subarctic said:The term "hand tools" covers a wide range. If you have precision handsaws (like dovetail or Japanese pull-saws), small clamps, and a set of carving tools, you can make wood boxes. Cutting the pieces to size and shaping the joints is excellent practice for larger projects: furniture, cabinetry, etc.
This is a cedar box carved with a New Zealand Mäori koru motif, inspired by the whorls made by a canoe paddle drawn through water.
subarctic said:My latest project was a grill press. Found a chunk of steel bar, cut it, cleaned it up, found matching eyebolts, drilled blind holes and threaded them, and shaped a piece of broomstick. Weighs 2 kg.
It lets me make Cuban sandwiches and panini on the grill pan I've had for years and seldom used.
subarctic said:What sort of wood?
subarctic said:Pine's not a good choice for a knife handle: soft and porous. You might have a look around outdoors (take a small saw) for hardwood trees and shrubs of the right diameter. Junk furniture is also a good source of small pieces of hardwood.
I used to salvage old butcher knives with good steel blades that had been messed up. Reground the edges and reshaped the blades. Then I made new handles from nice wood (curly maple, mountain mahogany, walnut) and old-style leather sheaths. Sold them at mountain man rendezvous and also to Japanese collectors.
Here's one I kept, a skinner. Made it about thirty years ago and have used it to skin game: the shape of the point, rounded and not sharp, is good as it doesn't pierce the hide. The original blade, a big butcher, was twice as long but someone had used it to split firewood and the edge was notched. Excellent steel. The handle is walnut burl. The sheath is harness latigo leather, with decorative rivets. Pretty well used.