Hand Tools Archive

Unicorn camping spatula (interlude) *PIC*

Frank D. in Montreal
Hi everyone,

Went canoe camping these last few days. Been trying out the unicorn edges on just about everything lately (still setting up my buffer with a soft wheel, so I've been using hard felt for now), and just before I left I decided to unicorn my axe as well as the knife that I was bringing camping.

The first thing I do when I arrive at a campsite is quickly carve out some cooking utensils, so I grabbed some straight firewood and started splitting. The axe doesn't really have a unicorn edge because it's an all-purpose axe, so I can't reduce the bevel angle too much if I want it to split wood. I'll try it again on my carving axes, but I still managed to round off both bevels OK. You can see the glimmer of light along the edge:

First came the splitting:

Then the shaping:

I pared down as much as I could with the axe, and I was pretty happy with the edge. Blades tend to skip on hard maple but the axe was biting well:

After that came the unicorn edge on the spatula (with my unicorned knife). No telling what kind of abuse it would see, and I was right to do it because I was trying out a new camp stove, so a lot of our food got stuck on the bottom of the pot which led to some pretty intense scraping (here I'm just about to round off the tip of the spatula edge; the knife edge needs a bit steeper of an angle, but I'll gradually work into it as I resharpen):

After a few minutes of smoothing out with the knife, I was pretty happy:

After my two-day camping trip (other carvings, firewood chopping, mushroom picking), both of the edges (knife, axe) still succeeded my nail test (biting into the flat of my fingernail when pushed against it) which I use for all my blades. In all seriousness, this has never happened before (tools usually still cut well after a few days use, but just skid over a hard surface like a fingernail).

Looking forward to incorporating the unicorn into other aspects of my life.

Thanks David and Winston and everyone else for making this forum such an interesting place!

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