I am pleased to be able to present this work in progress piece by Pasi Hurttila. He has written about the leuku for this blog and his work has been shown here before. (See Index Page) I admire Pasi’s work, especially his leukus. They are of traditional design and executed to the highest standards of craftsmanship. They are not only very fine tools, they are works of art. I’m able to say I own one of Pasi’s leukus with moose antler fittings and it is one of my most prized possessions.
For Pasi’s article about the leuku go to: https://nordiskaknivar.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/leuku-part-two-by-pasi-hurtilla/
Pasi Hurttila’s work can be found at Lamnia.fi: http://www.lamnia.fi/items.php?lang=en&gid=1&mid=354
Also, visit his website: http://www.hurttilanpaja.suntuubi.com/
Thank you Pasi for allowing me to publish this work in progress piece!
“This work in progress follows the making of my two leuku models, one with brass and curly birch, and the other with elk antler and curly birch.
The blade starts its life as a bar of 80CrV2 carbon steel. Heating is done in a charcoal forge and all forging is done with a hand held hammer. (I forge 22cm leuku blades from 34x5mm bar.)
The blank is cut off and the shape of the blade is forged. The spine is left curved downwards, to give compensation for bevel forging.
Spine straightens out as forging of bevels goes on.
Bevels are forged in, tang and the whole blade is straightened, and bevel forging is finished. Blade is normalized and left to cool buried in ashes on the side of the forge.
Blades are roughly ground before heat treating, then hardened by quenching in oil, and tempered twice.
Blades sanded, sharpened, and polished.
Several tests are done on each blade, on elk antler and wood. Batoning, chopping, carving, scraping, and drilling with the tip. After testing blades get final polishing.
Materials for moose leuku; antler, curly birch, leather spacers. Antler bits are always cut about a week before making the handles, as usually antler shrinks a bit after it’s cut in pieces and the surface is sanded.
Antler bits are flattened and leveled on a piece of sandpaper.
Fitting is done by a drill and needle rasps.
All parts of the handle are fitted and roughly shaped before gluing.
Parts are assembled on the tang, with the glue in. Handle is tightened by peening, no press used. Peening is done so firmly that any parts won’t move when glue is still open. Peened end of the tang is filed down.
When the glue has set, handles are shaped with coarse grit. Securing screws are added and heads are sanded down. Final sanding of the handle is done.
Birch wood liners are made by using a hand saw, knife and chisel, finished by sanding.
Handles of brass and curly birch are soaked in boiled linseed oil overnight. On handles with antler parts the oil is brushed several times on wooden parts only.
Sheath making begins with taping the edge of the blade and wrapping knife in plastic wrap.
A rectangular piece of leather is cut, mouth part is thinned and folded. Leather is soaked in water to make it soft, and stitching starts from the mouth.
After the sheath has dried for a while, knife is pulled out, belt loop holes are cut, and knife is sheathed again with a belt loop strap on the place. Leather is smoothed with a bone spatula, and decorations are embossed.
Seam is glued and trimmed, Sheath is dyed and waxed. Knife gets final polishing, some wax on the handle, and it’s ready to go.”
Here are a few photos of the leuku Pasi made for me.
© Pasi Hurttila 2013