If you’ve been following my work for the last few months you know that I’ve been working on my hand cut dovetails. In fact I recently finished my first project with them, a dovetailed keepsake box. During this project I realized that I needed some additional tools, mostly a marking knife. So instead of going out to buy one, I set out to make one. Here’s how I did it!
Recently I’ve caught the hand cut joinery bug. You probably know that I’ve been practicing my dovetails and completed my first project, a dovetailed keepsake box. I had a lot of fun with that build but it was clear to me that I was under-tooled. I needed a marking knife.
I decided to try and make my own. I’m not a frugal guy by any means. I could just purchased one but I thought I’d challenge myself and see with I could come up with. The end result is pretty good, has a unique look and works really well.
I started with a high speed steel jig saw blade and ground off the teeth and formed one end into a point at my disc sander.
Next I grabbed a scrap of walnut and turned a quick handle. Nothing special here. It’s about 6″ long and seems like a fancy pencil or pen when you hold it.
Next I took the blade over to my WorkSharp 3000 to hone the bevel and flatten the blade. I was surprised to see that the jig saw blade had a series of curves in it, like a serpentine.
With the blade prepared, I cut a kerf into it to accept the blade and used a two part epoxy to attach the blade. Once the epoxy had cured I scraped any squeeze out off the knife and wrapped it with bailer’s twine in stead of using a traditional brass or bronze ferrel. I did that because I didn’t have a ferrel on hand. I’ve seen other people use twine so I figured that I’d be good to go. I wrapped the twine around the knife and secured it with CA glue.
With the CA glue dry it was time for a finish, Danish oil.
Last year my buddy Mark Dolan (@markspens on Twitter) came up with the idea of the Make it Forward Project (@makeitforward). Essentially it’s a project that is created by several craftspeople and artists around the country in a collaborative effort. Then, once completed the piece would be auctioned off for charity.
This is the first iteration of the Make It Forward Project and I’m sure there will be more to follow.
This time around we built a chess set. Mark built the chess boards, I built the casework and drawer, Brandon Fischer turned the knob, Sean Rubino made the sculpted feet and Jimmy DiResta cast the chess pieces.
This is truly a one of a kind piece that was made by some amazing craftspeople, builders, makers and woodworkers.
The charity that will benefit from the proceeds of the auction is Paws 2 Care. This is a great organization that used therapy dogs to help people suffering from cancer, children with special needs and wounded warriors and their children (a cause that is very near and dear to me as an injured combat veteran). Even if you can’t bid on the piece please check out Paws 2 Care.
Head over to the auction page and if you can place a bid. Your bid will help out a great organization as 100% of the proceeds go to charity as well as it shows support for local makers, builders, woodworkers and artisans.