Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Bow Making Pocket Knife

A pocket knife is an important working tool when you live in the woods.  From fashioning an impromptu stake for buttressing a sapling during strong winds to making perches for bird feeders to whittling shims to stabilize a workbench, the small knife comes in handy several times a day.  Yesterday I used my folding knife about a dozen times on various tasks ranging from sharpening a pencil to delicately removing bark around a bowstave’s knots.  Tonight I’ll use that same knife as a scraper.

The Trapper Model Clip Blade

The first time I handled a Trapper model folder I knew it would make an ideal pocket bow-making tool.  And because I’m currently making a series of bows I’m using my Case Trapper frequently.  The clip blade enables me to perform woodcarving tasks associated with sculpting the riser or fashioning string knocks or perhaps making an arrow rest.  But the spey blade is the real gem on the Trapper folder.  It makes an excellent scraper.  Keep it ultra-sharp and you can scrape towards you or away from you to avoid chatter.

Trapper Model Spey Blades

I own two Trapper pocket knives both with carbon steel blades.  In my experience carbon steel is easier to sharpen than stainless and it keeps an edge longer.  When using the spey blade to scrape the bow’s belly I keep a diamond stone handy and re-sharpen the blade often. By the way, the Trapper model also makes a good arrow-making knife.  The spey blade's scraper function works great for shaping arrows.