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Adam Weller

Lucky 13th - "Sami Influenced" blade

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Here is the result of about a year and a half of practice.

I will not claim to be Sami, or even that this is a Sami knife. But a couple years ago I saw some of the beautiful work done by Sami Craftsman and decided I wanted to learn how to do it. This proved to not be an easy task. First, there is very little information out there on the process. Second, there seems to be a lot of misinformation out there. Third, most people I showed pictures of the knives to couldn't figure out why I liked them as much as I did. 

But... for some reason I am obsessed. I started following the few makers on Instagram I could find. I studied every post they made for clues. I asked questions and practiced. I found a couple WIP walk throughs and they helped a lot. I tried elk bone, mule deer antler, White tail antler, and Elk antler. I started cold calling reindeer farms for reindeer antler. I made multiple different engraving tools and failed many times before I found what I liked, and I'm thinking about changing it again. When I got to the sheath I spent hours trying to figure out what kind of leather to use, and subsequently the people at the local Tandy leather store thought I was nuts. But I finally found a place in Sweden that knew exactly what I wanted and shipped it pretty reasonably.

Here is the result. My 13th knife. My first "Sami influenced" knife. It is a conglomeration of many experiments. It turned out quite fancy for my tastes and I think the next one will be more geometric, but for some reason I wanted to challenge myself with curves. 

  • 1075 blade, hand forged.
  • White tail antler and cocobolo for the knife handle.
  • hidden tang construction with threaded tang and holding nut with overlying wood inlay.
  • sheath is leather and scrap walnut.

Without further ado:

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Some in process Pictures:

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Some of my practice progress over the last year. You can follow along from left to right with some examples of my engraving attempts and also my progression of different engraving blades. 

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I hope this isn't to many pictures.

 I visit this forum daily. I'm a pretty quiet person in general, and I do not post often because I don't feel I have much to add, but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate this forum. The level of craftsmanship on this site are inspiring and you all have taught me a tremendous amount. 

Let me know your thoughts. As always, critique is much appreciated. When you stare at something for so long the eye gets biased... That and all the little mistakes become glaringly obvious. 

Adam

 

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Great work Adam, I love that knife......

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Yeah, you should definitely post more of your work.  That is some really good craftsmanship.

The engraving work is really nice.  I'm hoping for my ego's sake that you didn't just start trying to engrave 12 months ago! 

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4 hours ago, Gerhard said:

Great work Adam, I love that knife......

Thanks! A lot of “non-knife” people just look at it and ask why I would work so hard on a knife...:rolleyes:

57 minutes ago, Brian Dougherty said:

Yeah, you should definitely post more of your work.  That is some really good craftsmanship.

The engraving work is really nice.  I'm hoping for my ego's sake that you didn't just start trying to engrave 12 months ago! 

Brian, I would post more, but my real life gets in the way, this knife has literally taken the last 6 months. Full time work and 4 kids kinda gets in the way of shop time... so far I have posted every knife like object I’ve ever made to this forum :lol: 

I did just start engraving, and you can see how bad it was early on in the progress pic. I definitely underestimated the difficulty and I still don’t think I’m very good. This is the result of many late night engraving attempts sitting at the kitchen table. Many ruined scraps of antler.

27 minutes ago, RonB said:

I very seldom comment here because I'm mainly just an observer, but WOW, just WOW.

Thanks Ron! From one observer to another - That means a lot to me given the caliber of work I see on this forum every day!

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Holy cow, dude!  :o

I am seriously impressed!  And I really like that handle-vise thingy you made for the stacked construction glue-up.  

On the leather, it seems that subject comes up here every few years.  I know it's called half-tan, and I know you can only get it from Sweden or Finland.  Somebody posted a link a few years ago, but I'm glad you managed to find it on your own.  

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20 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

Holy cow, dude!  :o

I am seriously impressed!  And I really like that handle-vise thingy you made for the stacked construction glue-up.  

On the leather, it seems that subject comes up here every few years.  I know it's called half-tan, and I know you can only get it from Sweden or Finland.  Somebody posted a link a few years ago, but I'm glad you managed to find it on your own.  

Alan, first off thanks for all you do for this forum. It doesn’t go un-noticed :ph34r:

the vise thing was one of those classic, “I can make this quicker and easier” things requiring me to spend the majority of the rest of the day making a vise thing instead of gluing up the knife. Maybe it was a subconscious stall tactic.

The leather is indeed half tan. Neat stuff to work with. I did find a couple places that sell it in the states but the first was a medical supply situation (it’s used to make orthopedic prosthetics) which was incredibly expensive (as is everything with the word “medical” associated with it) and the other guy was buying it from Sweden in bulk and selling it. 

Here is the link if anyone else is interested:

https://brisa.fi/leather-skin-fur/leather-strap-20cm/halftanned-leather-10-cm-1.html

 

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20 minutes ago, DanM said:

There was a source for the leather in the states and the website is still online but i haven't ordered any for a few years.    https://www.ragweedforge.com/BladeCatalog.html

I didn't find that one in my search. Thanks! I wrote it down to check next time I need to order some. 

And a quick correction... I mentioned I bought it from Sweden, when I should have said Finland. The guy I emailed with at Brisa was extremely helpful and responsive and overall the shipping costs were negligible because of the way they packed it. 

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Very Impressive work !!................B)

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There is a lot to like about this knife, I really love the inlayed wood piece in the butt, great solution to showing the pith of the antler.

On a lot of antler carved knife handles I think the decoration is too frilly and complicated, but yours really hits the spot for me,  just enough to not distract from the lines of the knife.

The sheath is great also, and that little matching antler and cocobolo button just finishes the package.

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38 minutes ago, Clifford Brewer said:

Very Impressive work !!................B)

Thanks!

9 minutes ago, pieter-pauld said:

There is a lot to like about this knife, I really love the inlayed wood piece in the butt, great solution to showing the pith of the antler.

On a lot of antler carved knife handles I think the decoration is too frilly and complicated, but yours really hits the spot for me,  just enough to not distract from the lines of the knife.

The sheath is great also, and that little matching antler and cocobolo button just finishes the package.

I agree, it’s hard to not get caught up in the engraving and find that balance.im glad you like it!

One of my main regrets on this knife is not having enough cocobolo to complete the sheath. I got the chunks from the cousin of a friend who makes bows for traditional archery. None of the left over chunks are big enough for an entire sheath and local (2 hour drive away) hardwood store didn’t have any available when I made the trip.

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You weren't kidding, that practice paid off in spades!  Beautiful work and cheers to you for working so hard at getting better at all of it.

If you haven't already, I would seriously encourage you to look up Roman Kislitsyn; he does Sami and Puukko inspired knives.  His antler carving is a wonder to behold.

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9 hours ago, Wes Detrick said:

You weren't kidding, that practice paid off in spades!  Beautiful work and cheers to you for working so hard at getting better at all of it.

If you haven't already, I would seriously encourage you to look up Roman Kislitsyn; he does Sami and Puukko inspired knives.  His antler carving is a wonder to behold.

Thanks Wes!

Antler engraving (and knife making in general) has a huge and steep initial learning learning curve. First you have to get past the common misconception that all antler carving is done with a dremel tool. Then begins the struggle to find what kind of tool actually works, much by trial and error, because there is basically no information available. The first couple (okay maybe the first hundred, it seems) look horrible. Then you get decent, but I feel like I'm at the brink where I am past the steep part of curve and looking at a long, slow climb to get anywhere near the quality of some of these craftsmen. 

Roman Kislitsyn is a great example, I have spent literally hours looking at his work. Several WIP threads are out there from him and they were instrumental in my process. Several others that I follow (primarily on Instagram) would be Fredrik Prost, Jonas Sandstrom, and Mats Lindmark. Absolutely stunning precision and execution. Typically these guys have been very responsive to my questions and that has allowed me to progress. 

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All I have to say is that I am freakin' loving this knife. Your carving is like Alan said, "Holy Cow Dude!" 

and add +1 to this:

On ‎10‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 5:30 AM, Brian Dougherty said:

Yeah, you should definitely post more of your work.  That is some really good craftsmanship.

Please post those carved doo-dads in the Carving & Applied Arts forum, preferably with some process/progress shots so we can see how this is done. ( I am seriously struggling with any form of carving)

Now you may think there are glaring mistakes in that knife, but the only thing I can see that is worth a mention is that I kind of wish you had done an inlay on the front similar to the one on the heel. Unless, you stabilized the pith and it is no longer porous. Sometimes that looks very cool.

What's the significance of the 4-figure inscription on the heel piece? I originally thought "A Weller, 18th knife", but you said this was the 13th......

Before I forget, thanks for the leather supplier links. Please get them into that post with all the suppliers links...….anyone know where that is?

Edited by Joshua States

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BTW- Nice collection of screwdrivers. :D

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OH, yeah! I like everything about it from the knife, the materials the knife and the sheath are made of. To just the design of the blade. The scrim, man it is like looking at a pretty woman, "every time you look back, you see something else you like"! Seriously liking this one!! Great work Adam!! 5f7.jpg

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@Joshua States

Thanks! Glad you like it.

Carving has always been in my blood. And I've lost a lot of blood because of carving. Ever since I was allowed to hold a knife I have been carving things. Tutorials are hard... So much of my carving is just "taking off what isn't supposed to be there" it is hard to communicate. I know how much I relied on tutorials for making this knife so I promise I will try... In regards to the "Carved doodads" are you referring to the antler engraving or the random stuff I have on my bench? Or maybe both?

Antler engraving is the whole next level of hardness. Kinda like carving but not at all at the same time. The material is so tough it's like like metal engraving but gravers don't work because it isn't that tough and its fibrous. Just when you get going the blade skips off in the wrong direction and ruins everything. :angry:

The marrow is showing on essentially all the knives in this style that I've seen. I think one of the keys here is reindeer antler has much less marrow in my opinion and therefore traditionally (I think) it wasn't a concern.  (Speaking of which - if anyone has a good source of reindeer/caribou antler I would be forever indebted) This is white tail antler so a little more marrow but it it filled with epoxy from the inside out so it is in a sense "stabilized". I think in the future I'm going to move more towards a pukko style knife in which case there will be a bolster of sorts.

The AW18 is simply for Adam Weller 2018.

The screwdriver collection is a testament to the fact that I have at least 4 kids running my house and garage... I have found organization to be key. At a glance I can see what is missing and hunt down the missing implement and return it to its designated spot so it is available   When I need it ^_^

Thanks again!

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@C Craft

Thanks...! While I'm not sure my knife compares to the seductive curves of a beautiful woman, I appreciate the analogy!

The detailed antler engraving is what drew me into this small niche and kept me coming back for more despite many mistakes. Glad you like it!

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That is some beautiful work!!!

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For someone whe "doesn't know what they're doing" you knocked that one out of the park!

Very nice.  Your research certainly paid off.

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3 hours ago, aweller said:

The AW18 is simply for Adam Weller 2018.

Oh yeah, I keep forgetting it's not 1979 anymore...….

3 hours ago, aweller said:

In regards to the "Carved doodads" are you referring to the antler engraving or the random stuff I have on my bench? Or maybe both?

Yes to all of the above. I would really appreciate seeing more of this work. It provides inspiration.

3 hours ago, aweller said:

I promise I will try..

You don't have to do a serious tutorial with in depth descriptions. A simple set of set 1, step 2.....step 10 pics would be great, if you have the time and inclination.

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4 hours ago, aweller said:

if anyone has a good source of reindeer/caribou antler I

I don't know if they have ever considered selling the antlers, but you could always ask. I'm pretty sure they have some.

https://www.reindeerfarm.com/contact.html

 

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6 hours ago, aweller said:

@C Craft

Thanks...! While I'm not sure my knife compares to the seductive curves of a beautiful woman, I appreciate the analogy!

The detailed antler engraving is what drew me into this small niche and kept me coming back for more despite many mistakes. Glad you like it!

Well it is like this. A married man is supposed to not be looking at another woman, however I told the wife a long time ago. As long as God doesn't see fit to take my eyes I am probably going to be looking! What you got to worry about or should I say what you do not have to worry about, is you will be the one I am going home with at night!!

This was fast thinking on my feet while driving down the beach road at Panama City, Fl. and I was looking at the girl who had just crossed in front of us and nearly ran down her boyfriend who was about 3 steps behind her. We had only been married about 2 weeks at the time!! Embarrassed Emoticon.png

See what got me in trouble was the first look, which turned into a second and a third,...……………. then I hear look out! I turn and see a dude standing in the crosswalk with all the beach chairs and towels and all the other accessories they took to the beach and I was about to hit him!! I slammed on brakes and it was hard to deny why I hadn't seem him to begin with. 

 

It is like that with your knife and sheath one look, turns in too two, and three, and...……………………..  Oh, sorry I just had a flashback to the cross walk again!! ;)

 

 

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Seriously there is so much great work going on there in the pictures of your knife and sheath, the eye can't take it all in at once. So you find yourself having to go back for another look and each time you do, you see something that you had not seen before!! In this case it is a good thing when your knife has an effect like that!! thumb up.jpg

Edited by C Craft

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