I finally got around to making a hook knife. This one is 1/8″ x 5/8″ O-1 scrap fastened to an Elm handle with brass tee nuts (leftover saw nuts). I put the bevel on the inside, because that makes it easier to shape and sharpen (which I haven’t mastered yet). That also makes it useless for carving down (as in the side walls). But it works fine for the bottom, OK for the transition from side to bottom and that’s what I want it for (chisels works fine for the sides and you can hit them so it is easier). These things are not easy nor simple to use – they take a lot of horsepower and finesse. Those videos you see with the handle that looks like it should be on a lathe tool? If you can clamp, two hands are nice. I’m having a hard time just carving the spot I want to carve, gots to get lots more practice! It works really well as a scraper, which I do a lot of to remove dings. The “fishhook” shape has actually turned out to be useful – I can pull it and get into some spots.
I couldn’t (and still can’t) find my lathe center so I carved the handle with planes. Probably turned better anyway because I used a “D” shape (my finger tips are on the flat of the D and the curve rests in my palm) which turns out to be quite ergonomic.
Here are two pieces I’ve used the knife on. The dish is rough shaped on the left side and untouched on the right. The funky spoon is very spalted oak, the white is close to punky. Lots of beetles too. I infused it with varnish to give it strength.