An old drawknife John Doe

I’ve been working on a log of oak, on which I will do a blog post soon. The last few days I’ve worked on getting the bark off and getting the outside nice and smooth. I had a couple of restored draw knives to do this but the log is so wide that their handles touch the wood when I try to cut off any bark. My father-in-law gave me this old wide drawknife. It used to be his father-in-law’s, my girlfriend’s grandfather. He did coachwork and worked with metal and wood. My father-in-law had this drawknife in an old tool chest in the shed. It was kind of rusty and crusty, and very blunt.




I took the rust off with a file, a 400 grit diamond stone, some 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper and a lot of elbow grease. Then I sharpened it on my fine Belgian stone and stropped it on my homemade strop. Some of the rust pitting was too deep to get out. Besides, my main goal was to get the thing cutting again and put it to good use for a long time. Removing too much material would shorten its lifespan.


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I also lightly sanded the handles and put a little wax on them.IMG_0405  IMG_0416

The thing is scary sharp now. It easily cuts through a newspaper, and I can shave the top of my hand with it. Pretty good for a 35 degree or so bevel.


Before derusting this little mark was totally underterminable. I took out all the gunk with a q-tip with a little phosphoric acid. I was expecting to see a “Nooitgedagt” mark, because that was the most common toolmaker at the time in this area. I’ve seen some Goldenberg and other brands as well, but in general there wasn’t that much variation. This mark, however, I did not know. I still haven’t been able to find out what make this is. It look like it says “Cimco” or “Gimgo”, with what looks like an old rotary dial phone. All I found was this German tool manufacturer, but nothing on the web about vintage woodworking tools by them, let alone drawknives. If anyone knows this brand, please contact me!

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