Wednesday 28 September 2022

Making A Simple Kolrosing Knife

 I've been reading about different types of carving. One I'd really like to try is kolrosing, which is where you score patterns in wood then add a pigment (coal, wood ash, etc) then burnish it to close it back up. Kind of like tattooing for wood. 

In my research I saw that although you can just use a normal carving knife it was recommended that a wider angled blade might work better. I looked to buy a knife but they were all wither out of my budget or tricky to import at the moment. 

I decided that rather than spend a lot of money I'd make one out of some HSS I have left over from when I made some turning tools. 

These turning tools have been very useful and I didn't temper them in any way, I think that the light use this knife will get it won't need tempering anyway. 

The HSS is 8mm bar, I first ground a 50 degree bevel on the end, then used the grinder to put the 40 degree knife edge on the end. It doesn't take very long, quench the steel to keep it from getting too hot. 

I never quite grind it to the tip, instead I do that on the whetstone. 

Then I made a really simple handle and put it all together. Then honed it on the leather stropping wheel. 

In the video you can see an example of some very simple kolrosing I tried as a test, but it seems to work well so far. I'm looking forward to trying out some nice patterns with it. 

Have you ever done Kolrosing? 

Or even heard of it as a type of wood decoration?


  1. F went on a green wood spoon carving week a few years ago and someone demo strated that technique as a way of decorating handles. She hadn't really taken it on board - therefore keen to see some of yours.

    1. I need to get into it and do some. Might turn some platters and decorate the sides as a good wide area to practice on.


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