Two-knife Swiss chip carving
Synopsis: John Hines took a class from Wayne Barton on chip carving, or kerbschnitzen, which describes a style of carving that uses a short-bladed knife to cut intricate designs. The key, Barton says, is learning to hold the knife in an unvarying, cocked-wrist position, ensuring a consistent 65-degree cutting angle and clean cuts. All the tools needed are two Swiss-style knives, and a pencil, compass, metric ruler, and eraser. Photos and detailed drawings show how to cut pyramids, rosettes, and other forms. Hines says it may be the only technique in the woodworker’s repertoire that a machine can’t duplicate. Barton writes a secondary article on how to sharpen chip-carving knives.
It never occurred to me that I could become seriously interested in chip carving—a skill I always associated with primitive folk objects covered with rows of incised squares and triangles repeated in boring symmetry. Then I saw Wayne…