A Spoon Carving Knife

Well now, in any case, I hope you enjoy these songs, they are, like you and me, product[s] of a long, long human chain, and even the strangest ones are distantly related to each other, as are we all. And there be many links to come.

Pete Seeger, The Bells of Rhymney, 1964

If you have read A Handmade Life by Bill Cooperthwaite, you might have come across the short section where he describes a knife maker who makes crooked knives from store bought knives. The maker shapes the knife with files and then goes to an anvil and proceeds to cold bend the "crook" in the knife with a hammer. I thought I'd give it a try. In the above photo is an old hoof knife that belonged to my grandfather, at some point in its life the hook at the end got broken off. It's a perfect candidate for this project.

I spent almost 2 hours drawing filing the knife to the shape I wanted and putting a proper bevel on it. Then I went after it with an India stone.

Here is the knife with the start of the bend, I couldn't find my two and a half pound rounding hammer that I used when I was a horseshoer, so I grabbed an old framing hammer to do the work. The bending went easier then I expected and at the point I began to fear that the steel was too soft, it might not hold an edge.

Here is the spoon knife with the final bend and some finish work done with wet/dry sandpaper. As I feared, the knife won't hold an edge, I am going to have to make a soft fire brick forge and do some heat treating. Wow, that can be another post!


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