Watch this guy turn wood into an extremely sharp knife


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/20/watch-this-guy-turn-wood-into.html


#2

Pretty cool. I never knew there was a wood dense enough to sink though, that’s awesome.


#3

Crap, this would certainly make it through metal detectors. Now we all have to fly nude.


#4

Well that was a long video about someone not owning a spokeshave.


#5

…or someone who likes the edge of their spokeshave just the way it is. I’ve carved some of this stuff- not gentle on the tools.


#6

would it hold its edge better if it were fire treated?


#7

I am more impressed that I didn’t know about all grades of whetstone.


#8

The point of fire hardening is basically just to remove moisture. Most wood used in woodworking is already either kiln- or age-cured for the same reason.


#9

lignum vitae is actually so dense (and self lubricating) that it’s used for bearings in marine engines and other industrial machines, and supposedly will outlast bronze. cool stuff


#10

this is true. it is very challenging to work and unless you want to spend more time resharpening your spokeshave than you do shaping the wood, you’ll want to stick with abrasion methods


#11

fire treating wood doesn’t actually have much of an effect on the hardness of the material, and generally makes it significantly more brittle. i never took flame to lignum vitae, but i would guess that result would be the evacuation of resin (which is plentiful) which would then ignite, leaving the wood less durable.


#12

Holy shit!


#13

So you’re saying those wooden swords in Korean MMOs would work? Wild thought there, heh.


#14

Anyone ever read Speaker for the Dead, the second in the Ender’s Game series?


#15

Surprisingly, there’s quite a few woods that don’t float, including Kauila, Rad Sandalwood, Saxaul, Cooktown ironwood, Red River gum, and Natalie.


#16

Not to mention the fun weird interlocking grain on lignum vitae…

As others have noted, it’s a super weird wood. Really resiny/waxy, dense as all F, and turns a darker green with exposure to UV light.

Made a knife handle out of this on request for someone buying a gift for someone who loved green. Made the sheath out of lignum as well. First time she took it out into the woods… SURPRISE! You thought you had a creamy colored handle/sheath? No, Green.

Also, it has (to me) a delightful smell. I’ve been told that it’s called “palo santo” in parts of central america, and is used for incense.


#17

But what about edge retention?

Very cool.


#18

I’m curious as to why bother stopping it. Stopping straightens the edge on a metal knife. But wood isn’t ductile.


#19

It is the premier material for bottom bearings on small (under a ton, say, or in that neighborhood) hydropower turbines.

Lignum vitae bearings on vertical shaft Loeffel Francis runners are said to last a hundred years in continuous use.


#20

funny how much more interesting the material is than the knife made from it (which i thought was a cool experiment)