Persistence Pays

I firmly believe that if you expect to learn anything in this life, you have to be able to rise from failures.  So in the wake of some rather humbling opportunities for growth, I can now boast of having completed a small number of left handed, hooked carving knives.


The top knife in the photo is the original Robin Wood, Woodtools™ knife that was the inspiration for the project.  The next one down is my first completed attempt.  You’ll note that the curve is slightly tighter.  The curve is also not as fair as I would prefer, it has a couple of hard spots, or kinks in it.  The handle is cherry and was a close match in size and shape to the original.

The next knife that I made is the fourth from the top, also with a similar sized cherry handle.  The curve of that knife is more fair, consistent and open; a better match to the original.  I am much happier with that knife than with the first attempt.

After I was able to reproduce my inspiration, I decided to customize a bit.  The third knife from the top is my interpretation of a decreasing radius hooked knife.  The hook gets tighter toward the tip and allows for deeper hollowing of spoon bowls.  I also enlarged the handle a bit to better fit my own hand.  The wood is black walnut.  All of the handles were burnished and finished with Kukui nut oil.

I also made leather sheaths for all the knives including the slöjd knife.


How do you sheath a curved knife blade?  The tip of the blade fits into the stitched pocket at the strap end and the top is folded over and wrapped.  Like this:


These sheaths were inspired by legendary spoon carver Willie Sundquist, in his book, “Swedish Carving Techniques”.

I am nearly finished making knives for the time being.  Although I do want to make one more slöjd knife, and perhaps a scorp for making kuksa (Sámi wooden coffee cups).  Then I need to get started on some spoons.



One thought on “Persistence Pays

  1. Tom, you continue to be appreciated as an inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. I just moved from Ca to Tx, moved to a larger shop building and hoping to emulate your passion for sharing, too.


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