Many of us rely on pocket knives and multi-tools to get things done while on the go. Once you’re home or at work, though, we trade in the undersized tools in favor of more ergonomic counterparts to ensure our work turns out better while finishing at a faster rate. Whittling, however, is one of those crafts where purists have chosen to rely on the pocket knife instead of upgrading to a more convenient whittling blade. If you’ve been looking to get your keychain samurai a little more field time, it’s a hobby that just might be worth your while and the Swiss Army Knife Whittling Book should be an excellent place to start.
To the unfamiliar, whittling is the craft of carving into small pieces of wood to turn them into small toys, mini-sculptures, and various functional objects. It’s quite a fun thing to engage in when you’re looking to pass the time, all while keeping your hands busy in a genuinely creative endeavor.
Authored by “whittling professional” Chris Lubkemann, the Swiss Army Knife Whittling Book guides readers through 43 different projects that require nothing more than pieces of wood and a Victorinox Original Swiss Army Knife for the most part. Whether you’re a novice looking to develop your woodworking skills, a hobbyist in search of new projects, or that dude who wants to finally justify carrying a folding knife everywhere you go (you can whittle while waiting for the train), this book should make for an excellent reference that you can return to for many hours of fun.
Each project is given with step-by-step directions, complete with photographic illustrations, so even absolute dolts without any imagination (yes, I’m talking about myself) can successfully trim, pare, and cut a piece of wood into the desired shape. Projects include traditional whittling favorite like cutlery (e.g. spoons and forks) and flowers, along with a bunch of animals (e.g. rooster and horse) and small toy objects (e.g. a small boat and a mini bow-and-arrow). And, yes, they’re all small in stature.
While you can run through most projects from the Swiss Army Knife Whittling Book with just a blade and a piece of wood, some projects do require extra materials, with glue possibly being the only one that’s actually a must-have (you’ll need to glue pieces of wood together, unless you can figure out how to carve the entire thing in one piece). And, yes, each project comes with a detailed list of materials, so it should be easy to prepare for each one.
Aside from the step-by-step instructions, the book also provides knowledgeable advice about choosing wood (they also make recommendations for each project), sharpening blades (which you’ll be doing a lot if you do decide to embrace this endeavor), and safely controlling your knife. And, yes, you can use any pocket knife in your EDC bag if you’re not quite a fan of the Victorinox classic.
The 250-page Swiss Army Knife Whittling Book is available now in paperback format.
- Chris Lubkemann