Angels from heaven have descended and delivered a Del Stubbs open sweep hook knife into my quivering hands. Oh how it shines, it almost generates its own light, its soft gentle curves sending me into ecstasy. The ultimate tool now completing my life.
Well enough of this flowery language, I do rate Del`s hook knife very highly, it is a joy to use and very well made and designed. Apart from making tools Del also carves spoons as well as fan carved birds, http://www.pinewoodforge.com/carved.birds.html, so he knows what is needed in a tool. I have mentioned in another post about trying to make a 10 minute spoon, and that I was unhappy with the hook knives I already own, mainly because of there tight curves. This knife leaves a far flatter finish, because it takes off a wider shaving, and so saves time.
I am impressed with its finish, you can use it as a mirror as all surfaces are so highly polished, not something you find on all tools. There is no point on the tip, instead it curves round (see photo). The back edge of the blade is also rounded. I have ground off the point on my Frosts as it gets stuck into wood or flesh.
The only point that I would say could be changed is the handle is too smooth, I much prefer Ben Orfords elm handles with lots of flats on, but may be that is just personal preference. These are not cheap tools because the exchange rate with the dollar is not so good at the moment, but I consider it a great investment and well worth the money.
The other tool I got at the same time was a Trevor Ablet woodcarving pocket knife, made in Sheffield. I decided to buy one after seeing Nicola wood`s videos on folding knives. Again a craftsman made knife and very good too.
I had to spend some time sharpening it. It seems to take a good sharp edge and I am liking it more and more, I did not think it would be to comfortable to hold, but I like it, as it fits my hand well. Carving with a folding blade is something I gave up about 20 years ago, but if we look at American tramp art and whittling in this country, much of the most amazing stuff was done with just a pocket knife, from captive balls and chains to fan carving figures and gypsy flowers etc. I am looking forward to using much more of it.
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I have all three of Del’s right-handed hook knives. I use the hook to remove wood and the open sweeps to finish. Really saves time. The Trevor Ablet looks really comfortable to hold. No square corners to irritate the hand. However if I’m going to use a folding knife, I prefer the locking kind. I have a fear of the blade folding up on my fingers. A fear that comes from having done it once or twice!