How To Use A Wood Carving Hook Knife: A Beginner's Guide
Woodcarving comes with tools that produce specific results. The hook knife is one of them. It was used in older times to carve items with a hollow cavity, like spoons and bowls. This tool is an excellent means for carving utensils, which is why we are going to teach you how to use a wood carving hook knife with a few easy steps.
A Step-by-Step Guide To Using A Hook Knife For Wood Carving
We are going to start by showing you how to use a wood carving hook knife to make a spoon. Woodcarvers also call a hook knife as a Swedish hook knife, a hook knife, or a spoon carving knife. They generally have the same look, with some handles made longer than others.
Three Easy Grips For Hook Knives
You can make the most of your hook knife with grip techniques. Here are three grip techniques you can use:
- Peel grip – As the knife lays flat on the surface of wood, turn the blade across the grain. Make peeling motions toward you and keep your thumb away from the knife by tucking it on the side of the wooden board.
- Twist cut – All the action of this grip comes from your hand. While you wrap your fingers around the handle of your knife, your other hand guides the twisting.
- Pivot grip – This grip style is meant for hook knives with longer handles. Make a pivot point with your left hand while ensuring your fingers are out of your knife's way. The knife pivots from these fingers and cleans the edges of your bowl or spoon.
How To Use A Hook Knife To Carve A Wooden Spoon
Let's put the grip techniques into application while learning how to use a wood carving hook knife:
- Step 1 – Put the hook knife in your dominant hand.
- Step 2 – Use the peeling grip and peel across the grain of your wood until it becomes a shallow bowl.
Note: Start from the center when you are carving a larger spoon. If a buildup appears in the center, you can pivot the piece and cut the mound away. Do NOT carve into the grain of the wood to avoid breaking.
- Step 3 – Carve in four directions.
- Step 4 – Move your wooden piece and continue to use the peeling grip in different and smaller sections.
- Step 5 – Continue to do this until you achieve the desired shape.
How To Sharpen A Hook Knife
Sharpening your hook knives can be done with 2,500-grit sandpaper. These are the steps:
- Step 1 – Hold the handle with palm up.
- Step 2 – Tip the blade forward to the edge, hold the angle, and sharpen it until the tip of the blade in one sweep.
- Step 3 – Repeat this motion fifteen to twenty times.
- Step 4 – Check if you removed some metal by dragging your finger away from the cutting edge and gently feeling the blade. If it feels a little rough, you have effectively shaved off some metal.
Knowing how to use a wood carving hook knife is a valuable skill, especially if you love working in the kitchen. Now you're ready to work on some wooden spoons, bowls, and ladles!
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