I have just purchased a 5" drawknife but am uncertain how to best use it. I amwanting to take excess wood off a convex cherrywood section but find the drawknife very stiff to flex. can you give some help with technique
In part it has to do with your own strength while not over-flexing the blade. On a simple convex surfaces you can simply push down on the handles while pulling. This will flex the blade around into a slight arc (do not over-flex the blade). A 8 inch radius is about the maximum. It may not fit the exact radius you're trying to carve, but it will be a better fit than a conventional straight drawknife and make any clean-up much easier. Also, depending on the grain orientation, you may want to try turning the drawknife upside down. The blade will cut differently with bevel-side up or bevel-side down. With the bevel-side up the blade will dig into the cut. This is more useful when you're running with grain and trying to remove a large amounts of stock. With the bevel-side down the bevel can be used to direct the blade out of the cut more easily and is used for short cuts across the grain or working a hollow into the work.