layout knife

This is what I consider a “starter” project in tool making. Starter can refer both to a first tool project and to a tool suitable for a beginner. Here is a knife for carving as well as a layout knife useful in the shop. It will introduce you to using dimensional O1 tool steel, and require no more equipment than available in the most modest workshop.

The blade shape is copied from my pocket knife, and is called a coping blade, or more prosaically a sheep foot blade. It is ¼″ wide and 1″ long, straight edged with a 45° slope behind the point. This is made from O1 tool steel 1/16″ × ¼″ × 4″ cut from 18″ or 36″ lengths sold by mill supply companies. That will allow you to make several knives to have around the shop or give as gifts. The knife itself rests easily in the palm of your hand and its handle is stationary rather than hinged. It is a combination of ¼″ clear plastic tube and a ½″ insert coupling.