Making a Scandinavian Carving Knife
with Tim Nagle



  Series Level: Level I


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 and make 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

o   Introduction to the shop

o   Design considerations for woodworking knives

o   Choose a blade

o   Draw handle & sheath

o   Discussion of materials

o   Make a handle template

o   Choose handle material & lay out parts

o   Fit bolster to blade

o   Cut, drill & fit handle parts

o   Fit sheath to blade

o   Handle glue-up

o   Sheath glue-up

·         Day 2

o   Carving handle & sheath (rasp & sandpaper work)

o   Finishing (tung oil)

·         Day 3

o   Fit leather to sheath

o   Make a belt hanger

o   Dye leather

o   Clamp leather

·         Day 4

o   Stitch sheath

o   Trim sheath

o   Dye trimmed edges

o   Apply final coat of oil to handle

·         Day 5

o   Sharpening

o   Different ways to carve with your knife

o   Carve a spatula or clothing hook


Tools to be provided by each student


Lee Valley Model



8" Cabinet rasp



Must have a handle

10" bastard rasp



Must have a handle

Chisel, 1/8"



Stanley Sweetheart is a good chisel and is the most readily available in this size

Chisel, 3/8"




Chisel, 3/4"




Dial calipers



Digital calipers are pretty nice, but other accurate/legible calipers are fine.




Combo squares from the hardware store should be fine



Nothing fancy - this will be used for drawing on paper and marking wood. #2 pencils are fine.

Rasp handles


Every rasp must have a handle - no exceptions

Utility knife








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.

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

2014 Classes:

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.

Apologies - we did not get enough registrations to run this class.
Please let us know if you would interested in a future class.

Oct. 20 - 24, 2014 Carving Knives Register

If you'd like to ask questions - please feel free to contact  us - (360) 344-4455 or by email.

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Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades Copyright © 2007-2014. All rights reserved.

200 Battery Way | Fort Worden | Port Townsend, WA 98368 | (360) 344-4455 | email

The Port Townsend School of Woodworking and Preservation Trades is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit. Any donations made to the School are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.