All You Need is a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife!
By Chris Lubkemann
The son of missionary parents, I spent most of my first thirteen years in the rainforests of Brazil and Peru, surrounded by an amazing variety of trees and wood. I was always close to the chisels, knives, and other hand tools that my dad worked with. I remember making toys, boats, traps, slingshots… Even when I returned to the United States for school, I never lost my appreciation for wood.
In the summer of 1966, I was introduced to the forked-branch roosters whittled by Appalachian Mountain Folk artists. Working with a pocketknife purchased at a country store, I whittled my first branch rooster. It looked like it had gotten into a terrible fight…and lost! But, at least it looked like a rooster, not a pigeon, duck, or ostrich! I kept at it, and that same pocketknife helped me pay for my senior year of college, and more after that.
Now, closing in on fifty years later, the branch whittling concept has broadened to include many other projects, using branches from dozens of species of trees and bushes, scraps of milled wood, and even popsicle sticks, chopsticks, and toothpicks! Thousands of people in many countries have joined the whittling fun. I have given programs and demonstrations in schools, civic clubs, camps, shopping malls, churches, television programs, and countless other venues. It has been extremely satisfying to see folks from nine to ninety pick up the pocketknife/whittling concept and run with it!
I was introduced to the forked-branch roosters whittled by Appalachian Mountain Folk artists.
~ Chris Lubkemann
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife
I’ve used a few knives since retiring that first one, but nearly twenty years ago, my pocketknife of choice became a Victorinox Tinker Swiss Army Knife someone had given to me. To make it easier to work with the small blade, I removed the key ring and its tab, and tapered the small blade to a finer point. And, WOW! I discovered what a treasure I had! Since then, my Victorinox Swiss Army Knife has been my go-to tool for thousands of pieces, and a number of other popular models have joined my knife family. I’ve recommended to countless the knives that have served me so well both in my carving and in many situations in regular life.
Modified Hiker Pocketknife
My personal connection Victorinox Swiss Army began in 2013, when I began corresponding with Carl Elsener, Jr., the company’s CEO. To make a long, interesting story short, I sent a modified Hiker pocketknife to Mr. Elsener, along with a number of pieces I had whittled with it. As we corresponded about knives, the idea arose to create a book about whittling with a Swiss Army Knife. I most often use the Tinker and Hiker but the projects I wrote about in my book, Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Whittling Book, Gift Edition: Fun, Easy-to-Make Projects with Your Swiss Army Knife, are applicable to any model that has the standard small and large blades. They are all sharp enough to begin working with directly out of the original package. Hence, my book is for anyone who owns, or will own, a Swiss Army Knife.