.

One instructable maker, AIESAS, has a beautiful presentation on crafting this type of rings. Go check her page out.

Step 6: Here's a Description on a Few of Them.

Hobby knives have a wide application in all spectrum of crafting possibilities.

Here, our concentration will be solely in wood carving hence our specialty.

Photo : About two years ago, I was commissioned to carve a wolf's head as if it was running thru the woods.
It's based on the direwolves seen in Game of Thrones tv series.

The wood is from the guava tree. Yeap, the same tree guava fruit juice comes from. It's one of the densest trees in the Caribbean area. Carving in guava is like carving in marvel. Not for the faint at heart. This wood will definitely tired your hands quickly.

I used a large #10 general purpose blade and did the "blowing in the wind" fur details with the Dremel and a grinding bit . Why a grinding bit ? Refer to the paragraph above. Hah!

Step 7: #11 Fine Point Knife Blade.

For precise detail work like stop cuts. Incising letters and doing sharp "v" cuts.

Step 8: #10 General Purpose Blade

For fast cuts on wood where details is not required.

Step 9: #16 Scoring Blade.

Helps me size up carved letters and cut them at the same time.

Step 10: #28 Concave Carving Blade.

Perfect blade when roughing a cane or staff for that exact circumference.

Step 11: #12 Mini Curve Carving Blade.

This blade gives me the advantage of slide cuts from right to left movements or vice versa.

Step 12: #17 Light Weight Chiseling Blade.

For cutting and shaving 1/4" grooves.

Step 13: #18 Heavyweight Wood Chiseling Blade.

Perfect for creating chamber cuts at 45 degree angles.

Step 14: #24 Deburring Blade .

This blade is perfect for rounding off spirals down a cane or staff.

Step 15: #22 Large Curved Carving Blade.

Same as the #10 blade but larger. Fast cuts where precision is not wanted.

Step 16: #23 Corner Stripping Blade.

This blade has so many specific duties : Just pick one !

Step 17: #104 Carving Blade.

I use this blade to acquire a tapered point at the end of a cane or staff. It's perfect for cutting around "round" objects.

Step 18: #1 Precision Knife.

My first carving tool giving to me by my mother at the age of nine.

Step 19: #2 Medium Weight Aluminum Knife.

All the large heavy blades belong with this handle.

Step 20: #5 Heavy Duty Plastic Handle Knife.

This handle ensures complete confidence in carving when using with the large blades.

Step 21: # X3261 Woodcarving Knife.

Threaded chuck; compatible with large blades. Anti roll and excellent handle.

Step 22: Wide Assortment of Blades .

The hobby knives consortium throughout the world have a huge wide assortment of blades than the ones you see here in this presentation. These are typically the ones used in KanPo Studios.

Go out and explore the infinite varieties out there from different manufacturers.

Photo : The Eucalyptus Saligna is a wood dowel you'll find at Home Depot wood dowel section. It's a beautiful wood from Australia. I made my Obi Wan Kenobi baton from this dowel.
This cane here was designed for a security guard that wanted a heavy cane with a large aluminum handle inside the cane with a large point blade. It has a brick layer hammer handle. The brick mason hammer has one claw, not two claws like regular hammers for pulling out nails.

There is a blade for every occasion

Thank you Instructable Makers for your time and attention.