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Aiden CC

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Aiden CC last won the day on April 8

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About Aiden CC

  • Birthday 04/01/1998

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  1. Aiden CC

    Swiss Army Knife WIP

    I looked a bit, and it seems like finding opaque, red, polycarbonate might be difficult. I definitely want something tough. I may try and make some at some point, that could be fun for sure. I may end up getting a few different options. I had definitely thought about doing jigged bone and stainless bolsters, but I want to try the hidden rivet blocks like Victorinox does. I do have some jigged bone and antler sitting around (I don't think the stag would really match the look). My concern about bone is that it isn't as tough as a synthetic would be, and without bolsters, the ends of the handle wouldn't be as durable. I'll still consider it, it may even be worth trying bolsters and covers with hidden pins. I thought I would have some time to work on this project, but things have been fairly hectic getting ready to move to Kentucky for an engineering internship this summer, and I've been trying to prep a bunch of "kits" to work on while I'm there, and this project kind of got put on the back burner. I was talking with the person I'm renting a room from, and it turns out he has a full wood shop in his garage and does carpentry professionally, so I may have access to some tools, but it will likely be a little while before I get around to finishing this up.
  2. Aiden CC

    Swiss Army Knife WIP

    I'm getting to the place where I need to start thinking about the covers for the handle, and was wondering if anyone has any input (I may make a new thread for this question in design and critique). I have a lot of woods, but I think a synthetic handle would be more in line with the "philosophy" of the knife as tough and low maintenance. I have some black G10 scales as well as blue and white liner material, but would definitely be open to other suggestions. Red paper micarta is possibly the closest thing to the originals, and might look more SAK than the texture of G10. I'll take a picture to show this, but basically all of the pins get peened into the brass rivet blocks I turned on the lathe, which then sit in counterbores in the handle covers when they get epoxied on and act as hidden pins. I don't have a lot of experience with synthetic handle material, so any input would be appreciated.
  3. Aiden CC

    Origin of the "Modern" Puukko?

    That would make sense. Sheet metal forming takes pretty specialized tools and thick pieces of brass are likely cheaper/easier to get now that they used to be. I was interested in the shift in style, since I’ve seen a lot of pictures of old styles, and lots from the past 10-15 years, but not much from what led from one to the next. Maybe because the old ones are antiques and the new ones were made when the Internet was prominent. Thank you! I believe wedges were only used sometimes, I’m not sure what would cause them to be used on some knives but not others. I haven’t seen very many examples of originals with this construction, but they definitely exist.
  4. Aiden CC

    Origin of the "Modern" Puukko?

    As some of you may know, I've been interested in puukkos for a while, with them probably being my all time favorite knife to make. When I started out, I looked almost exclusively at contemporary examples with the "standard" pattern of wood/birch bark sandwiched between two pieces of 1/4" brass and a blade the same width as the handle with the shoulders seated square against the handle. More recently, I've become interested in original examples from the past few centuries and have noticed that they rarely follow the general design people tend to make today. Overall, I'm wondering if anyone knows much about how the current puukko design most makers follow originated. As far as older puukos, a few general types tend to stand out: Ones like this are pretty common, ferrule and an all wood handle with a kick at he end. I may try making a ferrule punch and die set to form them from formed/soldered sheet metal. Sometimes there is a ricasso, sometimes not, same with a small fuller. The tang goes all the way through and has a small rivet block. There are also knives with metal fittings on the top of the handle and the bottom. Sometimes they are barrel-shaped, while other times they have a decorative shape, like a horse head. There are lots of examples with wood and birch bark, with birch bark sometimes having a metal ferrule by the blade and a block of wood to make the kick. Additionally, these knives will ocasionally have blades which are slightly wider than the bottom of the ferrule. Finally, what are probably my favorite type: the partial tang designs, often hand-made. If I'm correct the first two are maasepän and the final kokemäen. This is a style that seems to be replicated significantly by modern smiths, with a few differences. One, the shoulders in these knives often have a small gap above the handle. This could be for cleaning, sharpening, or simply not wanting to have to fit them. I've seen a few examples of modern kokemäen puukos with this feature, but few others. The biggest one is the shape of he blades. These old knives tent to have narrower, straighter, blades while modern knives have blades the same width as the handle with narrow slightly towards the tip. It should be noted that there are definitely other styles of knives which would be called puukkos which I haven't included, such as leukus and other knives in the Saami style. It seems like often modern versions of these knives are actually quite faithful to the originals in form, materials, and ornamentation, possibly because the knives are even more strongly tied to tradition and culture. One possible answer to the question of where the "modern" puukko came from is a design by Tapio Wirkkala for Hackman Cutlery in the early 1970s, I would love to hear other people's take on that idea/if there was similar work done earlier which inspired him. Looking at the broad range of styles seen in old knives has definitely inspired me to try and make some that way (especially the old maasepän ones), and hopefully some other people might feel the same way.
  5. Aiden CC

    Puukko From the Woods

    I've wondered why my tar came out hard instead of liquid, and from what I can tell its that all of the moisture and turpentine was driven off. As far as I know, historic pine tar was essentially a thick liquid, and that when we made it there was an excess of heat/oxygen which burned or boiled off the liquids. Some of the old setups for making liquid tar had a drain pipe to take the runoff away from the heat source to avoid drying it out.
  6. Aiden CC

    Puukko From the Woods

    Thanks! If your tar is liquid rather than hard, you could also mix it with turpentine and linseed oil, or even use it on its own, for a nice finish. That was my plan, but mine turned out too thick for that.
  7. Aiden CC

    Puukko From the Woods

    Shoot, I didn't think of that! There are some marshes I could've found some in . My school does a yearly charity auction, and I may end up making a paring knife with the same materials for it. After getting everything, it was a pretty quick to actually make the knife.
  8. Aiden CC

    Puukko From the Woods

    Got some time to wrap up the handle this morning! Sanded out the knife marks with strips of emery cloth and then sanded up through 800 grit. Then burnished until no more whiskers were raised. The handle with the first coat of oil. This stuff is more like a grease than an oil, and is pretty thick. I only did three coats because I doubt its getting very deep. If I want to thin it following my rules, I would have to distill turpentine from some resin I brought back with me, so I think this is good enough. I really like the way this acts as both a stain and finish! Buffed with a cotton cloth, rubbed on beeswax, then buffed again. I was worried the birch oil wouldn't bring out figure that well and was definitely pleasantly surprised. In the long run, I may try a birch bark sheath, but my bark is currently in storage, and isn't great since I got it all from dead trees during the winter. Peak collection season is coming up, and I have some friends who are doing research at my school over the summer, so I may be able to ask nicely and get some in the mail. For now, I'll probably just make a blade-cover from some birch planks from a standing dead tree I found some nice spalting in.
  9. Aiden CC

    Puukko From the Woods

    My campus has a plot of woods that was originally going to be developed, but those plans fell through and the woods are still there. There are plenty of strange things out there, one of them being an overturned and half buried car, which by my best guess is 60-70 years old. Late last fall I went and got some spring steel to make knives out of, which is where this project started. A little later on, I ended up asking the director of facilities about gathering dead wood because a project team I was on needed some. He gave me the all clear, and even pointed me to the pile where cut up downed trees end up. I got some beautiful curly ash/ash burl, and some maple or tulipwood burl I posted in here: Anyways, all of this got me thinking about making a knife where all of the components came from that plot of woods. I've wanted to make a Scandinavian style whittling knife for a while, so that's the style I settled on. I had wood and steel, but still needed an adhesive and a finish. Enter some alchemy: The can is full of fatwood from the branches of a downed fir tree that looks like it fell a few years ago. It has holes in the bottom and there is can underneath it buried in the ground to catch the liquid dripping out. Mixed the pitch from the fir with some of the charcoal left in the top can and a touch of bees wax from the bee-keeping club. The use of a double boiler is important since this stuff is pretty flammable. Once it was all melted together, I got it globbed up on the end of the mixing stick to make a pitch stick for gluing. I originally wanted this to be a finish, and only switched to it as a glue because it was more of a pitch than a tar. This meant that I needed some kind of finish. For that, I turned to birch bark. Same process as with the resin, but this time with birch bark from various dead trees/branches, in the can to render out the birch oil/tar. I packed the bark in pretty helter-skelter, and I think if I had packed it with all the bark vertically I would have gotten a better yield. The birch oil is interesting stuff. Smells like a camp-fire, and tastes like smoky wintergreen (don't worry, I looked it up before I tried some) which slightly numbs your tongue. I forged the blade over spring break, and today I brought everything together. To use the cutler's resin, I fit he tang into a block of wood for a tight fit, then finished polishing the blade. After that, I heated up the tang with a torch. Then I used the heat in the tang to melt a puddle of resin and coat the tang. A few taps with a mallet and hopefully the blade and handle are together for good. It was somewhat more stressful than epoxy because I new I had a limited amount of time before the resin set up. However, that also meant that, unlike epoxy, the handle was ready to work on almost immediately. Decided to try roughing out the handle with a saw and knife. It took a bit longer than a rasp, but was pretty relaxing. I'll finish the sanding tomorrow. Also did a test of the birch oil on some scrap. It's hard to see, but it darkens the wood nicely, and gives it a smoky smell I hope mellows out with time. Definitely excited to finish this. Thanks for looking!
  10. Aiden CC

    Grinding Wheels on Grizzly Sander?

    Yeah, thought more about it, and stones don't seem like the way to go. Also, I put a larger contact wheel on my sander and rotated the platen/idle wheel mechanism so that the wheel is rotating "up" and was pleasantly surprised with how fast the stock removal is. I'll put pictures up at some point. Basically, the sparks go away from you and its easy to apply good pressure without putting as much load on the motor.
  11. Something I've been thinking about for a while, based on the fact that historically blades have been ground on stone wheels and that one of the largest knife making expenses are sanding belts, is the use of hard grinding wheels for some knife grinding. I've been looking at wheels, and it seems like my Grizzly runs at a safe RPM to run 8-10" wheels (in fact, a little on the slow side). The buffing arbor has a 5/8" threaded section, and it would be possible to find a bushing to step down from the typical 1" hole size, however the length of the arbor might be too much of a cantilever for any serious pressure at high RMP. I believe the contact wheels have a 7/8" hole in them, so would still need a bushing, but would have less cantilever. Basically, I'm wondering if anyone has tried something like this/if it would even be work investigating. Something else I'm considering is making a bar to apply pressure to a blade on the regular contact wheel like in this video around 3:50 The ideal would be to grind on the underside of the wheel so it's turning away from the edge and has the most ergonomic angle without changing the way the sander is set up. Would love to hear the thoughts of people on this and on the use of hard wheels in general.
  12. Aiden CC

    Swiss Army Knife WIP

    This has been on the backburner for a while, but soon I’ll have a few weeks to hopefully get it done before I start my summer internship. The real SAKs have round brass rivet blocks which seat inside the covers, so I turned them while I still have access to a lathe.
  13. Aiden CC

    (Puukko) Understanding stick tang designs

    The glue pocket definitely wouldn't hurt, especially in getting through the burnt wood from a burn-in to get a solid surface for epoxy to bond to. Wedges also give you a nice glue pocket (the oversize hole you drill before hand) which has clean surfaces for epoxy. I have a couple of these puukkos lying around (a wedged handle and one burn/broach fit) and since they're so quick to make for me now, I haven't felt bad about putting them through their paces. They do fine with heavy cuts, batoning, etc. I've been pretty impressed with how well the partial tang construction holds up, though it does make sense, given that this is how many knives were made for a long time. I'm definitely not a master, but it is the type of knife I keep coming back to, and certainly the style I've made the most of. I think about 1/3 of my knives have been puukkos.
  14. Aiden CC

    (Puukko) Understanding stick tang designs

    I generally go for a tight, but not spotless fit through a combination of burning, filing and broaching (both with handle broaches I made and by hammering the block the last 3/8" or so onto the tang). I always use epoxy, but don't add any filler. The epoxy does a lot, but considering that it takes a hammer and vice to separate the press fit (and that historically these types of blades were held together with resin or nothing at all), I wouldn't say it's just the glue. You can see more about that here: https://nordiskaknivar.wordpress.com/tag/maasepan-puukko/ As for wedges, I wrote a topic about that a few years ago here: There are a few pictures of one of my early puukkos, and then some other folks showed some great historic examples. If find the technique easier than just fitting the tang, and it can definitely lead to an attractive fit.
  15. Aiden CC

    (Puukko) Understanding stick tang designs

    A design with no ricasso has two primary advantages. The first is a slight functional benefit of having cutting edge that goes all the way to the end of the handle. This is nice in some situations, but rarely matters that much. The main benefit is that you save a ton of time (in my experience, more than half of the grinding and almost three quarters of the finishing) by not having to worry about plunge cuts. Also, I like to do the final sharpening/polishing with stones and sand paper on a surface plate, and plunge cuts complicate that. From what I can tell, the use of thick (0.25") metal bolsters is a modern one. Historic examples seem to either have all wood/antler handles or ferules made from formed sheet metal. For both of these cases, accommodating a rhombic tang is that difficult (burning/softwood wedges for wood, or some light filing for a ferrule). I typically make puukkos without bolsters as it saves a lot of hassle, is traditional, and it pulled off well is a nice look. It's pretty hard to fit a rhombic tang into a thick metal bolster, but plenty of makers do a great job of it. You can see a lot of good examples at the website Gerald suggested.
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