Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Orien Blade Crooked Knife

A while back while working on my first crooked knife blade from an old file, I got discouraged with the speed of progress without power tools. In a moment of self-doubt about whether I could finish the project, I ended up ordering a crooked knife blade from Orien MacDonald after coming across his page on Etsy. I liked look of his blade, especially the fact that it was offset from the tang allowing for a greater and more comfortable angle for carving. Here is the blade he made for me with a traditional, bent tang.

New Crooked Knife Blade

When working out ideas of the handle, I had collected some pieces that were promising options. For this knife, I decided on the yellow birch handle (2nd from top) in the photo below:

Handle choices

It was shaped with some rasps and a spoon carving knife to hollow out the thumb rest area. I decided the decorate the birch with some basic woodburning patterns to mimic the chip-carving I've seen on various knives. Here's one angle of the completed knife handle.

Decorated Handle

The bottom was chiseled out to fit the tang and the blade secured with leather lace. Here's the finished knife below showing off the offset angle of the blade from the handle as well as the curving angle of the blade from the horizontal view.

Offset from handle's axis

View from the horizontal plane

Here's a comparison shot of the new "Orien Crooked Knife" and the homemade Olive Crooked Knife. The homemade blade is longer, thinner, and flat and I can see it working well when shaping canoe ribs and larger surfaces like a paddle blade. For all around carving though, the Orien Knife would look to be more versatile to carve out paddle grips, the shaft, spoons, bowls, and other bushcraft items.

The budding crooked knife collection


Brian said...

The crooked knives look beautiful.
They will be trusted friends when crafting your paddles :)Brian(:

Anonymous said...

good work however in my opinion the blade looks too long-----also the shape is
far to curved for most work.

An overly shaped curve can split the grain of what you are carving instead of allowing you to find and cut a grainline line straight.

the tool at its most effient should take wisp like shavings not dig in. the cut should be upper arm power
controlled entirely by your thumb and pinky finger.

now that you have the skills i suggest makeing another one sharper flatter and less crooked.

Murat said...

Appreciate your opinion, but I'm extremely happy with the blade's perfomance so far. I found it works extremely well for all purpose carving, especially of hardwoods. Not sure where Orien got this design from, but I've seen plenty of museum pieces with a similar curved blade. Still, I'd be curious to see the blade shape on your crooked knives...feel free to email me some pics at

Before finishing this knife, I actually made one from a file and made it much flatter like you suggest, although I also left it quite long. If you like you can read the details HERE. This one was made more for softwood carving (works great on spruce & cedar) for making ribs and cedar sheathing and such.

Unknown said...

Great post.

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