The Cookie Cutter - a Custom Carving Knife




About: I made a beer mug with only a knife and a hatchet. I think that says a lot about me.

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.


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.

Good carvin'.


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    29 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! A year ago, I tried to use the wrong type of 'hole-cutter' to make a hole in concrete, and filed the teeth down to nubs. The good thing is, the center is threaded already for changing handle position or, if you have several sizes, change out blades on a sturdy, comfortable handle.

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    Instead of the clock drill bit couldn't you just do the same thing with steel pipe? I remember doing something similar to this with the end of my potato cannon barrel which made it easier to shove the spuds in.

    2 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    You can, but know that such a clock drill is made of extremely hard steel (I cut through 10mm solid steel with this one) and before getting it dull, I guess you'll have to use it for, let's say, 6000 hours. Or so. Instead of 6 hours - if you're lucky - with the steel pipe. Deal?

    I know you're not a woodworker yet, but I'm sure you can even make nice Aloe-Vera mash with it. This is so multifunctional, this tool!


    4 years ago on Step 6

    Awesome tool, tried making a spoon gouge out of an old knife and it just snapped (didn't heat it enough). If/when I make my Own I might try shaping the circle into an egg shape to get different diameter gouges in one tool! Although the circle cutter might crack and I doubt I will be bothered to re heat treat it badly.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Do you really think that I wouldn't share that project with you? Of course I will! I'm in the phase of 'getting a log for free' and I'm looking for sponsors ;) Thanx for the support mate!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    How do you use it to carve kuksas? Could you post pics or maybe do a quick video? I think I would like to carve my own kuksa, I just want to know how to use this as intended.

    P.s.: the name change is pretty legit.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Honestly, I don't know - yet! I did some finer cuts on the inside of a small cup and I discovered that it worked best while moving the kuksa instead of moving the cup. Keep the Cookie steady in one hand and move the cup with your other hand. I didn't carve an entire kuksa with it yet.

    One remark, I think it will work best when you choose a clock diameter slightly smaller than the cups one. As you see in the pics, my cup had almost the same diameter as the Cookie and I felt it was cutting on its limit.

    Choose either bigger cups, or small bowls.

    Good carving!