Thursday, November 12, 2009
Daddies got a couple new babies!!
When it comes to knives most folks buy standard knives and just buy varying lengths and shapes. The upsweep knife is gaining popularity with the carving community for its ability to provide a nice clean cut. The two featured above are well made (really like the comfort of both handle shapes and Ralph's teardrop fits well in the palm) and perform as you would expect with a good amount of flex in each blade.
The only drawback to an upsweep is if you are not paying attention you can cut yourself deeply by pressing against what "you thought" was the spine. It's a painful lesson and you only have to do it once to learn a valuable lesson (put your glasses on!). I did it while checking out some beautiful knives at a show, my embarassment could not be understated...DUH!
At one point or another carvers learn that to get a proper clean cut with a knife you have to utilize a slicing cut. That is to say that, on a draw, the knife is pulled through the grain while the blade is also being pulled across the grain. If you are unsure about this, grab your knife and scrap and give it a shot, do a few draw cuts and watch your hand motion it should not only be a pull but rather a "slicing" pull where the blade is also shifted in the direction of the hand you are using (to the right for right-handers and vice versa). While a slicing cut can be using a standard blade, the upsweep blade accomplishes this much easier and this ability is greatly enhanced when performing "scissor" or "push" cuts.
The upsweep knife enhances the ability to achieve beautiful cuts in tight places and at least one deserves a place in a Caricature Carver's toolset. These two already have an "official" place in my box and I am sure they will get a lot of use!
TIP: When watching a demonstration from your instructor most students look at the wood to see where the "cut" is taking place. Change your thought process and watch the carvers hand you'll learn a lot more about carving watching how they make their cut rather than the cut itself. Remember the "cut" is only good for that particular portion of the carving while the "method of the cut" can be used over and over again.