Cariboo Blades

On the subject of bent blades, there are those made to match the American Indian pattern. One great source and example, is Cariboo Blades. They make delightful crooked knives. The also make chisels and slicks, adze, ulus, cooking knives and draw knives. Best of all these artists make each one unique, and they use recycled materials to make them. When they use power tools, their power tools are powered by solar cells.

When I first got interested in crooked blades, Scott Richardson was quite helpful, describing methods and materials.   Notice how the blade is set flush with the side of the tool  instead of in the center of the handle, this is traditional for American Indian crooked knives.  Be sure to check out the page on sharpening, great tips for making sharpening a curved blade easy!


6 comments to Cariboo Blades

  • rfrancis

    Two Maine sources – for canoe making and bowl carving -Traditional crooked knives and blades from

    Pole and paddle has an instruction sheet and directions under blades.

  • Both of those are great links! Thanks!


  • Skip J.


    I spent the better part of today wandering around the Cariboo Blades site – thanks for the link! I found it to be interesting in the extreme that you can buy one (or more) of their products from them, or use their instructions to make your own.

    Obviously from the testimonials page, their knives and chisels are well worth the prices charged. But – and this is a big one – you are encouraged to make your own if you want. The price actually does the encouraging for them; if you want one and can’t afford it, then make your own. I believe that option adds to their sustainable process in a big way; paying forward (I hate that term, go figure)to society their success of their sustainability and multiplying it’s beneficial effects beyond measure.

    So… I’ve got several worn semi-soft edger blades that are just the right size for small plane blades… could I use his directions and make a for-real blade with that poor-seeming steel??? Ideas of several mesquite handled tools are now dancing in my head….. hmmm… hand-made bonsai tools would be appropriate!


  • Even when you make your own, it is tempting to get the best so that you can compare your work and improve. The craftsmen with mad skills often have no fear at all with teaching others how to do what they do.


  • Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the link to a fascinating site.

    Regarding the sharpening, I really like using dowels for sharpening the concave surfaces of gouges, bent knives, and round over plane blades. I don’t own any slipstones. I wrap 3M PSA Microabrasive sheets around the appropriate diameter dowel. The 3M sheets are available from Tools for Working Wood and Lee Valley, down to 0.3 or 0.5 micron grit size.

    For final honing/stroping I sometimes charge the soft wood dowel with LV green honing compound or diamond paste.


  • I too have passed on the slipstones so far, but every time I make an order from a company with a good slipstone, I must admit I am tempted. Rock maple slips with grit, are my favorite so far.


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