By Federico Buldrini
This puukko was crafted by Danijel Haramina, a Croatian knifemaker living in Tuhelj, a small village 54 km north of Zagreb. Currently he works mostly by stock removal, but can do forging on request. Danijel was featured here in January of 2016 and his profile can be viewed at Danjel Haramina
He normally uses and personally heat treats 80CrV2, 52100 and n690co, the last soon to be replaced by D2. In addition he can use also some powder steels, 3V, 4V, 10V, M4 and Cru-Wear. All these, but 4V, are heat treated by Peters’ Heat Treating in Meadville, Pennsylvania. 4V is heat treated by ZL Knives in Sisak, Croatia.
The birch bark used for this puukko comes from Bryansk area, in the Russian Federation.
length 96 mm
width 21 mm
thickness 2 mm at the spine, 4,3 mm at bevels junction
tang 9×4 mm at the pommel
steel ThyssenKrupp 80CrV2
edge angle 19 °, with tiny microbevel
hardness ~ 61 HRC
length 115 mm
width 27 mm
thickness 19 mm
knife 105 g
with sheath 150 g
The blade was ground free hand from a bar of 80CrV2. It has a rhombic section, slightly tapered in height and thickness. After annealing and normalizing it was heated in oven, quenched in oil and tempered twice in oven. The blade is hardened so to leave the tang softer. The bevels are ground to 19 ° and the edge has just a hair of microbevel.
The handle is made of birch bark discs compressed between two 5 mm brass bolsters. It’s sanded to a fine grit and it’s slightly tapered in both directions in width and thickness, with the pommel slightly higher than the bolster. It has a teardrop section, slightly flat on the sides. It fills the hand well, though being a bit on the slimmer side.
The sheath is crafted from 2 mm thick leather. It’s hand stitched and holds the knife perfectly. The leather of the mouth is folded inside. It has a pine liner. The belt loop is fixed with a steel D-ring, The loop itself is closed by a steel rivet. As always the D ring is a good compromise in steadiness and freedom of movement.
When it first arrived, the edge wasn’t absolutely smooth. I could feel with the nail few asperity along it, though they weren’t absolutely noticeable during use. The knife was shaving sharp, with little effort. Stropping with black and green compound solved the issue.
Now to the usual tests. While carving a dry cornel spikkentroll I felt some resistance when roughing and thinning the hat portion, due to the acute geometry working to separate the fibers. I did the refining cuts on the hat and the push cut to gouge out the notch standing for the face, pushing on the spine with the left thumb. I felt the spine was a bit painful due to its squareness. When doing the last refining cuts pulling the knife and using the right thumb as fulcrum I felt the handle just a hair slim right next to the front bolster.
After this I detected a tiny asperity in the flat section of the blade, which was still hair popping sharp.
Next I did the usual dry silver fir spatula. The puukko proved excellent when planing away wood along the grain, now really exploiting the geometry. During this kind of roughing cuts it was extremely quick and the slightly longer handle allowed great leverage. When I roughed out the concave portion, using the belly of the blade and applying force with the thumb on the spine, I felt the knife was straining again.
During the refining cuts the impressions were basically the same. Great planing ability and some strain when using the belly with or without push cuts, both on concave surfaces and to smoothen the flats of the spatula.
At the end of this work the edge had the same asperity, which hadn’t enlarged, while the shaving bite was almost gone. Some stropping with white compound (#12000 grit) reduced the asperity and got the bite back in one minute.
This puukko very much follows the style of Tapio Syrjälä.
Generally speaking it’s a very quick and agile worker, even though, as I’ve already said, it strains with some type of cuts.
Its strength is the planing ability, that will appeal more to the outdoorsmen rather than the carvers, which searches for a higher general versatility. The handle, even though a bit slimmer, is very intuitive and easy to get used to.
The heat treatment is spot on. I know this steel quite well and I’ve used it in various grades of hardness, ranging from 58 to 63 HRC. In this case too it performed like I expected, given the geometry and hardness.