Blood Is Thicker Than Water

As discussed, ad nauseam, I’ve been trying to finish up The Dresser. The dearth of information here at the blog is due to the work I’ve been putting in on the drawers. Well, that and the holidays. I was hoping to document a few things while lounging on the couch but instead we’ve had the dreaded Christmas stomach bug visiting us this holiday season. Nice.

Anyway, getting back to Christmas: I’ve built at least one thing for the past seven or eight years. I thought I might break the streak until two stars aligned online. The first was a email from Rockler saying this bottle opener kit was on sale. The next was an email from my cousin asking for one in his stocking. My cousin and I are more like brothers so, I knew I could squeeze in one quick project.

The plans from Rockler are pretty self explanatory but I took a bunch of pictures, which I couldn’t post during the build without spoiling the surprise. Hopefully, you’ll find these useful if you decide to make them. It all starts with a knife scale of bloodwood and a few bits of metal.

It was an easy and fun build. Plus the little bit of metalworking got me excited to do more in the future.One lesson learned: I wasted a lot of epoxy just making one so I’ll definitely make them in batches next time.  And here’s a last piece of advice: watch this video from Lin over at Darbin Orvar (one of my daughter’s favorites). She has a few techniques I’ll be stealing for a production run in the future.

Merry belated Christmas and Happy New Year!


About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
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5 Responses to Blood Is Thicker Than Water

  1. tombuhl says:

    Shawn, have you made any kitchen knives with the Ron Hock blades? I am not fond of working with metal, but I am addicted to my set of Hock knives. Chop, chop. Happy New Year.


    • No, but I’ve looked at them closely. My brother is a chef and I’d love to make him a knife but I’m hesitant about using the tool steel as I’ve heard it shows signs of oxidation (i.e. rust) without a regular wipe down.

      I use three knives on a regular basis. They are middle of the road Henkel’s which we’ve used neither everyday for 10 years. I really like the performance of these knifes but would enjoy having one of my own making in the rotation.

      Have you found them to be a pain when compared to your ordinary knives? Please let me know and maybe I’ll pick up a kit for myself and try it out before giving him a gift. Happy New Year Tom – I hope 2017 is another fruitful year for both of us.


      • tombuhl says:

        No pain at all, other than very early on I put them in a shop-made holder which must have had some glue still wet or something. Serious rust quickly. Nasty and sad. Cleaned up fine, but I had already done that metal work. So I am conscientious about wiping dry (thoroughly) after each use. Rinse at times between chores. They do not remain shiny and bright unless you do the extra work all the time. I love the feel and performance very much.

        Strongly suggest making one for yourself first before doing as gift. My tip is to make the sheaves thick enough so overall thickness (blade plus two sheaves) are same as rivet thickness. About full 5/26 rather than 1/4 inch suggested. I like the fatter handle plus that means less metal (rivets) to file down. Knives I’ve made after the first have more rounding on the edges which feel nice as well. I used bubbling for my handles. Looks and feels nice and came from the good scrap pile.

        I like the chef’s knives best. The slicer is not as thick or hefty. Paring knife is nice but not life changing as the chef’s knives are. I usually just use the slicer for bread and for turkey carving this year. Much nicer than our oddball collection of knives or the electric knife I’d used in the past. If your brother is a chef he probably already has knives he is attached to, but maybe that is not a good assumption.

        I generally just do the wipe/dry after use and frequently give a quickie freehand honing with my Lie-Nielsen burnisher. One time after a few years my knife seemed to have lost its sharpness suddenly. A little diamond stone work on the micro-bevel and all was good again.

        Oh, and watch the fingers. You’ll get clean cuts, but I’ve used a goodly collection of band-aids but fewer as I become more aware.


      • Tom, this is really good stuff. I think I’ll take a look at my local Woodcraft. January is my birthday month and I just received my 10% off coupon. I think I’ll be using it for a knife kit from Mr. Hock.


      • tombuhl says:

        Happy birthday month to you.
        btw: 5/16 (not 5/26) and Bubinga (not bubbling?) for sheathes.


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