Tag Archives: Joonas Kallioniemi

Joonas Kallioniemi WIP

Five years ago today I began Nordiska Knivar with a post featuring a puukko by Joonas Kallioniemi. It was a gleaming black ebonite puukko with dovetail joints, a beautiful perfect knife. Now five years and 113 posts later I’d like to thank everyone who has made this blog possible, all the puukkoseppä who have been so generous with their time. There could not be a blog without you. Thank you to Bill Lecuyer for the gift of the Aito that opened my eyes to the perfect and elegant form of the puukko and a special thanks to Federico Buldrini whose scholarship and hard work have raised this blog to a higher level.

To all the puukkoseppä, there is a tremendous interest in your work. At this moment there have been  223,282 visitors and 730,035 views of your work from 180 countries and territories of the world. Thank you again for your willingness to contribute and answer my questions and requests.

I thought it would be fitting to feature my friend Joonas on this fifth anniversary post. As usual he has provided a beautiful puukko and WIP for me. Thank you Joonas!

Joonas Kallioniemi:

“Some time ago Mike mentioned that this blog would soon reach the respectable age of five years. His first blog post featured a black ebonite handled puukko of mine, so it seemed only fitting that I could give my respects to the blog by showing the building process of a recent puukko.

Here’s what I start out with: some k460 steel (O1 equivalent) round stock for the blade, some stainless flat stock for the bolsters and a block of ivory paper micarta for the handle. I had a vision of this puukko some time ago and Mike’s idea of the blog post was the final step. This knife had to be brought to life! At this point I have a clear image of the finished puukko in my head.


This is where the making always starts. You can see me heating the steel to forge the blade to shape.


Here is the roughly forged blade next to the raw material. I get the basic shape of the blade ready. It is vital to get the shapes right but at the same time I must not spend too much time being overly precise.


I just quickly descale the blade to help the grinding process.


I also give some touch ups for the profile before grinding the bevels.


Here you can see me grinding the blade. With properly forged bevels the grinding process becomes easier.


Blade is rough ground with the shoulders filed in. I’m ready to heat treat the blade.


I sometimes bounce from one task to another to get a fresh look at things. I do some roughing of the stainless fittings on the mill.


After the milling and heat-treating this is where we are.

9 (1)

I finish the blade grit by grit. I try to avoid polishing my blades, as has been the case for some years now. I am more satisfied with a slightly more matte, clean finish, and that works very well with this project as well. I don’t want this knife to be shiny. I also do some testing of the blade before finishing to make sure I have a sound blade.


The fitting of the front bolster to the blade. Patience is the key here. What I lack in skill I can compensate with patience. A good fit here is one of those things that separates a well made puukko from cheapo knives. Stainless steel is one of the materials that I have tried to avoid as it is not an easy material to fit, but now it was just what I wanted.


Fitting is done! I also add my name to the blade. Now it is visible who is responsible.


Now I can sit down and have a think about the handle. Paper micarta is something new to me.

13 (1)

After various steps of cutting off excess material and drilling some guide holes I can start fitting the blade to the block. I use various hand tools to get a good fit.


I try to get a combination of a good fit but with some room left for epoxy. A good puukko would stay together with just a well peened tang and good fit, but epoxy is a nice addition to the structure.


The roughly made upper bolster needs some handwork at this point.


Notice one detail that you rarely get to see as it is not apparent on a finished puukko. Once the bolsters have been roughly brought to shape I groove out the back end. This makes a small grippy pocket for epoxy and also with less surface area it is easier to get a very good fit to the handle block. This is one of those small details that I like.


I guess I’m ready to start putting things together.


The parts have been put together. I peen the tang to get a tight fitting package, with epoxy in between to get added structural strength. This is the point when those various pieces suddenly form a knife. I know, not a very comfortable knife. But still, a knife.


The peened end of the tang is visible here. It will get much cleaner as I finish the handle. But not bad at this point.


When I start shaping the handle I always first shape the side profile and then the upper profile.


Then when I feel that the dimensions look good I take out the corners.


And after that I take out more of the corners. It is important to be systematic here to keep the shape in constant control. If I lose my touch of the shape I have a really hard time getting it back to my reach.


With proper planning and systematic work it is then easy to start rounding everything up, and before you know it you end up with the shape ready!


After shaping it is a matter of having the patience to go trough the steps of refining the surface finish. Here you can see I’m getting close.


Once the puukko itself is more or less finished I can start working on the liner that goes inside the sheath.


I use plywood as it is easy to work with and it is strong and stable.


Next step is to cut the leather for the sheath. Leather work is something totally different when compared to making the blade or the handle. It is refreshing to get to work with so many different materials.


Now I have the leather thoroughly wet and stitched around the sheath. I have also cut the belt hanger. From this point on I need to let the leather dry, but while I do that I must give care and attention to the sheath from time to time…


…so that as it dries out the shape and surface finish comes out just right.


With the leather all dried up I give it some leather grease and wax polish. I also make the rivet and ring for the hanger. When I make a puukko I get blinded by my work. I don’t really see the puukko itself as I focus on the craft. But at this point it is starting to be clear to me that the knife is almost ready. I can only smile when I realize that as I put the final pieces together the puukko is ready! This will be a refined, classy looking puukko.”


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Tuohipää / Stacked Birch Bark Puukkos

The first puukko I ever owned was an Iisakki Järvenpää Aito which has a stacked birch bark handle. It was given to me as a gift and I was taken with it. I’d never seen a puukko before and I thought it was just about the perfect knife and the perfect design. I was especially impressed with the birch bark handle, reminiscent of some stacked leather handled American hunting knives. Except the birch bark was nicer, it had a soft velvety warm feel and was easy to grip. The knife was a pleasure to handle.

I found that the use of birch bark  is traditional in Finland, and it’s used on several styles of puukkos and is very popular. As I got to know some puukkoseppä through this blog I was able to learn how these puukkos are made and post some tutorials of how it’s done. This post is simply to show some very nice puukkos with stacked birch, an appreciation of the form. The ones featured belong to my friends Bill Lecuyer (who started me off with the gift of that Järvenpää Aito) and Federico Buldrini who has written several features for this website.

Thank you to Bill, Federico and the talented puukkoseppä for making them! Look at Index Page to learn more about these knives and how they are made.

From Bill Lecuyer:

This puukko is by Pekka Tuominen. Blade length 90 mm, handle length 105 mm.

This puukko is by Pekka Tuominen. Blade length 90 mm,
handle length 105 mm.






Blade length 85 mm, handle length 110 mm.                                                                                 Handle length 11 cm

Kullervo puukko by Veikko Hakkarainen of Tapio, Rovaniemi. Blade length 85mm, handle length 110 mm.






From Federico Buldrini:

Puukko by Pasi Hurttila. blade: 97x23x5,2 mm, rhombic handle 110 mm tang at peening: 10x4,5 mm

Puukko by Pasi Hurttila. rhombic blade: 97x23x5.2 mm,
handle 110 mm,  tang at peening: 10×4.5 mm.






Pasi Hurttila, 100x22x5,6 mm blade, 110 mm handle, 9x5 mm tang at peening.

Another one by Pasi Hurttila, 100x22x5.6 mm blade, 110 mm handle, 9×5 mm tang at peening.






Two of mine:

Joonas Kallioniemi puukko. Blade 95 mm, handle 105 mm.

Joonas Kallioniemi puukko. Blade 95 mm, handle 105 mm.

J 4 3



July 2013 039


Puukko by Saku Honkilahti. Blade 90 mm, handle 105 mm.

Puukko by Saku Honkilahti. Blade 90 mm, handle 105 mm.




S 7


The Iisakki Järvenpää Aito that was the start of it all...

And the Iisakki Järvenpää Aito that started it all…

...thank you Bill!

…thank you Bill!

Puukko Gallery Part 2

New work from Pasi Hurttila,  Anssi Ruusuvuori and Joonas Kallioniemi.

Joonas Kallioniemi

Joonas 1

Joonas 2

Joonas 3

Joonas 4

Joonas 5

Joonas 6

The next four photos are of a puukko with a micarta handle:

Joonas micarta

Joonas micarta 2

Joonas micarta 3

Joonas micarta 4

Flame birch

Flame birch 6

Flamy birch 5

Joonas May 2013 8

Joonas may 2013 11

Joonas May 2013 5

Joonas May 2013 6

Anssi Ruusuvuori

Anssi Ruusuvuori. Ash burl, dur-aluminum, leather. ( hand forged 1080 carbon steel blades on all four of his knives shown here.).

Ash burl, dur-aluminum, leather. ( hand forged 1080 carbon steel blades on all four of his knives shown here.).

Anssi Ruusuvuori.  Ash burl, German silver, leather.

Ash burl, German silver, leather.

Anssi Ruusuvuori. Carbon fiber, German silver, leather

Carbon fiber, German silver, leather.

Anssi Ruusuvuori. Black alder burl, German silver, leather.

Black alder burl, German silver, leather.

Pasi Hurttila

Pasi Hurttila. Handforged 95mm silversteel blade, birch bark handle with brass bolsters.

Handforged 95mm silversteel blade, birch bark handle with brass bolsters.

Pasi Hurttila. Handforged 95mm silversteel blade, birch bark handle with brass bolster, moose antler spacers.

Handforged 95mm silversteel blade, birch bark handle with brass bolster, moose antler spacers.

Pasi Hurttila. Hand forged 95mm silversteel blade. Goat willow and curly birch handle with brass bolsters.

Hand forged 95mm silversteel blade. Goat willow and curly birch handle with brass bolsters.

Pasi Hurttila. Leuku with forged C60 carbon steel blade. Blade length 220mm, thickness appr. 4,9mm, 38-40mm wide. Scandi grind with secondary bevel.

Leuku with forged C60 carbon steel blade. Curly birch handle. Blade length 220mm, thickness appr. 4,9mm, 38-40mm wide. Scandi grind with secondary bevel.

Pasi Hurttila. Leuku same as above but with dyed flamed birch handle.

Leuku same as above but with dyed flamed birch handle.

Pasi Hurttila. Leuku same as above but with moose antler bolsters and spacers.

Leuku same as above but with moose antler bolsters and spacers.

One Year

It was one year ago yesterday that I made the first post on this blog. It featured a black ebonite handled puukko by Joonas  Kallioniemi. In the past year I have posted frequently and learned a lot about the puukko and the culture of Finland thanks to the many generous puukkoseppä who have taken the time to write down their thoughts, share their knowledge and send photos of their work. Federico Buldrini was especially helpful during the past year, supplying information and photos for many posts.

I look forward to learning more from the friends I have made during the past year and to posting more of their work. If anyone has anything they would like to share or anything they would like to see a post about please leave a comment and I’ll contact you. I would be glad for any suggestions or requests.

I would like to share another ebonite handled puukko from Joonas Kallioniemi today and also to post a list of the  countries that the viewers of this blog originate from, 97 countries in all. I would like to show the contributors to this blog how popular their work is. I never thought there was so much interest in the puukko  when I made the first post one year ago!

Joonas Kallioniemi gray ebonite puukko:

Joonas Gray 1

Joonas Gray 2

Joonas Gray 3

Joonas Gray 4

Viewers countries and number of views from each country:


Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 12,877
Finland FlagFinland 9,017
Russian Federation FlagRussian Federation 2,974
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 2,786
France FlagFrance 2,756
Sweden FlagSweden 2,639
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 2,596
Germany FlagGermany 2,477
Italy FlagItaly 2,201
Canada FlagCanada 1,819
Ukraine FlagUkraine 1,408
Hungary FlagHungary 1,177
Romania FlagRomania 1,152
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 1,125
Denmark FlagDenmark 1,004
Poland FlagPoland 946
Spain FlagSpain 946
Austria FlagAustria 599
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 579
Lithuania FlagLithuania 519
Slovakia FlagSlovakia 506
Norway FlagNorway 493
Estonia FlagEstonia 492
Greece FlagGreece 455
Australia FlagAustralia 446
Montenegro FlagMontenegro 394
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland 386
Serbia FlagSerbia 316
Croatia FlagCroatia 290
Japan FlagJapan 270
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 246
Belgium FlagBelgium 245
Belarus FlagBelarus 227
Slovenia FlagSlovenia 191
Thailand FlagThailand 178
Portugal FlagPortugal 174
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 168
Argentina FlagArgentina 137
Ireland FlagIreland 130
Latvia FlagLatvia 126
Mexico FlagMexico 106
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of FlagMacedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic 104
Chile FlagChile 97
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 96
Turkey FlagTurkey 88
Brazil FlagBrazil 87
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 82
Viet Nam FlagViet Nam 82
Kyrgyzstan FlagKyrgyzstan 63
Israel FlagIsrael 60
Iceland FlagIceland 59
Georgia FlagGeorgia 59
Singapore FlagSingapore 55
Luxembourg FlagLuxembourg 52
Bosnia and Herzegovina FlagBosnia and Herzegovina 48
Korea, Republic of FlagRepublic of Korea 46
Pakistan FlagPakistan 45
Colombia FlagColombia 43
Ecuador FlagEcuador 30
Venezuela FlagVenezuela 29
India FlagIndia 29
Kenya FlagKenya 23
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 20
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 19
Saudi Arabia FlagSaudi Arabia 16
Uruguay FlagUruguay 14
United Arab Emirates FlagUnited Arab Emirates 14
Guatemala FlagGuatemala 13
Costa Rica FlagCosta Rica 11
Mauritius FlagMauritius 10
Moldova, Republic of FlagMoldova 9
Azerbaijan FlagAzerbaijan 8
Kazakhstan FlagKazakhstan 6
Liechtenstein FlagLiechtenstein 6
Zambia FlagZambia 5
Puerto Rico FlagPuerto Rico 5
Jordan FlagJordan 5
Jersey FlagJersey 3
Philippines FlagPhilippines 3
Malta FlagMalta 3
Paraguay FlagParaguay 3
Qatar FlagQatar 2
Palestinian Territory, Occupied FlagPalestinian Territory, Occupied 2
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) FlagFalkland Islands (Malvinas) 2
Åland Islands FlagÅland Islands 1
Egypt FlagEgypt 1
Barbados FlagBarbados 1
Tajikistan FlagTajikistan 1
Djibouti FlagDjibouti 1
Gibraltar FlagGibraltar 1
Morocco FlagMorocco 1
Mongolia FlagMongolia 1
Faroe Islands FlagFaroe Islands 1
Sri Lanka FlagSri Lanka 1
Trinidad and Tobago FlagTrinidad and Tobago 1
Lebanon FlagLebanon 1
Nepal FlagNepal 1



Joonas Kallioniemi

Today I’m happy to post the profile of Joonas Kallioniemi. His work is of the highest quality both in design and workmanship which makes it stand out. There is a certain natural elegance in his work that is timeless in it’s simplicity.  Always  willing to answer questions and  send photos Joonas has been a great help and inspiration for this blog. While Joonas doesn’t have a website he can be found posting his new work on Britishblades.com Occasionally he may offer one of his puukkos for sale in the Maker’s Sales Forum but if you happen to see one there, act fast. It won’t be there long!

 Joonas Kallioniemi:

“I am now 23, a young man some might say, but I have already had an interest for puukko knives for many years. I can try to summarize a bit how I have gotten into this madness.

My father made some puukkos before I was born, and I remember that as a kid I admired those knives and always wanted to play with them. So it is very likely that part of my enthusiasm comes from there. I guess I was around 15 or 16 when I really got interested in puukkos. At the time I was very much into woodcarving and the outdoors so a good puukko was always in my dreams. Many of the handmade knives from respected makers seemed so damn expensive to me at that time, they were out of my reach. And today I’m lucky that they were. I used a lot of factory made puukkos but I quickly realized that there was a huge lack of quality in them.

I first built some puukkos with blades from one other maker and even with factory blades, but I soon got bored. I understood that a good blade was the most crucial part of any puukko, and that if I was to become a maker I would have to learn bladesmithing. I was at high school at the time and managed to find a place where I could start forging my own blades, or at least practice doing so! The only information that I had was what I had learned from books and the Internet. My skills were weak at best but the forging experience was the final step in getting me addicted.

After high school I was already so hooked to the craft that it had most of my interest. It seemed natural to go to a metalworking school and become an artisan. There I learned a lot about forging, machining and various other metalworking techniques that I could adapt into my knife making. One of the turning points in my making was when around those times I got some sound advice from master puukko maker Pekka Tuominen. It was then and right then when I started to think more about the shapes and proportions of puukkos, and especially the traditional lines that are present in most of the old puukkos. I also started to sell my puukkos part-time during studying. After graduating I had to go the army, so knife making was over for a while.

After that the commissions kept piling up and I had collected a good amount of tools so I decided to start making knives full-time. It seemed like the natural thing to do. It’s been about a year now and I know I did the right thing. Every day when I get up and go to my workshop I still get the same thrills that I got when I first started forging blades. To be able to turn my thoughts into physical objects with just the most basic tools and materials, it does the trick for me.”

joonas kallioniemi

Joonas Briar 1

Joonas stacked leather3

Materials for mammoth tooth puukko.

Materials for mammoth tooth puukko.

The finished knife.

The finished knife.


Copper and birch bark.

Copper and birch bark.

Joonas Lignum 1

Joonas Lignum 5

Ebonite puukko.

Ebonite puukko.

Joonas Dovetail

Joonas 13


Joonas birch bark

Joonas p2

Joonas p3

Joonas p6

Joonas p7

Dyed stacked birch

Dyed stacked birch

Dyed Birch 6 April 2013

Joonas forging

Coffee break...

Coffee break…

Joonas Kallioniemi

Joonas Kallioniemi

Joonas Kallioniemi Mammoth Tooth Puukko WIP

Not long ago, my friend Joonas and I were discussing various materials for puukko building and I asked him what material he hadn’t worked with yet that he would like to try. Mammoth ivory was at the top of the list. I did some searching and found that mammoth ivory was pretty hard to come by and may not be suitable for what we had in mind. Ivory from other sources was very expensive and there were legal considerations involved, especially if it had to pass through customs.

In my search I found a dealer with mammoth tooth blocks for sale, while not inexpensive, they were within reason. I wasn’t familiar with the characteristics of mammoth tooth but they looked amazing. After discussing it with Joonas we decided to purchase the blocks and he’d give it a try. He said he wanted to make an heirloom quality knife, one I could be proud of and pass on to my son.

When the blocks arrived I was surprised how heavy and dense they were. They looked like gemstone. My friend Federico Buldrini reminded me that they weren’t actually tooth anymore but mineral, stone. Fossilization had occurred over the thousands of years since the mammoth had become extinct. These were blocks cut from a tooth which was probably larger than a shoebox or large loaf of bread. The mammoth had four of these huge teeth which were needed to chew about 500 pounds of vegetation a day.

I couldn’t imagine how Joonas was going to work such hard dense material, but he was up to the challenge as usual. So just before Christmas I sent the mammoth tooth to Joonas, what follows is his report. You will know by the photos of the finished puukko that I was very pleased with the results. It is indeed an heirloom piece to be handed down to my son and hopefully his son and and his son and on.

Thank you Joonas for all your hard work and taking time out of your work schedule to document the creation of this beautiful puukko!

Joonas Kallioniemi:

“Some time ago Mike and I started to play around with an idea of a new puukko knife for him. All along from the start it was clear that it was going to be a very special knife, and we agreed that I’d make a WIP post of the building process. After some thinking we decided to go with a piece of mammoth tooth for the handle, with nickel-silver fittings. I shared some of my ideas with Mike and he gave his approval, so all that was left was to make the knife!

The concept for the knife came with some influence from Tommi puukkos, and some from my own mind. I saw the knife in my head and started the process of bringing it to life. The following pictures are not perfect and they don’t capture every single detail in the making process, but they give some sights inside the craft.

Here you can see what we started out with: a beautiful piece of stabilized mammoth molar, some nickelsilver and silversteel.”


I turned to my good old friend The Fire, and forged the raw form of the blade.







Then I removed the scale and slightly ground the blade to get the profile where I wanted it.




Then I ground the blade closer to what it should be.




After grinding I filed the shoulders of the blade with a nice radius, with the aid of a filing guide.




As I had the blade roughed out I shifted my attention to the bolster and pommel. I got a bit creative with the milling machine and made the rough shapes… still a lot to do before they fit perfectly.





This is what we had at that point.


Behind the window, gray and cold, -28 degrees Centigrade. So heat-treating the blade seemed like something to do.



After heat-treating I always do a rough sharpening for the blade and test the durability of the edge with some deer horn. Then I proceed by finishing the blade and etching my name.




Then the rough-cut bolster has to be fitted to the blade. No shortcuts there, just pressing and taking material off where it needs to be taken off.




Some shady pictures of fitting the blade to the piece of mammoth… that’s some hard stuff. I’ve drilled the piece before using the hand tools for opening the cavity and I must say that piece was the hardest material I’ve ever drilled. The brown layers on the material seemed to respond very well to drilling but once I hit that shiny white layer… it was like drilling glass! The bit just wouldn’t want to penetrate the layers, but with time and cursing we got through the job.



That’s it! A snug fit with some extra room for epoxy. Not perfect but it fits.33


I’ve also slightly cut off material from the piece of tooth at this point, so it’s at correct length and angle. I have maybe too much material, but I’ve never dealt with this material before so I’ll rather have some extra on it.


Then the fittings needed some shaping with the belt grinder.



I then assembled the knife, with as much epoxy in between as possible, and peened everything together nice and snug.



A quick touch up with the belt to see how clean the peening is. Two horrible mishits with the hammer! Sometimes they happen, luckily they’re not too deep so I can get them off later when I’m rounding the pommel. Everything looks rough and ugly at this point… bear with me!


Better leave the knife alone for a day to set, enjoy some coffee.


The handle has to be ground out. First the profile, then rounding it. I usually tend to favour a more teardrop shaped cross-section on my knives but with this particular knife I wanted to go with a more rounded profile. This material was quite hard to shape with conventional methods. I also tried to avoid heating the material too much, so that slowed me down a bit too. The smell of this material was horrible too! Even with separate working clothes the smell stuck to my clothes and sweat, and judging from the looks on their face I’m pretty sure that other people noticed it as well!

41 42

The pommel is getting some shape. There’s a slight dent right on the edge of the metal, but it’s so minute that it’ll go away when I finish up the knife.


With careful finishing we end up at 2000 grit.


Some sights into the process of making the plywood liner for the sheath.






With the liner ready, we’ve cut some leather and done some cutting and marking for it. So the stitching may begin.



Then it’s just a matter of letting the leather dry, smoothing it out and adding a bit of colour.



After greasing up the leather and making the dangler ring and one-piece leather-rivet


It’s just a matter of assembling it up. And then you realize that the knife is ready! It is quite mind-boggling to think that the handle of that knife is actually a piece of a mammoths tooth… It kind of puts things into perspective. I’m pretty sure that the animal couldn’t have guessed that one day one of those teeth would end up at a dusty workshop in Finland. We tried to make a heirloom object, a special knife, and I think we got there. Thank you for the opportunity to bring this idea to life.









Joonas Kallioniemi Work In Progress

The first post on this site featured a beautiful puukko by Joonas Kallioniemi with a gleaming black ebonite handle. I admired that knife so much I asked Joonas to make one for me as well as one with a traditional stacked birch bark handle. Joonas was kind enough to document his work for me in a series of photographs. Here are those photographs of the fabrication of the two stunning puukkos. I hope you will enjoy watching this talented young puukkoseppä at work. I think these are works of art; clean, elegant and executed to a very high standard of craftmanship. Perfect! Here is the story from Joonas himself:

“Some time ago I was approached by Mike. He asked me to make two puukko knives for him, and he also asked me to take pictures of the process of making the knives. I was intrigued by the idea and we soon decided that it would make a nice pictorial for his blog. The pictures are not plentiful as it was hard to get everything photographed in the rush of making the knives, but I hope the pictures show some of the idea behind making these knives, and the work that is involved. So, let’s make some puukkos!”

We start by forging the blades. I am somewhat a traditionalist so I use a charcoal forge for heating the blades.

And here I’m hammering the blade to shape. I wear a respirator here. Despite the good air exchange there is a lot of small particles flying in the air so I like to play it safe, no matter how silly it looks.

Forging the blade.

The forged blades have some resemblance to a knfe blade, but there’s still a lot of work to do.

The oxide layer is gone!

You can now see the roughly ground blades. I didn’t get any pictures of the grinding process, but I use the same grinder that you see in a future pic where I’m shaping a bolster.

Some filework is needed to match the shoulders of the blades. It’s good to have a little radius on them.

After quenching and tempering you can see what the blade has gone through. The edge quench is clearly visible and the tempering colours have also appeared.

After that we can do a rough finish on the blades…

…so we can do some testing on them. It would be best to make a temporary handle on these and carry them for daily chores for a while, but I can’t find the time for that on every single blade. So I do my best at testing them before I do my final finishing.

After the testing I can do my final finishing and add my name.

Now I have protected the blades with tape and I have the materials ready for the handles: some birch bark and some ebonite. Notice that I have pre-machined the bolster materials. It helps me fit the pieces when I have a slot on them.

The front-bolsters are fitted by slowly pushing them down the tang of the blade and taking material off where it needs to be taken off. This can be achieved by small files or a rotary tool. My solution is a bit unorthodox, but I like the control that I get by using a cone-shaped burr on my mill. Good light is essential in all precision tasks.

Slowly we get there.

Now I’m adding the dovetail groove on the bolster. Some degree of precision is required.

After the pieces are fitted I shape them on my belt grinder with a tool rest.

Here’s the same.

We’re done shaping. The dovetailed bolster still needs to be shaped. You can see that I have milled the sides of the round ebonite bar to make it more convenient. I have also started cutting the pieces of bark.

Piece by piece I fit the bark and tighten every now and then. We’re almost done!

After about a 100 pieces (give or take, I didn’t count!) we can add the upper bolster and peen the tang. When I stack the handle I make it slightly longer than it needs to be and heat it with a heat gun. It allows me to make the handle even tighter and it makes the pieces stick together by activating the birch tar.

A couple touches with the belt grinder to see how the peening went, so far everything’s ok.

The knife looks rather strange at this point. I always go overkill with the size of the bark pieces. Better safe than sorry.

We need to assemble the ebonite handled knife as well. Here it’s ready to be put together.

Just a peek at the dovetail joint. It is painstaking to get everything right, but so far we haven’t messed it. Knock on wood!

Along with the dovetailed bolster, the inlaid rivet at the back end of the handle is one of my things, almost some sort of a trademark. It also needs to be fitted precisely or it will look ugly.

Again quite a leap but here I’m peening the tang. With solid handles like this I add epoxy for added strength, but It is the tightly fitted, peened structure that holds everything together mostly.

I forgot to take a picture after hammering. Here it has already been cleaned a bit with a touch on the grinder.

Time to take the tape off and check that everything is going like it should.

We first shape the side profile…

Then the upper profile.

And after that I round everything and make the shape right.

And the same with the birch bark.

Both profiles.

And again we can round everything up.

Here I’m shaping the handle on a disc-sander.

After the rough shaping it is just a matter of taking the handles to a finer and finer finish. This is just a pic to show how nicely the ebonite can be finished. We’re not yet completely done, but we’re getting there.

This is the inlaid rivet.

Both of the handles are almost completely finished so it is time to make the wooden liners that come inside the sheaths. They dictate the shape of the sheath so I need to be precise. The sketching and all the lines may seem strange but they help me get where I want.

With all the shaping and carving done, we just need to glue on the other side and shape it accordingly.

With the liners and handles finished, I have taken some 2mm cow leather to make the sheaths. The edge has been beveled and I have some markings on the pieces.

The leather needs a good soaking in warm water.

This is pure handwork. I stitch the leather on the knives to get just the right shape. Her you can see that I have already started to stitch it. Notice that I have protected the knife thoroughly with plastic wrap and packing tape so the moisture doesn’t get to it. I do my leather working in my home, away from the dirty workshop, because with leather you need a clean working environment.

Just a few holes at a time…

The peaceful and clean leather work gives some balance to my work, I like it.

Everything seems to be ok!

After the leather has dried and I have glued the seam it is time to clean it up a bit. A puukko knife does this job well.

And after a lot of smoothing and making the belt hangers…

We have the sheaths almost ready.

Some black and dark brown dye for the sheaths. After this I add metal rings between the sheaths and the hangers and thoroughly grease the leather…

And we finally have two finished knives!