LJ friends and gifts. #39: Old Mora sloyd knife got a new life - a gift from a friend

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Blog entry by mafe posted 05-19-2019 01:19 PM 715 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 38: Visit from wonderful friends - on their Europe tour Part 39 of LJ friends and gifts. series no next part

Old Mora knife got a new life
gift from a friend

I have a really special friend here in Copenhagen, Flemming is his name, he is a painter and a collector of stuff, one of his many passions are knifes, he collects all kinds of knifes, but mostly pocket knifes and old knifes with a soul. Besides this and what is much more interesting, he carves artistic knife and tool handles, he have made hundreds over the years and once in a while he combines the two, giving an old knife one of his carvings, in this way making it into something new and giving it a life.

This is Flemming in front of my workshop.
(In this case we are bringing a beautiful old print press, he has lend me on long terms).

Flemming is a really generous man, he often bring me things, many interesting tools has landed in my workshop because he found them in some marked place and thought I should have it (he is really good at finding beautiful things), one day at his apartment I saw he had carved one of the small old Mora knifes, with a wonderful carving of an octopus and a snake, I was immediately crazy about it and kept holding it and looking at it. Flemming had noticed that and as many times before and kind as he is, one day he offered me the beautiful knife. Lucky man I am!

The carvings: I just love that octopus.

The carvings: there are always a snake in any Paradise, so it’s wonderful to face it.

After looking at it for a while, I decided it needed a real sheath, so I looked at the old Mora knifes (Mora Slöjd kniv – in Swedish) and felt it would be natural, to go for the old Scandinavian style sheath, with sewing on the back.
You can see more on this, here at a blog I made about making a knife for my daughter:
Mora has kept this shape, even they have changed material on their Sloyd knifes from leather, to fiber board and finally to plastics, this due to the fact this is a ever man and boys carving knife, so the price should reflect this, I have to say as much as I love the fiber board sheaths, then I have never come to really like the plastic versions, a wooden handle needs a natural material for the sheath in my book.
I believe this knife is pre. 1950, due to the logo type on the blade, Mora made knifes since 1891, this type was really common as a kids knife, for Sloyd in Sweden, but it’s also an excellent little carving knife, for detailed work.
As a Dane I grew up with these Swedish Mora knifes, as they were in every woodworking class room and our first boy scout knife when I was a child.
(Photo found online from a auction house).

As usual a piece of paper was folded around the knife to make a template, then app. 7mm added for sewing, the leather was cut out and thinned at the sewing edge.
The only new here is that I tried to use these stitching Punches and they worked great, but best of all it took only a minute to make all the holes.

Holes for the belt loop.

Soaking the leather.

Sheath is sewn with crossing stitches, pulling the threath really tight, to close up the holes and make a strong sewing once dry.

The edge is closed also.
(Notice how thick the leather is by now).

Jump on the pony and ride the threads…
(The clamp is called a stitching pony).

Once the seing is done, the excess leather are cut off, so the edge can be compressed.

Belt loop are shaped, just a big hole and then the straps are cut.

The leather is then compressed into shape and hardness.

Belt loop put through the holes and will hang only on the friction and bend from the compression.

Other side.

As you can see, I choose a simple stitch for closing the loop.

My brand stamped into the leather.

Here it is after a few hours, where I have been compressing the leather, once in a while, to make it hard as wood.
This also give the beautiful surface.

Finally the compression makes the knife fixed in the sheath after, so it will not fall out.

Happy monkey with his new Sloyd knife, I think they are a worty pair.

Made the loop long, so it will fit a grown man.

Want to share this one also, this is a knife Flemming made for me time back, here he is in his full artistic universe and he made both the sheath and the handle.

We sat by a campfire and he carved this handle, I was facinated by the story in this knife, or the story I read in it – you will have to make your own, this is what art is all about. ;-)

Back to the octopus knife:
Notice Flemmings brand on the handle.

Other side.

The old Mora logo.

Here in it’s final new form.
Flemmings love and imagination on the handle and my craft and simplicity on the sheath.
I think they are a fine pair and belong together.

Best of my thoughts from my heart,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

9 comments so far

View mafe's profile


12051 posts in 3478 days

#1 posted 05-19-2019 01:25 PM

Knife on the left here is a carving knife I made for Flemming and the one on the right a forest knife for my Norwegian uncle Terje.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View stefang's profile


16705 posts in 3723 days

#2 posted 05-19-2019 04:10 PM

Great stuff and beautiful results Mads.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4223 posts in 3965 days

#3 posted 05-19-2019 04:55 PM

Beautiful work my friend.
I bought a knife blank from a craftsman out in Nebraska and I think it’s time to make it a handle and maybe a sheath too.
Thank you.
As always, your work is beautiful AND functional.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

3765 posts in 971 days

#4 posted 05-19-2019 05:18 PM

I’ve been making birch bark sheaths for the mora knives I put handles onto. I should try leather some time. Unless perhaps you would be willing to trade a leather sheath. I should make another birch-bark handle soon…

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View lew's profile


12768 posts in 4144 days

#5 posted 05-19-2019 05:30 PM

A wonderful story for a most beautiful knife and sheath.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Druid's profile


2072 posts in 3184 days

#6 posted 05-19-2019 07:11 PM

Very well presented explanation of your beautiful project.
Well done.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22676 posts in 3495 days

#7 posted 05-19-2019 11:46 PM

Great collection of knives!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10609 posts in 4441 days

#8 posted 05-20-2019 11:43 PM

Very COOL work…

I like your leather work!


-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View mafe's profile


12051 posts in 3478 days

#9 posted 05-21-2019 07:20 PM

Hi there,
Thank you all for the comments, know I have been active lately. ;-)
Joe, Smiles, I have become quite fond of leather work, it’s kind of meditative. Also not too difficult, so all one have to do is focus and not think too much, to do some decent work.
Jim, thanks, I have way too many knifes, made 75 my self, plus spoon knifes and so and have a small collection of pocket knifes also…, it has become an addictive hobby, especially after I started forging also, it easy to add another one to the growing numbers. But it’s wonderful now, to be able to make exacty the knife I need.
Druid, thank you John, for those kind words.
Lew, I’m so happy you find them that, thank you.
Dave, I never made those birch bark sheaths, that will be fun one day, at least for the carving knifes, where I use leather wrap now. I’m not sure how we could do the trade, since the sheath is made to fit the knife, so I need the knife to do that… but send me a mail if you have an idea, it could be fun. Otherwise I will be happy to guide you, it’s fun making these sheaths, you will enjoy it. We could make it a master class after the summer…
Woodwrecker, thank you so much, you should get into the leather, it’s not too hard and you can do it with few tools.
Stefang, big smile here thanks.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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