I have had some questions about our new marking knives. To explain some of my reasoning for going to the trouble and choosing the products I have. These are not ideas pulled out of a hat, 49 years doing woodworking means I have used all types of marking devices, and after that time you get to a point that if the tool is not right they get in the way, these knives do not get in the way, they do not require workarounds.
The Naroe Markin Knife
160mm Long, 15 mm Wide (max), 3mm Thick, Weight 40 grams, Double-edged sheep foot shape blade.
So, I started to look at what I would want to use, rather than what I could just buy. We are supplying the Hock Tool Marking Knife CJHO which is a sheep-foot-shaped double bevel knife with wooden scales (handle), it is a very good knife and we will continue to stock it as part of our range.
However, I was watching Michael Pekovich working and noted he used a blacksmith-made sheep foot shape bladed steel, (no handle, just the tang, see the diag.) This definitely appealed, as
- I can keep this in one of the top pockets of my apron, along with a pencil, awl, small square, and 6-inch ruler,
- all operate from the bib of my shop apron with my habitual movements while I am working.
- it is made from a metal that is very similar to O1 steel making it easy to sharpen to a wicked edge,
- it can be gripped either with a "pencil" grip or in the palm as per a handled knife.
- The flat tang means that the position of the blade is obvious, unlike a round handle knife where the position of the blade has to be "sighted" to ensure it is in the correct position, the same as scalpels or craft knives which have narrow lightweight handles as well.
- The tang is pre-finished in a camouflage look so corrosion is not an issue.
- it has a double-edged blade to pick up the extreme corner created where the bottom side of the blade of a square is placed against the surface of the material that is to be marked, ensuring the knife blade tip cannot be leveraged away from that extreme corner as can happen with a spear point one-sided bevel edge knife if it is accidentally rested against the top edge of the square blade.
- In a palmed grip, it is robust enough to be held at a low angle to repeatably freehand a shallow square defined cut deeper by following the line without flex to enable a knife wall to be created with speed or to cut fibers at the bottom corner of a groove or rebate so a router plane can remove debris without snagging along the sides.
- It's a knife.
- A double-edged blade has to be tilted slightly to mark against a square blade edge, which is an issue when marking very fine pins for dovetails. (more on that later).
Hock Marking Steel
178mm Long, 6 mm Wide (max), 1.6mm Thick, Weight 14 grams, Single-sided spear point blade.
To overcome the issue with achieving marking of fine pins in dovetail joints and other very delicate marking or cutting situations, I wanted a fine blade to supply.
- at 1.6mm thick it can get pretty much anywhere in narrow spacing.
- it is very light
- easily held in "pencil grip"
- the bevels are not thick so they can easily be resharpened
- it is thick enough so it will not flex, and then stray from the line wishing to be marked.
- the spear point allows marking on both sides of narrow pins.
- does not need to be tilted, (and herein is the rub as they say). A single side beveled blade needs to be held upright against the sides of the dovetails to mark these fine pins, ( which are acting as a template) and therefore need to be at right angles to the end grain surface of the pins to be marked and the side of the dovetails need to be flat over their thickness. If they are not the blade tip will not track at the extreme corner where dovetail and pin surfaces meet. Machine-cut dovetails ensure this is not a problem, but hand-cut dovetails will need some caressing.
- it is not expensive, so if it is not used all the time it does not rob value funds from other purchases.