Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Crooked Knife Refurb

While sharpening the homemade crooked knife and practicing on some scrap cedar a while back, the lashed blade began to jiggle and loosen. I quickly realized that the knife needed to be more secure if I was going to use it as a serious carving tool.

One thing I had forgotten to do when originally assembling the knife was bend the tang of the blade at a sharp angle to hook onto the handle wood and prevent movement. After quickly heating up the tang in the cottage fireplace, I bent it up slightly to conform to the angular shape of the handle then bent a sharp hook at the end. The piece of wood selected for the knife had a knot right at the bottom and by sculpting out a hole (with an awl), the hook fit securely into place. The original waxed thread whipping was replaced with flat leather lace I had on hand...much more comfortable. Even though the bottom of the knife looks ugly, the whole thing is amazingly secure with this change.

Bent tang in place

Hook end inserted into carved hole

I had also decided to decorate the handle by burning on a sort of chip-carving motif. The whole decoration was first sketched using pencil and that's what you see in the pics.

Chip-carved motif on handle

This was my first time burning on olive wood and sure enough, the naturally oily material gave off a slightly sizzling aroma. Unfortunately, it also burned unevenly and required constant cleaning of the metal nibs. In the end the pattern turned out too blotchy and I ended up sanding the whole thing off in frustration at the poor quality of the image. Here's the plain, refurbish version ready for some carving...

Resanded to remove the intended pyrographic decoration

Perfect fit for the one-and-only user


Anonymous said...

I'm not an expert by any means on these knives but for what its worth, this knife is beautiful.

pacanoeman said...


This is my first attempt at a Mocotaugan (Crooked Knife). How can I send pictures to you. Doug

Murat said...

Hi Doug. Send them to my email address - mvardar@rogers.com

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