Small Puukko

Here is a little Puukko (Finnish style knife) with a lanyard for wearing around the neck that I made a while ago. The handle is rosewood with a Lauri 63 blade and brass fittings, the end cap is hiding a recessed brass washer and peened tang.

Small Puukko knife with leather sheath on grass in sunlight. Colour Landscape. © P. Maton 2015 whittleandstitch.net

 

This was really a practice piece for learning how to Butt Stitch the leather on the sheath. This is particularly tricky on a contoured form like this because as the name suggests the two edges of the leather to be sewn need to butt up against each other. Consequently the leather needs to be measured and cut very accurately to achieve the required fit
Small Puukko knife with leather sheath on grass in sunlight. Colour Landscape. © P. Maton 2015 whittleandstitch.net

The Awl is used to make stitch holes that go diagonally from the surface of the leather to just above the bottom edge of the under side. This creates a seam that is no thicker than the leather and serves to shield the stitching from abrasion on both sides, in fact the tread is invisible on the inside.

Small Puukko knife with leather sheath on grass in sunlight. Colour Landscape. © P. Maton 2015 whittleandstitch.net

This took four attempts and as you see is far from perfect, something I need to keep persevering with. I have since learnt on other projects that under cutting the edges by half a millimetre or so prevents the slight gap where the edges meet as seen here.

To give you and idea of scale here is a shot of it when it was first made and the dye was/finish was still drying.

Small Puukko knife with leather sheath on on hand. Colour Portrait. © P. Maton 2015 whittleandstitch.net

All the best and thanks for looking.

 

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1-2-1 Knife Making Tuition

Knife_Sheath_Making_Jess_Whittle_and_Stitch_06

Would you like to make your own knife and/or sheath but don’t have the tools or experience?

You can come to my Brighton workshop and learn to do it yourself, please follow this blog for pricing announcements or drop me a line.

A while back I ran a series of 1-2-1 workshop sessions with Jess who wanted to make a handle and sheath for a blade she had previously forged on a knife making course elsewhere.

The black stick tang blade had a very nice hand made rustic quality about it with hammer marks from it’s forging still viable along the blade and spine.

Our first session was spent discussing the intended uses of the knife, what she would like it to look like and choosing the materials we would use. She wanted something to use as a general purpose tool for the various crafts she was pursuing as well as something she could take camping with her.

The blade has the look of an old eating knife but due to it’s thickness would lend itself to other tasks well.

We explored various material combinations that would compliment the black blade and eventually settled on using Bog Oak and Saddle Tan leather for the handle and sheath and a factory made Brass cup style ferrule for the tang to pass through.

We looked at various styles of handle and sheath in search of something that would compliment the slender blade before she settled on a somewhat Scandinavian design with an exposed wooden liner. To compliment the faceted forged look of the blade it was decided that the handle and wooden liner would look best if they had a carved finish rather than sanded smooth.

Over the next few months she came to my workshop to make the handle and sheath, occasionally asking for advice or instructions for the next stage of the process.

The first step was to drill out and file a slot in the handle material to fit the tang of the knife and then carve a step fro the ferrule to key onto (the wood of the handle extends up inside the brass ferrule), these are perhaps the mod laborious tasks requiring careful use of hand tools.

Once the slot was finished and the ferule fitted the three components were glued together and work could begun on shaping the handle.

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.netPlease note the blade is blunt at this stage and was wrapped with thick tape while work was done on the handle despite what is shown in the image below.

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.net

The handle begins to take shape.

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.net

The knife is taking shape…

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.netAfter several more sessions that I wish were documented in photographs the knife and sheath were finished.

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.netThe Vegetable Tanned leather was wet formed around the knife and wooden liner and stitched while still damp, this ensures a tight fit as the drying leather shrinks into place.

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.netThe carved Bog Oak handle compliments the black steel blade.

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.netCareful use of the whittling knife was required to ensure a smooth transition from the ferrule to the handle.

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.netThe exposed Bog oak liner matches the texture of the handle and echoes the faceting of the blade. Held firmly in place by the wet formed leather and a little glue it provide protection for and from the blade.

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.netThe edges of the leather were bevelled, sanded smooth and burnished until shiny to ensure a long lifespan. The belt loop is made from a twisted leather thong and requires no stitching or glueing, this makes it easy to replace in years to come while providing a secure fastening during use.

Securing the thong is a knot where the leading end passes through a slot in the leather, this locks as the knot gets tightKnife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.neter meaning it will not come undone.

The top part of the sheath grips the handle to prevent the knife falling out, when returning the knife it clicks into place indicating it is secure.

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.net

After much careful work the finished knife became something to be proud of, an elegant and durable tool to treasure and use.

Knife Making with Bog Oak and hand forged blade. © P.Maton 2014 whittleandstitch.net