Scandinavian Carving Knives

Tim Nagle



The knife is one of the oldest human tools, and a simple blade is capable of great expression which cannot beachieved by any other means. In the Scandinavian tradition, carving knives have become highly functional works of art.

In this class we will use wood, metal, leather, and other materials to design a matching knife and sheath. We will discuss blade choice, materials, function and design. Each knife will be made to fit the maker’s hand, and will reflect their personal aesthetic. Blades, leather, and other materials will be provided.

This class is designed for woodworkers at all levels.

Class Description

Day 1

  • Introduction to the shop

  • Design considerations for woodworking knives

  • Choose a blade

  • Draw handle & sheath

  • Discussion of materials

  • Make a handle template

  • Choose handle material & lay out parts

  • Fit bolster to blade

  • Cut, drill & fit handle parts

  • Fit sheath to blade

  • Handle glue-up

  • Sheath glue-up

Day 2

  • Carving handle & sheath (rasp & sandpaper work)

  • Finishing (tung oil)

Day 3

  • Fit leather to sheath

  • Make a belt hanger

  • Dye leather

  • Clamp leather

Day 4

  • Stitch sheath

  • Trim sheath

  • Dye trimmed edges

  • Apply final coat of oil to handle

Day 5

  • Sharpening

  • Different ways to carve with your knife

  • Carve a spatula or clothing hook


Students will be required to provide the following tools. Please bring:

8" Cabinet rasp with handle 
Lee Valley #62W06.01

10" bastard rasp with handle
Lee Valley #62W25.10

Chisel, 1/8"
Lee Valley #23K19.03
Stanley Sweetheart is a good chisel and is the most readily available in this size

Chisel, 3/8"
Lee Valley #23K19.10

Chisel, 3/4"
Lee Valley #23K19.18

Dial calipers
Lee Valley #88N72.01
Digital calipers are pretty nice, but other accurate/legible calipers are fine.

Rasp handles
Every rasp must have a handle - no exceptions


    Note: You do not need prior metalworking experience to take this course.

    Class Information and Registration

    Class starts at 9:00am on the first day.
    This class takes place in Building 306 at Fort Worden - not the School Building. Map
    Please read our What to Expect page for general information about the School.
    Please also read our Registration Policy.

    Class size: 10
    Cost: $ 675

    Materials Charge: $ 90

    When you click on the Register link you will be able to register for the class or, if the class is full, sign up for the wait list.