I am happy to post this work in progress pictorial by Saku Honkilahti. The tuppi, or sheath of the puukko is unique, distinctive and very pleasing to the eye but sometimes taken for granted as just storage for the knife. The Finnish tuppi is a work of art in its own right. I didn’t realize the amount of work and skill required to create a tuppi. They are created as part of the puukko and the fit is very important. Sometimes you will hear a slight clicking sound as the puukko seats in the tuppi. This is a good thing and means the knife is secure and the tuppi is a proper fit.
Saku has been very helpful to me in my search for information on the puukko. He is a talented puukkoseppä whose work I am happy to recommend. If you would like to see more of his work please visit his site at http://www.netikka.net/sakunsivu/
Thank you Saku!
Sheath Making My Way…
First we take a nice piece of birch
then we draw the blade to the wood
and carve til the blade fits perfectly.
Then we saw away what won’t be part of the sheath.
Then I usually saw or sand little bit more, so it looks good to my eye.
Then comes lid. It is a very important detail so that sheath is sturdy enough.
Then a little more sawing and sanding and it looks like this.
And then comes the leather, about 2mm thick vegetable tanned cow leather. Usually I made it thinner, that it suits better around the puukko.
Now it looks like this. The thick part is where puukkos handle will be, both ends are remarkably thinner.
Turned the mouth part double.
Now the leather is soaking in pure water.
Next the puukko is protected against moisture with plastic and some tape.
The necessary tools to sew.
Puukko placed to wet leather and sewing can finally start.
First I marked stitch places with fork…
then I punch them with an awl.
It must be tight. There is a knot in every stitch.
When sewing is done, I cut off excess. The leather is still moist.
Bonding and pressing the seam.
When the leather is dry, I take the puukko out of the sheath…
then some seam finishing with the sander.
The leather is dyed.
Sewing the belt loop.
And finally, after some leather wax and polishing, it looks ready to go!