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Puuko


Luke Shearer
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I made a puuko. The handle is birch bark, which is surprisingly lightweight and beautiful. Also, this is my first official hollow grind (thanks for teaching me, Andy Davis!)

 

Anyways,

 

puuko.jpg

 

puuko1.jpg

 

This thing would make a great backpacking knife. Razor sharp, and will be for sale on my website.

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

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The handle looks excellent, did you use local birch or...?

 

This calls for a traditional sheath, you know... B)

George Ezell, bladesmith

" How much useful knowledge is lost by the scattered forms in which it is ushered to the world! How many solitary students spend half their lives in making discoveries which had been perfected a century before their time, for want of a condensed exhibition of what is known."
Buffon


view some of my work

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I actually found the birch in the woods while camping in Michigan....about 1300 miles from my house :o.

 

Hmmm...traditional sheath ^_^

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

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That handle is awesome. Is the birch bark stacked up, like stacking leather washers for a handle? The blade is very nicely done as well. I love the contrast between the forge finish and the nice grind

 

Zeb

 

 

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Super sweet puukko!

 

That birch bark handle has a great feel, doesn't it? Kind of like cork...

My hand-forged knives and tools at Etsy.com: http://www.etsy.com/shop/oldschooltools

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Cool, looks great and extremely useful! great job

 

There's almost a endless supply of birch I can get my hands on... may have to try something like this B)

 

Thanks!, Your knife was a big inspiration to try this out

 

Is the birch bark stacked up, like stacking leather washers for a handle?

 

Yup

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

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nice handle,

very traditional, too

I like to make them myself, too (mostly of finnish birchbark)

 

the line where you start the bevel seems a bit high when it comes to the tip

and it looks like you used copper instead of brass,

might turn green very fast if so

 

best regards

Jokke

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Luke - good to see this one. I want to make a knife almost identical. Don't have a source of birch bark. You did nice work on this. It looks functional and well-made.

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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Thanks guys

 

nice handle, very traditional, tooI like to make them myself, too (mostly of finnish birchbark)the line where you start the bevel seems a bit high when it comes to the tipand it looks like you used copper instead of brass,might turn green very fast if sobest regards

 

I dont really mind a bit of green. I just used copper because it was on hand and easy to work with. I'll keep it oiled till I sell it anyway though

 

Great knife. Wonder if other types of bark would work?

 

If I'm not mistaken, the reason birch bark works is because its naturally rot resistant and comes off in nice, flat sheets. I feel like maybe the inner bark if pine might work...

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

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If I'm not mistaken, the reason birch bark works is because its naturally rot resistant and comes off in nice, flat sheets. I feel like maybe the inner bark if pine might work...

 

Could be, I wonder if it's the cellular structure of the bark. I was thinking about cedar. Coming down from the mountains this weekend there were these high elevation cedars or junipers with exterior bark flaking off in 2-3" diameter scales. Not like the big strips you find on the lower elevation cedars. I brought down a little bag. I thought I'd first wet and flatten, and if they seem to hold together, maybe soak them with poly or CA just to be certain.

 

What if anything did you do to the birch before use on the handle? I dont recall Bo Bergman writing about doing much besides drying it, in his knifemaking book.

I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan....

- Benjamin Franklin

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Could be, I wonder if it's the cellular structure of the bark. I was thinking about cedar. Coming down from the mountains this weekend there were these high elevation cedars or junipers with exterior bark flaking off in 2-3" diameter scales. Not like the big strips you find on the lower elevation cedars. I brought down a little bag. I thought I'd first wet and flatten, and if they seem to hold together, maybe soak them with poly or CA just to be certain.

 

What if anything did you do to the birch before use on the handle? I dont recall Bo Bergman writing about doing much besides drying it, in his knifemaking book.

 

 

My experience with cedar/juniper is that the bark is rather fiberous and stringly as opposed to birch which is more sheetlike and resistant to splitting. Its always good to experiment though...

 

I found this stuff on a fallen rotten log. All I needed to do to get it off was kick it, punch it, and generally beat on it to break up the remnants of the trunk, then, the bark fully intact came off in a solid tube. I used it exacly as I found it. After stacking up about 50 or so square washers I had made, I compressed them onto the tang with a clamp and ground the shape in with a belt grinder, sanded to 320 grit, and coated with Linseed oil. didnt even need any glue :D

 

Hope that helps..

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

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I suspect you're right about the nature of the cedar. I'll either soak it in something until it isnt really cedar, or try a local alternative like alder.... closer to birch. Would just like to use something from around here.

I have always thought that one man of tolerable abilities may work great changes, and accomplish great affairs among mankind, if he first forms a good plan....

- Benjamin Franklin

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