Newfoundland Knife Box

Because he is an incredibly talented and thoughtful man, my cousin Vernie made me a Newfoundland knife box.  It was crafted, he explained, from left over butternut that he built the THO table from.  I myself had never heard of one of these and I have since googled it and was not able to find such a thing on the internet.  This is either owing to my terrible googling skills or that they are something that long ago went out of fashion.  Vernie makes all sorts of really cool reproduction stuff like this: games, grind stones, tools and loads of beautiful objects.  I expect that he read about these knife boxes in a history book at one time, and just decided to give it a whirl.

I have not tried using it yet, but I will tell you what is is for and how it works.

Newfoundland Knife Box

This is specifically designed to be brought out on a fishing boat and it is used to sharpen knifes.  On the back there is a hole that slides over a nail head and then drops down about an inch over the head.  This allows the heavy box to stay level even when the boat is not level.  The box itself is kept heavy because it is filled with sand.  When one wants to use it you lay it down and the sand falls down on the long board.

Ready to use

The long hardwood board with the sand on it becomes the surface in which the knife is sharpened.   Apparently you just whet the knife in the sand the same way as you would a whet stone.

Anyone ever seen one of these?

Vernie always make the coolest, most beautiful and interesting stuff!  He is going to brand it for me next time I am home.  😀

UPDATE: Look what I found tonight!  Only $450 for an old one.  I wonder what a new one is worth?

Welsh knife box

Since I am writing on a nautical theme, I will share that I was at the waterfront today in Hamilton, Ontario.  Something HUGE there!  At 220 metres long and 23 metres wide it is hard to miss! I snuck up the the ladder to the top and stood on the deck of the big ship Algoma Quebecois. I wonder how many Tiny Houses would fit on this?  It is over 73 times longer than THO.

Laura and the not so tiny boat

Categories: Off Grid, Ontario, Open your eyes, Simple living, Tiny House Ontario, View | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Newfoundland Knife Box

  1. How can anyone “sneak” up a ladder? I can’t wrap my head around that, as I am terrified of ladders. I get three or four rungs up and can’t move, up or down. I’m not sure when the screaming starts, before or after someone says “go on, you can do it” or “just come down”!
    I’m glad I found your blog. I will never be able to live in a Tiny House as I am past the age of building one myself, and my husband has only ever built one project: the steps to his hot tub, which he did under my direction.
    Nevertheless, I love the whole Tiny House idea. Twice in my life I’ve lived in travel trailers, for three years each, and enjoyed both. Then I spent several years researching straw bale construction, and now I’m having fun reading about Tiny Houses

    • HA! Kay, I have to admit, I snuck up rather slowly! The ship is very high off of the ground and every step I took the crazy thing shook like the dickens. Alas, my urge to see the top and stand on the boat was stronger than my fear. Slow and steady brought me up and down. Now I can say I have been on a great ship.
      I love straw bale. This would be my first choice, if I would have been able to build the home that I dreamed of.
      xo L

  2. Anonymous

    Nope me neither. Never heard of such a thingy. Seems like an expensive means to get the job done in the field- assuming sand is present… than purchasing an Arkansas wet stone. That’s what I use and a steel like what a Chef uses before carving the turkey. When both are used together it makes for a sharp edge! On that note…. I have learned that if you sharpen a knife you want to stay going in the same direction. If you do not you will confuse the metal grain and actually dull it. I hope I haven’t confused the issue here?

    • Hey C… I found one. Apparently they are really old… from the 15th century. I suppose for regular people that could not afford a grind stone – anyone could find a hand full of sand and hew down a little bit of wood to make one, I suppose. I figured it had to be something like this.
      Don’t worry… I won’t need my knife in the field anyway. Unless I am hunting broccoli, but I will sharpen it ahead of going… so it should be okay. ;-P
      xo L

  3. Never heard of the knife box, but it’s a beauty!

  4. Larry Scanlan

    Hi Laura.

    We met at the Kingston Writers’ fest. I am fascinated by the Tiny House project and would like to write about it in Kingston Life magazine. I would, of course, protect your privacy.

    Let me know?

    All best,

    Lawrence Scanlan

    • Hi Larry, I responded positively to your last request. I would be happy to do an interview!
      I will email you this time.
      xo L

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