That is a beautiful tool John, seems like it would make quick
work of it. It looks difficult to sharpen, though I would imagine
similar to a gouge but scaled up. I was wondering if there were a
western equivalent in a spokeshave, having an double
straight/curved (for outside radius) spokeshave in my collection,
I only found one picture reference. There are quite a few draw
knives for larger scaled hollowing,
I think that the result of my research into this is that the
crooked knife seems to be the most direct approach with the least
amount of 'tool' (efficiency?) required to accomplish the inside
curve. It requires a similar skill set than any of the other
approaches suggested. Seems to be originally formed with beaver's
teeth (the first experts;) by the Cree first nation, apparently
shifted to modified European knives when they became available. I
would be interested in how they would remove the temper then
reharden them after bending.
I enjoyed all the different approaches suggested, nice to see
such diversity in making.
Hi Dan, the simplest and most efficient hand tool to do that is a
round wood rasp, like a file with pointies instead..
after, you can finish with sandpaper wrapped around a dowel.
That was my wood choice for carving paddles John, though
Greenland style, both for it's extreme lightness and as a
relatively soft wood. Excellent workabilty with well sharpened
tools. It was not dent resistant, not so much an issue, I
imagine reasonably strong, but as I mentioned before, I had used a
shear fiberglass epoxy coating. this was for additional strength
and durability rather than water resistance.
The best part of the wood was that I found it to be dead
straight and stable, from a 2x4 through all the cutting and
carving reductions (unusual in kiln dried wood). I got to pick
knot free from the selection, but that seemed to be easier than
what I find for typical 2 bys- knot free seems to be very resinous
in that selection.
I am a bit obsessive about sharp tools (I use a Japenese whet
stone trio), and it did seem to dull blades as fast as any hard
wood, I imagine there is a proportional silicone content.
I wonder what sort of minerals would harbor in driftwood in times
past and it's affect on cutting tools?
I am always interested in seeing the results of a made paddle,
knowing why you picked the particular design, and anything
encountered that either helped or hindered completion. I have
made quite a few with stylistic shifts, mostly in the loom to fit
my hands and shoulder width, sticking as much to tradition in the
paddle area. I found that a slight spine in the transition area
between the loom and the paddle helped tremendously for indexing,
as an example.
I would be interested to hear your results, or anybody else with
their construction, gabriel
Well spoken Brian. Defining 'authentic' is the has always been
the purview of a power elite and has mostly served to value early
and ancient artifact in their own collected coffers (museum and
collections) while devaluing current production by the culture,
often defined to just souvenir status maintaining economic
positioning by said culture.
This is an important critique (postcolonial) that has been in
discussion and debate among museums for the past thirty years,
numerous books written, resulting in the deaccessing and return of
many objects to the original culture of the makers. There is also
a recontextualization by historians of many of the narratives of
I think it is important to realize, as we make these objects, as
we have the benefit of many advantages that access provides, and
our understanding of what is authentic is limited at best.