Puukko knife

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Project by MalcolmLaurel posted 02-19-2016 02:08 AM 1750 views 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The story here is more elaborate than the project itself:

Back in the 1970s, my Dad bought a “Puukko” knife from Brookstone (back when they sold “hard to find tools and other fine things” instead of the weird gizmos they sell today). The Puukko knife is a traditional Finnish knife, (no, we aren’t Finnish, but Dad was as hardcore a tool junkie as I am), but this particular example is a modern interpretation by Finnish designer and sculptor Tapio Wirkkala. The last picture is that Brookstone version, as displayed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. More on the original knife here.

Anyway, at some point he gave it to me. It’s been my primary knife for hunting, backpacking, and some carving; I like the design and the handle just feels “right” to me. As one of my regular hiking companions is my son in law Andy, I decided to make a copy for him for his birthday, but with some personal touches.

According to Wikipedia, ”In Finland, receiving a puukko as a gift is considered an honor. The idea behind this is the presenter gives the recipient a tool which is essential for both woodworking, preparing food and as a sidearm, and that the presenter takes into account the well-being of the recipient.”

I bought a Puukko knife blade from Ragweed Forge. I copied the handle shape exactly from mine. The handle is a piece of reclaimed American Chestnut taken from the log siding of a 1920s vintage cabin he was rebuilding at a summer camp in upstate New York, where he was working as a handyman when he met my daughter, who was the camp nurse. Brass bolster and pommel, nothing special there. The Indian head logo is the camp’s emblem, and “Igasho” (meaning “wanderer”) is the Indian name given to him after 10 years at the camp. To get the logo on the knife, I photographed it from a camp T-shirt, cleaned it up in Paintshop, added the name, reversed it, and printed it with an inkjet printer on backing paper (you know, the stuff you peel stickers off of). Laid face down on the handle before the ink dried, wipe a credit card like a squeegee over it, and voila!... the image transfers to the wood. Multiple coats of shellac protect both the wood and seal the image. The sheath is from a sheet of leather my daughter brought home from somewhere, cut, sewn, and wet formed around the knife, and oiled with Sno Seal.

-- Malcolm Laurel -

2 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile


6600 posts in 3152 days

#1 posted 02-19-2016 03:03 AM

Great project!
Great story

Glad you have a good s-i-l; a lot are not.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View GerardoArg1's profile


1014 posts in 2879 days

#2 posted 02-19-2016 01:56 PM

Great job. Like the knife and make a good project.

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

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