How to Make a Drawknife




to make a bow with

Step 1: Materials

for this you will need;

metal, 1/8 in thick, 1 to 2 inches wide and 12 to 14 in long
2 metal 1/8 in thick, 1/4 to 1/2 in wide and 6 to 8 in long
2 wood dowels 1 1/4 to 2 in diameter and about ten inches long (i used a sapling I cut down)
4 bolts


metal grinder
arc welder
table saw

Step 2: Grind

grind a blade on the long piece (a blade that is flat on one side)

Step 3: Weld

weld the handles on the blade

Step 4: Finish It

cut a slot in the wood (about an inch in)

slide the metal handles in

drill 4 holes through the wood and themetal (the holes should be the size of the bolts)

screw the bolts in the holes



    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Gardening Contest

      Gardening Contest
    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019

    23 Discussions

    Old cooper

    4 years ago on Introduction

    A wonderful addition to a drawknife is this work bench to hold the project while you work. Clamp pressure is applied with the feet.

    Drawknife horse - 2.jpg

    12 years ago

    My ancient kodak dc120 finally conked out, so until I get a laptop, or borrow one, I'll have to "steal" an image from Andrew, in Aussie land.

    To do this without a forge, goto the junkyard/citydump/local repair shop.
    grab a lawnmower blade.
    dig out your dremmel, angle grinder, or hacksaw.
    Cut the blade in half.
    Remove the parts that don't look like phase 2 in the picture.
    Clamp the blade in a vice, and bend the handle with pliers.
    Drill the rivit holes, and attach wooden handles.
    Grab a file, and sharpen to a chisel point (unless you want to drawknife your lawn, in which case, leave as is, and let us know how well it went :-)
    Wrapping the handles in leather is a nice idea to prevent splinters, but only necessary if you don't finish the handles well.

    If you use the hacksaw and file approach, no heating, quenching or annealing will be needed, and the steel should prove servicable.
    Leaf spring steel will work very nicely too, as rdl2001 said, and will probably have a longer service life between sharpenings.

    1 reply
    no10faycLord Sword Crusader

    Reply 12 years ago

    You could try brazing instead. It works just as well as welding and uses gas brazing kits available at most hardware stores. Just gotta make sure the work pieces are clean.

    ironsmiterLord Sword Crusader

    Reply 12 years ago

    there really is no "cheap" way, that remains safe, and is easy. Probably the best way is to head to the closest college, ask for the welding, automotive, or machining department(they can usually weld, but the welding or auto department will usually do a better job of it). If none of those are available, ask around for local artists. They will usually be able to "hack it together" for you, or know someone who can. As a last/first resort, Find somewhere with horses, and ask when their ferrier is comming next. Ferriers are specialized blacksmiths, and are usually skilled enough to forgeweld your bits. they might get a chuckle out of doing this odd bit for you. If you can find a blacksmith, by all means! throw them a little business, and have them make one for you while you watch, and snap photos! Some auto repair/body shops may also have a qualified welder, willing to help out. my local shop bent tubing for my recumbent, for free. mabey you'll be as lucky. A VERY dangerous alternative is to "farm weld" the bits. Repeat VERY dangerous. cause if you don't know how to do it to start with, you don't have the proper safety gear to do it either. You have been warned, you will get a tan, and go Blind before you get it stuck on good and secure. Grab 3-4 12 volt car/truck batteries. (I like the penetrating power of the 48 volt, but 36 will work just fine) Wire them together, positive to negative leaving each end open. To the final + and - posts, attach jumper cables. attach jumpercables clamp to the piece you want to weld on(good clean metal, not rusted up crap contact, though that MAY work. YMMV) with the positive jumper clamp. cut the straight section off a coathanger and hold it in the negatice jumper cable clamp. Put on your UV protection. remove your sunglasses, and put on REAL UV protection like a welding mask or welding goggles(shade 10 or better. you'll be able to see, once the arc is struck. no worries) Strike the arc, and you're welding! Now this ain't gonna be pretty, but it'll "get R done". Replace the coathanger with a 10 cent welding rod, and yourself with an experienced welder, and it'll even be pretty. As a final note, if you grind/polish the blade before hand, and weld in little tacks, instead of trying for a single weldbead, the heat buildup should be localized, and minimal. Proff will be visible simply by looking at the heat coloring visible, after you're done welding. AFTER you're done welding. If yo're gonna try this welding technique at home, and have no prior knowledge of welding, install the voice comand software now, on your computer, so you can post your flaming hate messeges here, after you go BLIND. I now offer supplication to any and all dieties that everyone reading this post already knows how to pay attention to safety warnings, and heeds them. Or is already a professional welder, and gets a chuckle out of understated, overly simplified descriptions.


    12 years ago

    i know, bad waste, but, if at all possible, avoid welding together and use one solid peice of carbon steel, that should stay together longer


    12 years ago

    Want a cheap drawknife that can actually hold an edge? Take your large knife of decent quality (high carbon steel) and wrap a piece of nice leather around the tip for your hand. To make a bow, all that you NEED is a knife or 'hawk. So if you have very limited resources invest in something with real hc steel. Nothing is more dangerous to a bow than a poor tool (other than ignorance or stupidity), so be sure to keep everything sharp, slow, and smooth :) Good luck on your bow, I'd recommend red oak if it's your first time.


    12 years ago

    Dear A. T. Great A few details are missing. Probably most important is the metal- usually a carbon steel is used and can be obtained from bedrails or automobile/truck springs. Can also use old files. Second is tempering-especially after using a grinder (unless it's water cooled) AND wielding. Also most instructions call for softening (especially files) before grinding/shaping the blade.I have used spoke shaves and, to be honest, the perpendicular handleis probably not really neccessary and is a weak point /complication in the design (of commercial ones- the handle is usually attached to a tappered tang). It would function just as well with the handles attached along a straight piece of steel. It also does away with the need for welding equipment. Lastly sharpening. Probably the easiest/ most cost effective is to use autobody emory wet/dry paper (can buy packs with 300, 600, 1200 grit) guled in sequence to a flat surface (usually glass strip) and just usewater as a lubricant. Good luck with bow making. What type of wood are you thinking of using? RDL2001


    12 years ago

    They are pretty hard to find, I bought one in an antique store for about $20. I have seen new ones, but only at high end woodworking places and they can range from $70-$200. As far as handtools go, I'd say the draw knife is one of my favorites for removing large quantities of wood fairly quickly and accurately. A spokeshave is an entirely different tool more for finishing work than rough-outs.


    Reply 12 years ago

    drawing across wood to shave it down, sort of like a planer...


    12 years ago

    this is an interesting version of a spokeshave no offeense intended but u can buy this for ~$10 and have it sooner