I have always been interested in knives as tools. They have served man for hundreds of thousands of years. If a man from ten thousand years ago would suddenly appear today, the only thing we use that he would be familiar with would be the knife.
For over 25 years I have been making knives of all kinds and, lately, settled on 8” chef’s knives, 4” paring knives and various trout/bird and fillet knives. The blades are high carbon stainless, pre-formed and cryogenically quenched for hardness. I then reshape and re-sharpen them for my purpose. Handle materials vary but especially on the kitchen knives, I like black paper Micarta, an extremely durable material that resembles the old ebony that was used in the past. The bolsters are brass as well as the medallions and name plates. Also with the kitchen knives I have taken to imbedding magnets in interesting woods for display/holders. Even though all the knife materials are dishwasher safe, like all good knives, hand washing is recommended.
Our daughter and granddaughters were having a lemonade sale out on the fairly busy street corner this past summer. They said they needed a stick to stir the lemonade in the deep pitcher. I took a strip of pine and made a simple paddle 14" or 15" long. It did the job and our daughter (who almost as good a cook as her mother) took it home and used it in her kitchen as stirrer, deli spreader, egg scrambler, etc.
I began experimenting with glues for laminating woods of contrasting colors that would hold up under normal kitchen conditions. I have torture tested several of these utensils under some extremes (boiling in water, daily dishwater cleaning, etc.) with great results. But because individual species and cuts of wood differ, it is still recommended that like all wooden kitchen utensils, you should hand wash them.
Wooden kitchen utensil care: After initial use the wooden utensils grain will often raise. Use a Scotch Brite or Brillo pad to remove the fuzz and reapply mineral oil, if you wish, to restore original condition. Mineral oil is available at drugstores.
I have always loved walking with a stick. It seems to balance you out when you walk and keep rhythm with your steps. It helps with balance on rough, uneven terrain. It helps uncover mushrooms without bending down needlessly every time you suspect one us under leaves.
My walking stick is from an old beaver lodge I found in northern Ontario that I have embellished for function and aesthetics. I am now exploring using exotic woods, found woods, semi-precious stones, brass and antlers to make a wide variety of walking sticks.
After years of abuse, my right rotator cuff decided to pay me back with an irreparable vengeance. The result was a reverse shoulder replacement and a period of recovery that made it painful and difficult to pull on my shoes and work boots. So I made a 29” long shoe horn. It was a simple, utilitarian thing, but it worked exceptionally well. Soon, I was making them for friends that by age, girth or affliction had a need for them. Later I upgraded the materials and started using some of the same materials I use in my hunting knife handles. So, hopefully, they have gone beyond utility to craft.
I once saw an old farmer that had attached a closed grip crosscut saw handle to a dowel rod and used it as a cane. I thought about that recently when I was considering making some canes. The various types of saw handles have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Even the current crop of modern hand saws have made an attempt (althought poor at best) to duplicate the ergonomically proven designs of 50 years ago and before.
After researching the old designs and their suitability as cane handles, I modified an open grip version of an old English keyhole saw. It places the weight over the shaft and allows two types of grips. The handle design remains the same with wheat carving. The materials and spacer configuration varies. The handles, spacers and shaft are secured with a ¼" x 5 ½" steel rod. Woods are globally sourced. Tips are brass and steel.
When ordering, specify length from top of palm grip to tip.* Canes cut less than 36" are non-refundable.
Cane measuring procedure: Stand with your arm at your side, bent at the elbow 30 degrees. Have someone measure from the floor to the joint of your thumb and wrist. This should be the length of the cane from the tip to the top of the palm grip.