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Blacksmithing & Toolmaking

Making the Mocotaugan: Forge & Craft a Crooked Knife

Course Overview

The “crooked knife” is known by many names – mocotaugan (Cree), waagikomaan (Ojibwe), couteau croche (French), and the aforementioned English version. It is an old tool of Native American origin historically used as the primary means for a wide variety of woodworking projects - birch bark canoes, snowshoes, paddles, ax handles, and much more. In use, it functions as a one-handed drawknife, while its relatively small size allows the user to take it anywhere and make whatever is needed on site. When designed properly, the crooked knife is a versatile tool without equal. In this class we will be forging blades using the stock removal method to shape them, harden and temper the steel in the forge, and then mount the blades to custom fit handles. We will discuss the intricacies of blade design, provide an in-depth understanding of heat-treating tool steel, and explore the ways in which a blade can be fixed to the handle.

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