Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summertime and the Whittling is Easy!

Summer is a great time to sit on the dock and whittle away while chatting with your friends.  We'll be taking our carving and whittling knives up to Squam Lake, New Hampshire to do just that for a week this month.  I've discovered that it is a very pleasurable activity regardless of ability!  So, we bring along a few for everyone in the group to try -- it's great to see what people come up with -- mini-totems of intriguing designs. 

We received a wonderful letter from a  "real" woodcarver, Jim Rohl, who mentioned us in his article in Chip Chats magazine.  Below is the excerpt and his letter.  Hope you enjoy it!  The full article is in the May-June issue, which can be obtained from the National Wood Carvers Association.

Suggestions for Carvers 
By Jim Rohl

3. What this country needs is a good, cheap whittling knife. When I meet another carver, I feel I should introduce myself by saying, "My name is Jim and I have more knives than I need." That way I'd get the problem out in the open right away.
    But new projects present new difficulties, and the need for new tools.
    Recently I carved some large bird species life size, and I wanted a knife with a longer blade than what was in my tool box. I've given away many carving knives made by R. Murphy Knives of Ayer, Mass., to beginners over the years, and knew pattern makers and leather workers who used Murphy adjustable blade knives, so I looked at the Murphy Web site.
    Three days later I was making chips with a Murphy 35/8" Sharp Point Shoe Knife.
It was the best $10 I've spent this year. The blade is thin (1.5 mm stock) and ground to a good long level. In less than five minutes I had it honed to a shaving edge and was set to go.
3 5/8" Sharp Point Shoe Knife
    The handle is long and thick enough to be comfortable in my aged hands, and it could easily be modified with a little work with a rasp and sandpaper. It is held on by a single brad so you could easily make an entirely new handle if you wished.  It doesn't hold an edge like the work of the great custom carving knife makers, but I've got no kick coming about its performance in basswood and white pine. Next time I'll buy the 31/8" blade though - it would be plenty long enough.•

Jim Rohl, 204 Black Oak Dr., 
St. Peters, MO  63376
We received the following letter from Jim with these kind words along with a copy of his article from Chip Chats.   Thank you, Jim!

     Dear Sirs,

I have enclosed a copy of an article I wrote which was published in the most recent edition of Chip Chats, the magazine of the National Wood Carvers Association. I wrote this as a result of the knives I ordered from you several months ago. I've given a couple of them away to beginning whittlers, and have continued to use one of them for most of my whittling. I cannot begin to tell you how much Ilike it. It takes a great edge and holds it well. The blade is just the right combination of flexibility, width, and thickness, and the handle is comfortable. I spent several hours whittling yesterday and my fingers and hand are not sore at all this morning.
Thanks for making such a great product. 
Jim Rohl