Ray Iles Large Drawknife Tool Review

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Tool: 8 ″ Drafting Knife Buy now

Producer: Ray Iles

Advised price: $ 88.45

IIn October 2017, I took a chair class with Larry Barrett, a student of Jennie Alexander who built on the beautiful designs and methods used in the Alexander style step chair. When I was going through my toolbox in preparation for the lesson, one tool had to be replaced: that old rusty knife I had only used for debarking logs.

I received a number of recommendations on which drawing knife I might like best, but I ultimately chose this tool from Lincolnshire tool maker Ray Iles.

If you’ve purchased tools from Ray before (as I’ve done many times, through Tools for Working Wood) you know the deal – they’re no-nonsense tools. In keeping with the Sheffield tradition, this drawing knife is no different: great steel, simple design and comfortable handles.

The knife shines particularly in the steel department: after being sharpened, it held the razor’s edge for hours of work. The handles, which are turned in beech and finished with linseed oil, are comfortable, but not so shiny that they lose their grip.

With an 8 “wide and 1” 5?8“-Deep blade, this knife was a little bigger than what other students carried with them to class, but that was only a disadvantage when it came to carving a very narrow radius. Otherwise, the longer cutting edge was very comfortable and allowed for great lateral movement during slicing cuts. Since the lesson, I have used the tool in all sorts of modeling activities and it has held up wonderfully. At $ 88.45, it pays for itself by arriving sharp, flat, and ready to go – no need to grind and scrape the rust from Grandpa’s old beater.


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