Dearest Scott, Brian and Galoots,
As usual I'm
late into this conversation, but I have to say that the block
knife is indeed a handy tool. Having recently purchased one and
set it up on a large stump. I am only beginning to see the
sharpening the knife section I found that I could do quite a
shaving number on everything in the wood pile from soft maple to
mulberry which is hard as a rock when seasoned.
I bought the
block knife with the thought of the clogmaker who makes the
process look like he is carving candles, but soon realized that
there is a reason that the knife is over 24 inches long with a
well-polished hardwood handle that allows for your full weight
to be applied. I have found that it is not as easy to manipulate
as I thought and that it is tempting to take too big a bite.
Patience seems to be the key until you get the rhythm and skill
I am going to
check with a local blacksmith regarding making another and
perhaps using a file as the blade portion for the high carbon. I
am not a metal person, but even an entire steel model could be
made I suppose. The handle appears to be Swamp Oak on the one I
have as it appears to have a natural curve following the grain
of the wood. It also seems to match the wood on the old scythes.
As old as it is there is no rot or pithiness. I had searched for
a long time when this knife came available from Tony Seo. I
jumped all over it like ugly on an ape and price was not a
factor. I figured my only other choice was going to be to have
one fabricated, probably at a high price.
Tony did tell me
about something sort of akin to the block knife, but was used
for chopping pumpkins. This knife has a long blade. If that
could be found I can't see why it could not be ground into the
block knife configuration. Or, why couldn't it be used just as
it is? What would more blade hurt?
These are artifacts in their
own right and not in great supply either, but I gather might be
more readily found than the regular block knife. One other
philistine thought has come to mind - maybe the old school paper
cutters with the steel blade screwed to a cast iron arm? Don't
shoot, it was just a thought, but I am heading down to Tool Hell
to check out my old 1950s vintage paper cutter. I bet it can be
One story. I was
in the school office many years ago when a maybe 12 year old
came in to use the office paper cutter. The office secretary was
a portly woman of exceedingly good cheer. I made an exception
and let the student use the paper cutter with the stupid
admonition, "don't cut your finger off!"
Whoomp went the
blade, up went a shriek as the student turned and handed me the
end of his finger while he was bleeding profusely and turning
white. I turned to the secretary to have her call the local
medics, but as she stood, she turned from white to green and hit
the deck like a ton of bricks. So I am standing there with the
boy's finger in one hand his raised hand in another and working
an intercom with my elbow until I raised back-up.
recovered, but we removed the paper cutter from her line of
sight - just in case. And the boy's finger was re-attached.