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Tim Tracey

My first attempt at a Puukko

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Hey guys,

 

Seeing the progress and results from this years KITH I was bitten by the bug and decided to make a puuko myself. While I didn't register for the KITH because I wasn't sure I'd be able to submit one to everyone's skill level, I wanted to participate in my own way.

 

Forge from some left of 1075 I had laying around the blade is 4.75 in length, still playing with how long the handle will be but will have wrought iron bolster and pommel that I'll etch out. I'm planning on making a birch bark handle and am in the process of selecting, cleaning, and cutting the bark to suit. But I'm also considering doing a wooden handle as well, though not sure which variety yet.

 

My one regret is that I didn't truly flat grind the edge bevel, I made a rookie mistake and ground the tip too thin early on and ended up burning the tip and having to re-profile to correct my mistake. So it will have a secondary bevel. :(

 

Please let me know what you guys think, any hints, tips, tricks are appreciated.

The wrought iron bolster is propping the blade up, still need to drill, file, and fit it.

WIN_20150603_213318.JPG

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I apologize for the terrible picture, a photographer I am not. Please accept my apology and this better picture. :rolleyes:

 

FullSizeRender (19).jpg

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Hi. Looking good so far. I think the little secondary bevel is ok. It is not any rool that puukko blade should be completly flat grinded.

I think the blade is little too long if you want visually good balanced puukko. But if you want long blade then its perfect :)

Good length for the handle would be about 110mm. With long blade maybe 115mm.

And there in no better material than birch bark :)

Good luck!

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I was also hesitant about joining the KITH this year. I consider my skills vastly lacking when I look at other people's entries from previous years, and I felt that I would be doing a disservice to those smiths who area way better than I am. Ultimately, I decided to throw lack of confidence to the wind and make the best blade I could.

 

I think the purpose of the KITH is to try something new and be able to experience other people's creativity. You have a large group of people all sharing ideas and methods. There is a large spread of experience on this board, and I think engaging in it has certainly taught me quite a bit.

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Tim

It is looking good so far. Only one worry I have about it is how sharp those angles are there the blade meets the tang. This puukko is fine, but for future blades try to have those angles smooth and graceful.

I am looking forward to seeing it finished!

Gabriel

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Thanks for the feed back guys. I love to learn, even if it's after the fact lol.

 

Lauri, the blade is 120mm long, that puts it out of typical puukko range but isn't there another "class" of blade that is similar to a puukko but larger? I could be making that up.

 

Gabriel,

 

I am concerned about the shoulders too, so I'm going with a full half inch bolster in hopes that it will support the transition. The tang is 3/16th of inch (4mm) thick so it's not too fragile or so I hope.

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Should help! Make sure it's tight and fill it with epoxy or solder.

Looking at it you could just get a half bastard file and smooth it out some to get that nice transition.

Good luck!

-Gabriel

Edited by grpaavola

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Blade length is not so big deal. It could be 50mm or 120mm or..... If you put google image search "Jääkäritommi" you will see that there is a lot longer blades too.

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Thanks for the input Lauri. I just stopped by your page, beautiful work! I guess I'm getting advice from someone who really knows!

On your main page, that first image with the birch bark handle really caught my eye, any tips for working with birch bark? I'm still prepping mine right now. Just hope I got enough.

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I tryed to tell something to making birch bark handle, but i deleted it. I couldnt told it clear enough with my english. But if you want to know some certain things, just ask.

Cant wait to see result :))

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While I can't compete with a Lauri blade yet, I'm going to give it a shot!

I've read that heating the birch bark to 175F for 20-30 min or so should help compress and bind the pieces together, but while in a jig to keep it under pressure. I am wondering if this step is even necessary if I compress the stack from the pommel and peen the tang over.

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I recommend to put it in oven. If you decide that the handle will be 110mm. You should do it first 120mm and put it in oven and you will get 10mm off. Remember that the bolster have to slide lover around the tang after heating.

You dont even need any compress tool. Just make the tight fitting in back bolster and hit the bolster down. Put it in oven and do it again.

Dont use clue.

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So, it's looked really pretty good at this point. I had a near catastrophic failure with the pommel but I got around that, and man was that a happy moment.

So I have one question for finishing the handle, I've heard a lot of contradicting information and I thought I should just put it to rest and ask the man himself!

Lauri, what's you're preferred method of finishing the handle off?

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Hi. Dont use anything. Birch bark dosent need any treatment at all. You can even wash the whole puukko in water if it gets dirty while polishing the bolsters. If you use forexample carnauba wax you lose that great feeling and grip. But sometimes i use carnauba only because then its easier to get puukko out of the sheath. Birch bark handle and tight sheath can cause some problems.

So there is no wrong ways. But natural birch bark is best.

Hope you get it ready. Last week one birch bark handle went in carbage :)) well i save the blade...

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So it's been a while and I finally finished it and took a few pictures. Thank you for all the advice, both of you!

 

Of course, critique and advice are welcome.

 

 

-Tim

 

image1.jpeg

image2.jpeg

image5.jpeg

Edited by Tim Tracey

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Don't know if I told you...

But what I find crazy about this knife is how it feels in the hand. It is super lite. Only thing that told me I was holding it was that I felt my hand wrapped around something.

 

I am really looking forward to what you make in the future Tim!

 

-Gabriel

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Well done!! You did it. Im sure it is great in the hand and it looks very good. Good work.

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