Custom Knife & Leather Sheath Puronvarsi #5281 Blade Elk Antler Turquoise Burl Walnut Zebrawood

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 10-10-2012 07:05 PM 5762 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Custom Made Knife & matching Leather Sheath
Blade is a Puronvarsi #5281
Handle is Kansas Elk with Burl Walnut, Zebrawood, and Crushed Turquoise
Leather is Cowhide, with an Elk Antler button inlaid with crushed turquoise.

This was a commissioned item, so I can not offer it for sale.

As of this posting date, if you are looking for an interesting new knife,
I do have a couple of Knives FOR SALE with Damascus Blades in my Store


Project Story:
Looking back through my growing hordes of photo files, it is apparent that I’ve made a lot of knives over the years….and have enjoyed each one.

This particular knife blade was sent to me by one of the men that took my Powder Horn and Scrimshaw class this past summer at the John Campbell Folk School. The blade was a gift to him from his brother, so he sent it to me for mounting in a handle.

He didn’t ask for a Leather Sheath, but I didn’t want the knife to feel naked, and this way he can carry it with him, and not just leave it laying in a safe drawer. One time I shipped a guy a knife and decided not to make a sheath, just to save time, and the next time I saw the knife it was being carried around in one of those one-size-fits-all Chinese cheap-crap leather sheaths. Since then, if I can afford the time, I make sheaths to match the knives I build. I prefer hand stitching and making them look non-imported-factory-sweat shop.

The blade for this knife is a Puronvarsi #5281, and it is a dandy. Needed some polishing to remove the heavy grinding marks, but I really like this blade, and would recommend them. This type of knife is a Scandinavian, and for some reason those knives don’t have much of a blade guard, must have something to do with their use in fishing maybe. So, I made a narrow elliptical shaped brass blade guard just to cap the Elk Antler handle.

The handle is from some Kansas Elk that a close friend of mine raises. I save pieces of burl walnut anytime I find them, and so I used those chunks with some wafers of African Zebrawood leftover from some walking cane work I did this summer. The customer’s name starts with the Letter “C”, so I put an artsy looking “C” inlaid in crushed Turquoise on the butt end of the handle. To tied the turquoise coloring, I inlaid a band around the middle of the handle, and also on the Elk Antler Concho Button I stitched to the front of the sheath.

Every time I make an Antler Button, I think I’m going to make a few more for a coat I would like to make myself, the long-fringed arm kind. But, I haven’t done it yet, too many people waiting on me…...thank God.

Anyway, a fun little project, with a lot of little details to keep it interesting.
thanks for looking,
Mark DeCou

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

7 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4547 days

#1 posted 10-10-2012 07:17 PM

you have overwhelmed me today with your wonderful work, so many things to take in and see, this set is a mans set up for sure, and im sure there are some women who would do well with it also, but its fantastic…the knife handle is really great, each segment adds to the next, one i would be proud to own, thanks mark for a great day of viewing your work…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View NaFianna's profile


537 posts in 4270 days

#2 posted 10-10-2012 07:52 PM

What a beauty!

-- Cad a dheanfaimid feasta gan adhmad.......?

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4481 days

#3 posted 10-10-2012 08:52 PM


You have posted some fantastic things today. Thank you very much for sharing them. I made a knife last winter to use as a patch knife for my black powder rifle. Your latest project has inspired me to get with the program and make a sheath for it. Thanks again for showing your work. It’s always an inspiration for me.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View woodpezzer's profile


125 posts in 3448 days

#4 posted 10-10-2012 10:30 PM

Count me amongst the women who appreciate a fine crafted knife. I’ve done a few handle replacements but never made a complete knife. This a sharp—both edge and appearance. :)

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4708 days

#5 posted 10-11-2012 12:56 AM


-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5321 days

#6 posted 10-23-2012 04:44 AM

true art…so pretty…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Greg's profile


335 posts in 4117 days

#7 posted 01-20-2013 08:11 AM

Wow Mark. The “C” is gorgeous, as is the whole knife! I love how you incorporated the elk into the sheath, and with Turquoise no less. Simply awesome my friend.

-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

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