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Blacksmithing & Toolmaking

Crooked Knife: Make Your Own

Course Overview

The crooked knife, also known as the mocataugan, has an important place in the history of North American woodworking. Essentially a one-handed drawknife, this ingenious and highly efficient tool was commonly used by Indigenous people of the Eastern Seaboard and Great Lakes Region for making snowshoes, birch bark canoes, and more. In this three-day class, students will learn some of the history of this tool and how to use the knife for various woodworking projects. The instructor will share photos of different knife designs, discuss their nuances, and give a demonstration of how to carve with the tool while explaining what he’s learned about the knife’s design. Students will forge a crooked knife blade, shape the wooden handle with knife and rasps to custom fit their hand, and mount and sharpen the blade.

All skill levels are welcome, however, please note that this course requires hand strength, stamina, hand eye coordination and the ability to follow precise instructions with regards to safety. Being able to open a sealed jar is an example of basic hand strength.

Required Tools

  • All tools and materials will be provided. 

Optional Tools 

  • Woodworking rasp 
  • ear protection & eye protection (provided, but you may wish to bring your own for comfort and fit)

Currently Scheduled Sessions

No sessions currently scheduled for this course.

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