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Puukko - First Attempt At A Hidden Tang

Discussion in 'Fixed Blades' started by Slannesh, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    Hey guys,

    Got far enough with this latest knife that I can put up some pictures.

    Just wanted to throw out a thanks to Roman for the detailed pics and tutorials on how he does things, I shamelessly stole as many ideas to make things easier on me as I could. That's one of the things I REALLY like about this forum. Everyone is very willing to help out the new guy.

    I have been involved with the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) for many years, it's a medieval recreation society covering mostly pre 1600's europe. My persona is that of a Viking from the 9th or 10th century. One of the many things I have wanted for a long time is more period gear. So I decided to make some! This is my first attempt at a hidden tang Puukko. The basic design of which has been in use since from what I have been able to find at least 1000 A.D.

    First things first. Need to draw up a design and cut out some steel.
    [​IMG]

    I am not the biggest fan of filing. First, I think I need better files. I did get the shoulders pretty squared up in the end. No gaps that I can see light through anyhow.
    [​IMG]

    The freehand grinding is coming along, This is where I was at before heat treating. Of course I did mess it up a bit afterwards but it's getting better every knife I do.
    [​IMG]

    And after heat treating, tempering and final grinding. The dreaded smiley returns.
    Also learned that getting a tang to fit well is much easier said than done. Not to mention my drill bits aren't long enough. So I decided to put a bit of Ebony in to make hole drilling easier. It's not a terribly period material. But contrasts the Maple nicely.
    [​IMG]

    Test fitting. I tried to keep it as snug as possible. Learned a few lessons on what not to do when cutting out a tang hole.
    [​IMG]

    Like this, gap is too wide at the base of the tang, it wasn't catching where I thought it was. Just in the corners because well, they were round before filing. Lots and lots of filing.
    [​IMG]

    But in the end I think it'll turn out ok. All glued up in the press. I inverted it since many of the examples I have seen let the knife dry tip down but it seemed to me that was just asking for epoxy seep on the blade at the shoulders. Cleaned it up and left it to dry. I should be able to get some shaping done tonight if all goes well.
    [​IMG]


    More pics to come!
     
  2. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Looking good. A couple of suggestions:

    Taper the tang in two dimensions...

    [​IMG]

    This allows you to make a snug fit around the shoulder. Leaving more of a ricasso there would help hide the gap a bit too.

    I like to use a coarse jigsaw blade in the vise-grips to broach the handle.

    Looks like you're having fun and that's what matters most!

    Dan
     
  3. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    That would have made it easier for sure.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Roman

    Roman Best Leatherwork Best Build

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    So far so good... ;)
     
  5. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Lookin good!
     
  6. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    Sanded flat
    [​IMG]

    Mostly finished. Need to do several layers of oil on the handle, but shaping and first coat of Tung oil is done.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Hey that turned out well. Good work. I like the way the grain lines up.
     
  8. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    Thanks Dan!
    More learning opportunities :) I'll start with a bigger piece of wood next time, this one got thinner than I would have liked trying to round it out and will do the ricasso as you mentioned before that will help hide the tang hole... All in all it was a lot more work than doing scales and some new challenges, but I really enjoyed making this one. Need to get started on some new stuff now as all my blanks are finished. This was my 6th finished knife to date.
     
  9. Roman

    Roman Best Leatherwork Best Build

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    I agree with Dan - this one turned out well.
    Though classic puukko would have more barrel shaped handle.
     
  10. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    I noticed that after the fact too Roman. I had thought about making the butt narrower then decided against it as I couldn't remember if that was a more modern design or not. I have seen many historical examples of Viking utility knives that are shaped differently, some have flat backs with pull rings, some are more barrel shaped and a few more rounded both with and without rings.

    I did get an odd twist to the handle that is hard to see in the pictures as well. Almost as if it were intentionally twisted to fit a right hand. I'm chalking that up to my left hand being not as strong when doing the basic shaping on the belt grinder.
     
  11. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    Time for a sheath... not QUITE done yet, but I know how you guys like pics :)

    This is based roughly off of some of the examples I have seen from the Gotland finds dated to the 7-9th century.

    First up, need to make the basic sheath. turned out ok for my first attempt I think? Stitching could be straighter for sure and I've since acquired more needles so I can stitch both directions at once.
    [​IMG]

    This piece of brass will form the front guard
    [​IMG]

    Had to shorten it up a bit, but here it is on the sheath. Hand made brass rivets made from 3/32" rod
    [​IMG]


    Close up. imperfections and all :)
    [​IMG]

    This part vexed me. I learned that Annealing frequently is your friend when shaping brass. The black line folds over the oddly shaped leather bit even with the mouth of the sheath. Getting it to fold over on itself and getting all the rivet holes to line up was an effort.
    [​IMG]

    Making rivets the old fashioned way... OK, maybe Vikings didn't have vice grips ;)
    [​IMG]

    SO close to being done...

    The ring I made with 1/8" rod and soldered closed... did my first chasing on the bits that hold it to the loop and the sheath. Just have to add a few more 1/2" strips around the parts where you can still see the stitching and it'll be finished. Final clean up and then I'll post some glamour shots :)

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    That's looking pretty awesome.
     
  13. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    Finished!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Totally one-of-a-kind package! It's cool that your products show such creativity.
    Thanks for sharing. I am looking forward to seeing what you're up to next.

    Dan
     
  15. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    More practice :) Haven't started anything new yet but I have a few things I want to get going... Thanks for all the encouragement guys. I know i'm not at the level a lot of you are but it's nice to be able to show my stuff to people who understand how much work goes into them!
     
  16. Roman

    Roman Best Leatherwork Best Build

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    Very nice! Sheath looks like some old Russian sheath. But I think those were copied from Vikings...
    I plan to try something like this one day. When I get brave enough... :)
     
  17. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    When you get brave enough? Roman, I'm sure you would rock this easily considering the quality of your usual work.

    This one is based on several viking age knives found in Gotland Sweden.
     
  18. Roman

    Roman Best Leatherwork Best Build

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    Early Russians had a pretty extensive trade and military connections with vikings. These connections affected art, weapons and everyday life of medieval Russia quiet a lot. Enough to say that first Russian great duke, founder of first Russian tzar dynasty was viking Rurik who lived in 9th century.
     
  19. Slannesh

    Slannesh Active Member

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    Very cool. I know that the Rus had a lot of relations with the Vikings and there was quite a bit of overlap in art, weapons and clothing.
     
  20. Roman

    Roman Best Leatherwork Best Build

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    Nobody really knows who were Rus, but the most popular theory is that Rus actually were vikings from Scandinavia, and Rurik was their leader at the time when they came to the territory of modern Russia. In 8-9th centuries different Slavic tribes were struggling to form a union, so they decided to invite Rurik as he was a well known warlord at that time. He came with his folks named Rus and united a few tribes like krivitchi, viatichi, ves, and others including big cities of Novgorod, Pskov, Murom, Chernigov, Kiev and other cities too. This way he formed a core of what became Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in 20th century.
    At later times, boundaries of the new state of Russia changed quite a lot, but it always remained on one of the most important trade routes from the Baltic sea to the Black sea and Mediterranean, or in other words from vikings to Byzantine Empire. As a result medieval Russia was strongly influenced by both vikings and Greeks.
     

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