The age of whittling began with the invention of the pocket knife and reached its climax about 1840 or '50, dying out some time after the Civil War, probably about 1870. All the old whittlers of the whittling age whittled away from the body. If you practise whittling that way it will become a habit.

Indians use a crooked knife and whittle towards the body, but the queer shape of their knife does away with the danger of an accidental stab or slash. Cobblers use a wicked sharp knife and cut towards their person and often are severely slashed by it, and sometimes dangerously wounded, because a big artery runs along the inside of one's leg (Fig. 41 1/2) near where most of the scars on the cobbler's legs appear. When you whittle do not whittle with a stick between your legs as in Fig. 41, and always whittle away from you as in Fig. 44.

Gummy Fagots Of The Pine