Drawknives like the Arno Flat Forged Drawknife can remove large amounts of wood quickly, but only with the proper hold-downs or vises in place. Arno makes this knife in a traditional pattern that was once a favorite of coopers and wheelwrights. Using any drawknife successfully means stepping back to trades nearly forgotten today,
The rounded wooden handles offer plenty of grip for better control of the Arno’s hot-forged, six-inch high carbon steel blade. Tangs and handles increase the overall length of the tool to 13 inches — small for a drawknife but a size that handles easily. Longer drawknives could be used for debarking logs and other rough work on large diameter stock, but this size makes better sense for carvers and cabinetmakers who work on a smaller scale.
Offset tangs put the handles slightly below the flat face of the knife and help prevent the blade from digging in too deeply when used in that position. Working with the flat against the workpiece produces long straight cuts and takes off a lot of wood quickly. Working with bevel down results in a shorter chipping stroke.
Drawknives can be very handy tools in the workshop but require special jigs or clamps to hold the work securely. The two-handed power behind them can pull the workpiece out of an ordinary vise — craftsmen who decide to use the traditional drawknife vise or shaving horse will probably have to build one themselves.
The Flexcut Curved Drawknife offers a different approach with a more flexible blade designed for light cutting.
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