I always enjoy browsing the Woodcraft store in Toledo but my last visit was especially fun because I had a gift card to spend (thank you Rachel & Nathan!) The plan was to get something cool that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to convince myself to buy. This is what I got.
It’s a paring knife kit. The cool part is that the blade is made of “Damascus steel” with visible lines on the blade showing the steel was folded on it’s self as it was being forged. The kit part means that it needed me to make a handle.
I decided to make the handle from cocobolo (a type of South American rosewood) for several reasons. It’s beautiful, it doesn’t mind getting wet, and I had a chunk if it in the shop (doesn’t everyone?)
This shows the handle blanks cut to rough shape and drilled for the rivets, ready to be assembled.
Here it is after it was put together with rivets and epoxy. Adding cocobolo sawdust to the epoxy makes the glue lines disappear.
Once the glue was dry I shaped the handle with sandpaper, starting with 80 grit on the belt sander. Once the handle was contoured the way I wanted I continued refining the surface with ever finer grits of sandpaper going all the way to crazy fine 2000 grit paper, then got out the buffing wheel to polish it a little more. The handle is now as smooth as glass the the rivets shine like mirrors.
This is the end result. Not only was this a fun project for me but the knife is useful too – Su uses it to cut up fruit for breakfast every morning.
Another project that I completed fairly recently was making wooden cars for Desy and Wesley.
Desy’s is made of hard maple (scrap form the kitchen butcher block project) with padouk stripes and mahogany wheels. Wesley’s has a ash body (from the tree beside my shop) with a walnut stripe (from a tree my dad’s cousin planted) and wheels.
These cars are similar the the cars I made for my kids when they were little and for Orion a couple years ago. Now I’ll need to make one for Cecelia!
cheers – dj