Mastermyr Drawknife

The Mastermyr Find is a wood box full of woodworking and metalworking tools estimated to be from 1000 AD. One of the tools is a small drawknife or shave with a curved blade. This was lacking a handle, and I have seen several proposals for what kind of handle it would have had. Some of these looked unworkable to me, so I decided to make a replica and test some of the possible handles to see how well they actually worked. I first did a couple tests to make sure I had the size and technique correct. These instructions are for making one pretty close to the same size as the Mastermyr Find. If you're not trying to make a replica, then the exact dimensions are not critical.

Mastermyr Drawknife
Mastermyr Drawknife
My Drawknive (model)

Now to make several with sharp blades and try different handles. I used round stock 5/16" in diameter from a coil spring. Start by marking 2 cm and 8 cm from the end, then cut off 10 cm from the end. This gives a rod marked 2 cm from each end.

Now draw out both ends (to the mark) each about 6 cm long and tapered. Both tangs should be even with one edge of the central portion. I find it works best to square off one end, then hold that end with the tongs while I draw out the other end. Then I can hold the drawn-out end while drawing out the first end.

Now flatten the central portion, and draw out away from the side that is even with the tangs. Should be about 0.4 cm thick at the back, and at least 1.4 cm wide.

Take a minute to make the central (blade) portion as straight and flat as you can. The tangs don't matter at this point, but keep them pretty straight so they are out of the way. Heat central portion to red and place in ashes to anneal. Grind/file the blade section to an edge, and sand (to 100 grit).

Back to the forge! Put curve in blade, and bend tangs into position. Leave ends straight for now (will bend ends over after putting handle on). Heat central portion to red, quench in oil, lightly sand, and temp. I went for about a dark straw.

Finish sanding, starting with 100 grit.

Now it's time to try fitting some handles! (to be continued)

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