Block Knife

This stock or block knife was possibly made by an East Hampton blacksmith between 1800 and 1830. The long knife fastened at its tip to the log-stump cutting block proved useful for roughly shaping workpieces to turn on the lathe. The orientation of the handle perpendicular to the blade assured control of the direction and depth of cuts.


(Above) Block knife, Felix Dominy, 1800-1830. Wood; Iron; Maple, soft. 30.6" (OL), 12 3/8" (blade length). Mark: "FD" stamped on either side of handle. Museum purchase with funds provided by Henry Belin du Pont, 1957.0026.229 A- C
(Below)  Detail of a stock or block knife. From a tool catalogue issued for J. Belcher and Sons, Birmingham, Eng., about 1818, p. [28]. (Courtesy of the Essex Institute)